HOW TO HOST A WINE TASTING AT HOME WITH FRIENDS
Looking for something fun to do? Hosting a wine tasting at home can be a fun way to learn about wine while spending time with friends and family. We’ll give you step-by-step instructions for maximum enjoyment.
Before you get started, though, remember it’s important to be responsible. Given the current situation, private gatherings are still limited to a certain number of people in many regions. So, if you decide to host a wine tasting, make sure you follow local rules to avoid risks. And better yet, try to do it in a spacious, well-ventilated space, or even outdoors.
That said, let’s get to it! We’ll tell you everything you need to know for a great day with friends or family, with wine as the star. Your guests will surely have a great time.
CHOOSING WINES FOR THE TASTING
Wine is an essential part of this plan, so we recommend you start your planning by choosing the type of wine you want to taste. First of all, you have to decide whether you want to taste several wines made from the same grape, or different ones. Red, white or rosé? From several D.O. or just one? If you aren’t experts, if might be best to taste different types of wine. That way it will be easier to observe their nuances.
To simplify a bit, you could choose several wines from the same winery. This is called a horizontal tasting. If you wanted to try different vintages of the same wine, that would be a vertical tasting. At El Coto, we have a wide variety of wines from D.O.Ca. Rioja that make for a high-quality, well-rounded tasting.
After you choose the wine, another thing you have to decide is how you want to taste it. There are different styles to choose from, depending on what you want to achieve and the participants’ preferences. We’ll explain a few of them:
- Open tasting: participants know which wines they are tasting and get a short explanation from the host. After tasting, they share their opinions. This can be the best option for beginners.
- Blind tasting: if you’re looking to make things a bit more exciting, you can do a blind tasting by covering the label and trying to guess what type of wine it is based on the aromas and flavours. You can even close your eyes so the colour of the wine doesn’t give you any clues.
- Tasting in pairs: another way to make the tasting more original is to do it in pairs. So, with a partner, participants taste each wine and discuss their opinions before sharing with the rest of the group.
Whichever style you choose, it’s important that you or another one of the participants takes the role of sommelier to explain everything to the others. If you don’t know much about wine, it’s best to do some research on the wines you’re going to be tasting beforehand.
You’ll find all the information you need on our wines in our online shop.
CHOOSING THE LOCATION
You already which wines you’ll taste and how. Now it’s time to think about where you want to have the tasting, in the living room or kitchen, or even on a terrace or in the garden. In making your choice, remember to take into account how many guests you will have and make sure the location has:
- Enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.
- A large table or several tables together.
- A chair for each guest.
- A neutral smell, so it won’t affect the tasting.
LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Now that all of that’s decided, it’s time to get into the details and see what you’ll need to make your home tasting a success. And to help, we’ve got this list for you.
- Number of bottles of wine: three or four bottles tends to be a good amount for a tasting. But it’s important to take into account the number of guests and how many wines you want to taste.
- Number of glasses: it’s best to have one glass per guest for each wine. So, if there are four of you and you’re going to taste three wines, you need twelve glasses. Plus, we recommend using the right type of glass for each wine. Don’t know which goes with which? We explain it all in this article on which type of glass to use with each wine. [Link to article “Which glass for each wine]. If you don’t have enough glasses, no problem. Just wash them between wines!
- Ice bucket big enough to keep the wines you’re going to taste at the right temperature.
- Corkscrew: you won’t get anywhere without it! If there are a lot of bottles, better to have more than one.
- Paper and a pen for each participant to write their tasting notes after trying the wines.
- Water and a glass for each participant to refresh their palate between tastings.
FOOD OR SNACKS FOR THE TASTING
In addition to all of that, your tasting has to have some tasty snacks to go with the wine. It doesn’t have to be a lot or an elaborate production. In fact, that would be counterproductive as it could overshadow the wine. But there should be something for your guests to nibble on while they’re tasting.
And, of course, the snacks should pair well with the wines you’ve chosen. So, here are some options that go well with our wines.
- El Coto Crianza is the perfect pairing for meat and fish, so for a tasting you can serve it with good Ibérico ham, chorizo, cured pork loin and/or aged cheese.
- El Coto Blanco goes great with seafood and fish. So you can have it with cockles, mussels, anchovies, or bonito or salmon bruscetta.
- El Coto Rosado with salads, pickles or veggie bruscetta, like tomato or baby greens.
- El Coto Semidulce pairs perfectly with mild cheese, fruit and desserts.
Did you get that? Now you just have to start planning your amazing wine tasting. Enjoy!
“The wine world is becoming less masculine and less stereotypical”: an interview with Vanesa García, Head of Quality at the Barón de Ley Group