Looking for a fun way to entertain your wine-loving friends? Get them together for a blind wine-tasting party! No, you don’t blindfold your guests — but you do conceal the identity of the wines by placing them into paper bags so your guests won’t know what wine they’re tasting. It’s a great way to try different wines and have fun while doing it!
Here’s what you will need:
- A wine glass for each guest.
- Paper bags to cover the wine bottles.
- Wine Rating Sheet for each guest.
- Tasting note guide (see this page).
- Wine charms (optional).
Or you can purchase a Ready-Made Blind-Tasting Kit.
Of course, you will need wine.
You may choose whatever blind tasting theme you wish (use your imagination), but one of the most popular is to use wines of the same varietal (Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, etc.). Once you’ve decided on the varietal, buy six bottles of that varietal from six different wineries. Wrap the bottles and identify the bags with numbers or letters.
Give each guest a wine glass and a scoring sheet. As they sample each wine, ask them to rate the wine using the parameters on the scoring sheet.
At the end of the blind tasting, gather up the wine scoring sheets and determine which wine was the most popular.
A modification of this theme is to choose wines from different areas/countries or with different prices. Other themes would be to use all reds or all whites.
- Always be sure the wines are at the optimal serving temperature.
- If you can, avoid using paper or plastic cups. Regular wine glasses are superior because you can hold the glass by the stem and swirl the wine without spilling.
- Have finger food on hand to help cleanse the pallet between tastings — something that will not overshadow the wines. Bland crackers are a good choice.
- Have a pitcher of water and a water bucket available so guests can rinse their glass after each taste.
- Depending on your theme, organize the wine tasting so your guests move from whites to reds, from sweet to dry, and from light-bodied to full-bodied reds.
- Six to eight people is the optimal number of guests.
- Ask your guests not to wear perfume or to smoke because these odors may interfere with the aroma of the wine itself.