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Wine

How to host your own wine tasting party!

Gather your friends and put your collective wine knowledge to the test with a wine tasting party!

It’s all about bringing that cellar door tasting experience to your home and enjoying good wines and good times. There are no rules to the type of tasting you host –  from a sit-down dinner to an impromptu barbeque, or a casual lunch. Or, you can step it up a notch and host a themed party using some of our ideas (see further below), or make up your own – just make sure it’s lots of fun!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

So, what do you need to set up your wine tasting? Besides, the wines of course, you’ll also need:

  • Wine glasses – white or red wine glasses depending on the wine being tasted
  • Covers –  to disguise the wine bottles
  • Water – supply still or sparkling water to cleanse the palate between wines
  • Spittoons –  in case some guests don’t want to drink the wine once tasted
  • Snacks – to cleanse the palate. Plain water crackers, breads, olives and cheeses are perfect
  • Pens and note pads – to complete your tasting notes
  • Friends – from two to ten friends, the options are endless

HOW TO PLAY

Disguise the Wines

Put the wines in bottle covers and mix them around so no one knows which is which and number the bottles. We suggest tasting up to four wines each session.

Once you’ve assembled the glasses, bottles and the extra bit and pieces, there’s really one thing left to do – enjoy the tasting

Taste

Now for the best bit. Pour a wine into the corresponding numbered glass for each player. Announce the theme and let the tasting begin.

Make Notes

Thinking about the colour, aromas and taste, each player should jot down their thoughts on their tasting sheet.

Mingle

Reveal and discuss each wine, reading out your tasting notes, remembering there is no absolute right or wrong. Re-set and start again.

Be the host with the most

Have fun choosing the wines for your party. Simply select from your latest Wine Selectors collection or ask your friends to bring a bottle.

Tasting theme ideas

There are so many themes you can chose for your wine tasting party. Here are a few different ideas to get you started.

Regional rumble – taste the unique characteristics of varieties grown in various regions.

Favourites – ask your guests to bring their favourite varietal making sure they’re all different.

Price wars – choose the same variety and vintage from different price points and see if the price reflects the quality.

Vertical tasting – choose one wine and taste several different vintages. It’s really interesting to experience the similarities and the differences from year to year.

Food theme – Thai with Riesling or Gewürztraminer, tapas with Tempranillo or Sangiovese, seafood with Semillon or Sauv Blanc, the combinations are endless.

New wave wines – with so many fantastic emerging alternative varietals now available, step out of the comfort zone and introduce your guests to some deliciously new drops.

Practice makes perfect

With each party and tasting session you’ll detect deeper, more involved aromas and flavours – after all, practice makes perfect.

Get Your Own Wine Tasting Party Kit!

To help expand your love of wine and make tasting fun and easy, we’ve created a great kit, which you can use next time you’re hosting a tasting or even at an impromptu get-together.

 

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The essential Seafood and wine matching guide
A seafood selection for all of your wine favourites. There’s something so Australian about tucking into a seafood feast with family and friends! We’re so lucky to have such an incredible range available all year-round, from fresh prawns and oysters served deliciously chilled, to barbequed and baked seafood dishes full of fresh flavours. The style of wine you choose to match your seafood is dictated by its delicacy. From the classic combination of crisp Riesling with freshly shucked oysters to grilled shellfish with a modern Chardonnay, and the not so classic match of salmon with Pinot Noir, there’s a vast array of wine and seafood-matching opportunities. LIGHT AND AROMATIC WHITES Dave Mavor and his family love seafood and are mad about Asian food, so a favourite at his house is steamed snapper with Asian flavours . “I’m a huge fan of alternative whites like Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner which pair perfectly with this style of dish,” says Dave. With Asian flavours also think light and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc , Semillon and blends, and Riesling . MEDIUM WEIGHT AND TEXTURAL WHITES “Living on the coast, I’m lucky to have access to fantastic quality fresh seafood and I love having friends around for lunch on weekends, so dishes like blue swimmer crab spaghettini with lemon and chive sauce and garlic pangrattato are my go-to,” says Nicole Gow. “Crab needs a white that’s light on the oak with crisp acidity, making medium weight and textural wines like Marsanne , Pinot G , Vermentino , Arneis and Fiano mouth-watering choices,” FULLER BODIED AND RICHER WHITES When you’re after an easy to prepare, but impressive and quite luxurious seafood dinner, Adam Walls recommends barbequed marron with garlic and herb butter . “Marron is just so delicious and the rich barbequed flavours of the dish are complemented by fuller bodied and richer whites which I love,” he explains. “Go for Chardonnay , Roussanne , Verdelho or Viognier .” LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT AND SAVOURY REDS Trent Mannell suggests forgetting what you’ve heard or read about red wine not going with seafood. “The richness of fish like salmon make it great for red wine-lovers,” says Trent. “I really enjoy dishes like King salmon with warm romesco salad that pair so well with light to medium weight and savoury reds like  Grenache , GSM blends , Nero d’Avola , Barbera , Pinot Noir and Merlot .”
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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