Wining & Dining
Host A Wine Tasting at Home
11/9/2015 12:24:02 PM


Host A Wine Tasting at Home


As wonderful as it is to have a nice place to pickup a bottle for a dinner party, what’s even more exciting is the prospect of having a party devoted purely to the joy of wine.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to host a memorable tasting party, according to Lana Bortolot, east coast editor of the SOMMJournal and producer of the Quaff Report, a sommelier-to-sommelier blind-tasting feature exclusive to SOMMJournal. "To have a great party, you just need to like wine and have an open mind,” she says. "And some decent wine glasses that have a large enough bowl for swirling and sniffing.”

So if you’ve got plenty of clear glasses for tasters to see the color and clarity of the wine, you’re basically ready to get started. The first step to planning your perfect party is to pick a theme, says Fran Avery, co-owner of Crave, a food boutique in Lake Charles that sells a wide selection of wines.

"You can select wines from one region like California or Tuscany, or you can also select wines based on grape varietal, like Cabernet Sauvignon and select wines from Italy, Washington, Spain, California, New Zealand and Chile, for example,” Avery says. You could also choose wines by type – red, white, rose, or dessert. Another fun idea is to have your guests bring their favorite wine for others to sample. Don’t get caught up in following any set rules. The goal is to have fun and enjoy some wine.”

And if you’re at a loss as to what to talk about over your tasting, let fruit be your guide. Keep fresh fruit or pots of jam nearby to remind guests of what they’re meant to taste. "Talk about citrus or orchard fruits in white wines, or red berries versus black berries in reds,” says Crave co-owner Melanie McMullen. "If the tasting notes say a particular wine will frequently taste like pears or apples, or blackberries or blueberries,’ guests can remind themselves of what those flavors taste like by taking a bite of fruit or a little dip of jam .”

But don’t let fruit be your only snack. What goes better with wine than cheese? McMullen recommends hearty snacks like cheese, chocolate, bread, nuts and even pizza bites. "The tasting notes for the wines you are serving should provide recommendations for the best pairings. You can also ask for food pairing suggestions when you purchase your wine.”

There’s no need to break the bank for your get together, Avery adds. Start with a few bottles priced
in the ten to twenty dollar range and ask guests to bring their own picks. Avery says Crave even sells
a wine tasting party kit that takes the guesswork out of hosting a home wine tasting. It includes
wineglass markers, wine bottle covers, tasting notepads, a wine-aroma wheel, a wine-and-cheese
wheel, and an entertaining and informative book that introduces you to the ins and outs of wine.

"Wine tasting parties are a fun, relaxing way to expand your knowledge and appreciation of different types of wine,” says McMullen. "The holidays provide the perfect opportunity to give a home wine tasting a try.”

For more information, call Crave at (337) 421-0040, visit crave-foods.com, or stop by Crave at 2801 Ryan Street in Lake Charles.
Posted by: Kristy Armand | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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