2017 is the year of Wine! Ok, maybe not actually, but I’m running this blog and I say it is! There is no arguing though, wine is becoming more and more popular. In 2015, 913 million gallons of wine were consumed! That’s a lot. Wine is super popular with my friends, and I enjoy hosting parties, so we did a Valentines Day Mystery Wine Tasting!
To invite people, I made a Facebook event. I asked guests to RSVP “going”, and those that did got a customized wine glass for their tasting pleasure! It’s an easy way to see who is coming and get a count for food. Of course always plan for extras, there are at least 2 that never RSVP!
To make the “mystery” part of this tasting, we put 6 bottles of wine in linen wine bags (affiliate) and decorated them simply with a number tag. If you’re doing a mystery wine tasting with a bunch of different types of wine, make sure you go from lightest to darkest, but do dessert wines last no matter the color. This also gives the guests a clue when they’re guessing the wines. On the tags, I also wrote the cheese and chocolate parings. This was so Coby and I knew what to give our guests, and it would give a true connoisseur a hint!
To serve the wine, remember it’s a tasting! I gave our guests very little of the wine to start off tasting with. They could taste the wine, and dump it in their spit cups if they didn’t like it. If they did like the wine, they could ask for more! That way we didn’t waste wine, because we chose a few out-of-the-blue ones! My pairings and order were:
|1||Gewurztraminer||Milk Chocolate w/ salt||Goat Cheese|
|2||Chardonnay||Milk Choc w/ Salt & Caramel||Jack/Parmesean|
|3||Roselle Passionfruit||White Chocolate||Pepper Jack|
|4||White Zin||Milk choc w/ fruit||Sharp Cheddar|
|5||Sweet Red Blend||Spicy Chocolate||Smoked Gouda|
|6||Cabernet Sauvignion||Mint Dark Chocolate||Brie|
I also made coasters that showed how to properly taste wine, including the whole “Sniff, sip, spit” thing. The coasters saved my table from drips, and also made it so I didn’t have to explain the steps over and over to guests. These were simple to make! I just used cork board, the graphic below, and some modge podge! They weren’t super pretty, but they did the trick!
Fancy appetizers are a MUST! After all, this was a classy party! We made cute appetizers, and we also learned how to pair both chocolate and cheese with each type of wine for the guests. This also gave them another clue when they were guessing, but only if they were true sommeliers! Of course, make sure you provide palate cleansers in between each type of wine. My recipes were Rolo Stuffed Crackers, Candied Bacon Brie, Bacon-Wrapped Apricots, Caprese Kabobs, and “Holiday Crackers”. For this party the name of the game was simple, fancy, and cheap! Between the cheese, wine, and fancy chocolates it didn’t leave much wiggle room in our budget for other food!
Our party games included some Virtual Reality (Courtesy of Coby’s new Vive toy), Jackbox (a game guest’s can play on their phones, it’s a new party favorite!), and of course, Rockband! Because no wine party is complete without karaoke!
There was also a prize for guessing the most wines right! We had 6 wines, and I gave guests a list of 14. The winner got 3 of the wines right, so maybe only give the guests 10 wines to choose from! The grand prize was a giant bottle of wine, a custom wine bag, and two custom glasses!
It was a ton of fun! Check out the Gallery for more photos of the party! Have you ever hosted a wine tasting? What are your favorite wines?