how to throw a wine tasting party

How to Throw a Wine Tasting Party

How to Throw a Wine Tasting Party

Many of us who live near wine country make wine tasting a regular thing. However, for those who do not have access to them, how can you still enjoy wine tasting? Learn how to throw a wine tasting party!

This is also great to do on holidays or nights when wineries are not open.

Throwing a wine party is easier than you think. Planning is simple and it doesn’t cost a lot if you make it a potluck style gathering.

Here are some details to organize before the party:

  • Theme
  • Vertical or Horizontal
  • Wine
  • Food
  • Other


You will want to create a theme for the wine and food. This can be to celebrate a certain wine-producing country, a varietal of wine, or a certain style.

Here are some ideas: wine tasting party nz wines

  • Taste of Italy (or wherever)
  • All That Cab (all Cabernet Sauvignons)
  • Sweet Wines of France
  • New Zealand wines
  • Sparkling Wines of the World


Vertical v Horizontal Tastings

Next, you will want to decide whether to do a vertical or a horizontal tasting.

A vertical tasting is where you taste the same varietal from the same producer, but a different vintage.

A horizontal tasting is where you taste wines from a similar group. These wines can all be the same varietal, style, or from the same region.

A vertical tasting can be harder to do because it can be difficult to get multiple vintages of the same wines.

A horizontal tasting allows you to contrast and compare the same varietal from different regions, the same style of wines, or explore a variety of wines from the same country.

how to host a wine tasting party


Next is deciding which wines to get. It’s important to put some parameters on which wines people are bringing.

Instead of having everyone bring their favourite wines, you can have them bring their favourite Shiraz or favourite sparkling wine.

Make sure that the wines for the theme are accessible in your area. Many smaller towns have limited wine shops. So having a party exploring Greek wines may not result in a big variety, if anything.



A wine party is not complete without good food!

Make sure that the foods will pair well with the wine.

A common thing to do for wine tastings is to have a cheese board and tapas. Everyone can bring a side dish that pairs well with the wine they are bringing.

Other Things You May Need

Make sure that you have enough wine glasses to serve all of the guests coming. If you know there will be a lot of white wine at the party, clear some fridge space beforehand so that you can chill the wine.

If you are doing a blind tasting, have some brown paper bags handy so that you can wrap the bottles as you pour them.

Other things you may want include:

  • Wine stoppers
  • Ice bucket
  • Note pads and pens


Wine tasting parties are a fun and educational way to enjoy your favourite drink. Now that you know how to throw a wine tasting party, what will your theme be?

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