Alert

The maximum quantity permitted for this item is , if you wish to purchase more please call 1300 303 307
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.

 

You might also like

Wine
Preserving the truth on sulphates in wine
Recently, one of our members, Penny Bamford, got in touch to ask about preservative 220, which you might have seen listed on the back label of bottle of wine. She wanted to know whether it can cause allergic reactions and whether it’s used in organic and biodynamic wine. Tasting Panellist Dave Mavor came to the rescue with an explanation. The main preservative used in wine is sulphur dioxide, which you’ll see on the label as ‘preservative 220’, ‘minimal sulphur dioxide added’ or ‘contains sulphites’. Sulphur dioxide is added in the winemaking process to protect the wine from oxidation and bacterial spoilage. I can tell you that the sulphur dioxide used in winemaking is less than many other products (e.g., dried fruits, some beer, meat, etc.) that we consume every day. It has been used as a preservative in wine since Roman times. And don’t be fooled into thinking that because preservatives aren’t listed on European wines that they’re not present, it’s just that they don’t have the same strict labelling laws as Australia. The amount of sulphur dioxide winemakers are allowed to add is strictly controlled to a limit of 250 milligrams per litre. With such low levels it is unlikely to cause any health issues, however, some people feel they are quite sensitive to it. If that is you, here are some tips: There tends to be higher levels of sulphur dioxide added to white wines as they are more susceptible to oxidation, whereas the tannins in red wines act as a natural preservative. If you have symptoms from drinking red wine, it’s more likely to be from the histamines. Age also affects the sulphur dioxide levels in a wine, as it dissipates over time, so if you’re sensitive to sulphur dioxide, go for older wines. There is less sulphur dioxide used in organic and biodynamic wines. Certification allows 50 per cent of what can be used under conventional standards. Preservative-free wines don’t have sulphur dioxide added, however, it can also be a natural product of fermentation and is therefore often present even if it hasn’t been deliberately added. Also, without added preservatives, the wine will be very susceptible to spoilage by oxidation, so it needs to be consumed straightaway – which is not a bad thing. You might have noticed the recent emergence of products that claim to remove the sulphur dioxide from your wine. Dave explains that these are simply made up of diluted hydrogen peroxide. While this is a chemical sometimes used in the winery when too much sulphur has been accidently added to a wine, it’s extremely controlled by winemakers with a thorough understanding of the chemical process. Remember that if you add too much hydrogen peroxide to a wine it will go off and you will have spoilt all the winemaker’s hard work!
Wine
Natural Wine
Words by Nick Ryan on 9 Aug 2016
Natural wine is the hottest thing in the world of wine right now, the boozy buzzword from Brooklyn to Bondi and all licensed points in between. The term ‘natural’ wine is problematic, more on that later, but in essence we’re talking about a winemaking movement that seeks to produce wines with the bare minimum of human intervention. That means no additions, no adjustments, no filtration or fining. Basically we’re talking about removing human intervention in the winemaking process from everything that happens between the picking of the fruit from the vine and crushing it to get the juice through to getting the resultant wine into the bottle. The juice begins to ferment not through the addition of commercially packaged yeast, but rather through the naturally occurring yeasts floating around in the vineyard and winery. The various options winemakers have to fill the gaps that the vagaries of vintage can create are also shunned, which means no added acid, enzyme, nutrient or tannin. Manic organics Any discussion of ‘natural’ wine will invariably touch on organic and bio-dynamic practices and while they’re intertwined, they’re not indivisibly so. When we talk about organic or bio-dynamic wines, we’re referring primarily to the farming practices in the vineyard, while most of the requirements for classifying a wine as ‘natural’ occur, or more accurately, don’t occur, within the winery. So any ‘natural’ wine worthy of the name will come from organic or bio-dynamic vineyards, but there will be wines produced from similarly certified vineyards that can’t be considered ‘natural’ because the winemakers responsible for them choose to be a little more ‘hands on’ when it comes to helping them along the journey from grape to glass. That’s just part of the difficulty with such absolutist terminology. Also tied up in this milieu are the wines that proclaim themselves ‘Orange’, not because they come from the central New South Wales wine region, but rather because they range in colour from the bruised umber of a hobo’s urine to a turbid tangerine akin to flat Fanta. Thrill or spill In essence, Orange wines are white wines made as if they were reds, meaning the juice is kept in contact with skins, often in oxidative environments, to allow the extraction of tannin, phenolic compounds and colour. This can make for some intriguing wines, but anyone expecting them to behave like conventional white wines might be seriously weirded out by the step up in texture and weight. Advocates for natural wine will say that the removal of winemaking fingerprints from these wines allows for the purest expression of terroir, a wine’s ability to express the true nature of the place from which it comes. In theory, this should be right, but experience tells me that’s not always the case. I’ve had natural wines that have thrilled me utterly and I’ve had natural wines that have made me wonder if I should rip my tongue from my mouth and wipe my arse with it rather than subject it to another drop. That’s part of the pleasure, and part of the problem, too. A natural division There is a political statement inherent in the whole ‘natural’ wine movement that makes me a little uncomfortable, an unfair juxtaposition that banishes all other wines that don’t fit the criteria into a bin implied to be ‘unnatural.’ I prefer the term ‘ low-fi’ that some of the best exponents use. It also has to be accepted that a more open-minded attitude to winemaking faults is required to enjoy a lot of these wines and I’m cool with that. There is beauty in the flawed as well as the perfect. But there is a worrying trend amongst the loudest advocates of natural wine to treat any criticism as simply the old-fashioned windbaggery of an old guard who just don’t get it and I think that’s wrong. A natural wine isn’t good just because it’s been made in line with the philosophies and methods that define the movement. A natural wine is good, just as any wine is, when it’s simply a delicious liquid you want to put in your mouth. The world of natural wine is one well worth exploring and some real thrills await those who seek them. Just remember, the best guide is always your own palate and a wine with nothing but a philosophy to commend it will always leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
1 case has been added to your cart.
Cart total: xxx
1 case, 12 bottles, 3 accessories