Style Snacks ... Wine Tasting

Do you ever have trouble picking out the perfect wine to accompany your meal? With more and more people becoming budget-conscience, BYOB restaurants have gained in popularity. But without the sommelier to steer you in the right direction, how do you choose the vino perfetto?

Lately I've been wanting to host an at-home wine tasting; it's a pressure-free way to taste a lot of different wines, and it doubles as a reason to get together with friends, which I will never pass up. A wine tasting is a unique event: not quite a dinner party - not yet a cocktail hour, so ... how do you plan one? I've got you covered.

Your first step to putting on a successful wine tasting is to decide what type of tasting you want to have. Since everyone loves hors d'oeuvres and no one wants an apartment full of too-tipsy guests, I recommend offering snacks. Serving foods that can be prepared ahead of time will allow you to spend the maximum amount of time with your guests, and stay stress-free so you can enjoy the tasting along with your friends. I'll be serving something like this:

Photo: Stephen Hamilton, Courtesy of Schumann & Co.

Since there are so many different choices when it comes to wine, it's best to stick to one category when hosting a tasting, such as Spanish Reds, Sweet Whites, or Dessert Wines. It's perfectly acceptable to ask each guest to bring a favorite bottle to the tasting, just make sure to specify which type on the invitation. Here are some of my personal, budget-friendly favorites:

The SHOW Cabernet Sauvignon
Relax Riesling
Mark West Pinot Noir
Always the hostess, some inspiration for your decor:

If you want to know more about how to host an amazing wine-tasting event, click here, where you can read further about how many guests to invite, what to offer during the tasting, and even download a wine tasting grid to pass out to all of your guests.

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