“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know,” said the English romantic poet John Keats. Indeed, Keats knew of what he spoke. A beautiful warm day, good friends, fine wine, delectable hors d’oeuvres, and a little music sounds like a divine wine party idea! Whether you’re planning a casual backyard soiree or a traditional wine tasting in your home, knowing the basics and selecting lovely accoutrements can make all the difference in the world.
Decide on a Party Theme
With so many choices, it’s best to pick a theme. If you’re hosting a cheese and wine party, you could pair a fine Pinot Noir with Brie, Chardonnay with Gruyere, or Sauvignon Blanc with chèvre. Fresh fruit such as mango, cherries, or berries will add a delicious touch to the spread. On a lovely, still summer day, consider bringing the party outside. Lush garden greenery can bring the ambience of a Tuscany vineyard to your party, while beautifully arranged flowers add natural elegance to any table décor.
If you’re organizing a traditional wine tasting, it’s best to let the wine shine and not serve any pungent foods or display fragrant flowers that interfere with the tasting process. French bread or plain water crackers work nicely. Here are a few essential things to consider when planning your wine tasting:
- Variety of wine in terms of type and country of origin
- The age and vintage of the wine
- Number of guests
- Number of bottles needed
- Temperature to serve the wine
- The all-important décor needed to make your party a success
- Select a maximum of five different wines
- Choose vintages that all come from a specific region, such as Tuscany or Napa
- Limit your wine tasting to 10 people or less, particularly if this is your first time hosting
- Count on the equivalent of half a bottle minimum per person
- Chill red wines in the refrigerator about 15 to 30 minutes before guests arrive
- Keep white wines and rosés chilled until a few minutes before pouring
Choosing Perfect Glassware and Accessories
Of course, it goes without saying you need wine glasses. Experts say one glass per person is acceptable, however, two makes it easier to compare wines simultaneously. Here are a few other distinctive accessories to make your wine party the toast of the town!
Richly hand cut with deep facets, this stunning decanter is a fabulous choice for serving wine if you’re opting for blind tastings. And even if you aren’t doing a blind taste, a lovely crystal decanter will add posh panache to your party.
Christofle Vertigo Silverplated Ice Bucket: Keep your wines properly chilled in this elegant Christofle ice bucket. It is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, with a sensual and subtly asymmetric design.
Uncork your bottles and impress your guests with this sophisticated English bar set with naturally-shed Indian staghorn handles.
Folding Tea / Bar Cart: This versatile and beautiful cart is a great place to store favorite liquor and a useful accessory for wine tastings. Use it to stylishly display everything from hors d’oeuvres to bottles of wine.