How to host a wine tasting birthday party

Oct 16, 2009 at 6:30 a.m. ET

If you are looking for a unique idea for your birthday party, consider a wine tasting party. This type of birthday party is fun and relaxing. Follow these simple tips to host a wine party that is sure to be a hit.


The invitations

Eight to 12 people is the ideal number of guests for a wine tasting party. It's large enough to be fun, but not so large that it will be difficult to manage. Look for paper invitations or e-vites with a wine theme. Give your guests at least a couple weeks notice before the party so they can clear their schedule for your special night.

Select a venue

Consider having your wine tasting party at a local wine bar. Most major cities have several wine bars that are stocked with hundreds of types of wine. If you want a more intimate affair, host your wine tasting birthday party at home.

Pick your wines

The number of wines available can be overwhelming. To narrow things down, host at themed wine party by selecting from a certain type of wine. For example, you can pick all French Reds, German Rieslings or California Cabernets. Another option is to select certain year (perhaps the year you were born) and pick all your wines from that particular year. Once you have narrowed your scope, you can select several different bottles of wine under your theme. One 750 ml bottle of wine should cover six to eight people during a tasting.

Serve appetizers

Though this party is all about the wine, you can't go without food. Consider providing cheese and crackers, appetizers or tapas before or after the wine tasting. You don't want any heavy foods like pasta or red meat before drinking the wine because they may effect your tasting.

Do your research

Print out a few details about each wine and make photocopies for your guests, so that they can learn more about the wines they are tasting. Have your guests rate each wine on the sheet, just for fun! You can also do blind tasting and have each guest guess which wine from the list they are tasting.

Pouring the wine

Stay organized and have all of your guest sit around a large table and provide each with a wine glass and a pitcher of water. The guests can rinse out their glasses between each tasting and cleanse their palates. When you pour the wine, limit your pours to only two ounces (which is about two inches in a standard wine glass). Each guest should smell the wine first and swirl it around the glass to release the aroma before tasting. Once all your guests have tasted the wine, you can move on to the next bottle.

Don't drink and drive

If you are headed to the wine bar for your event, consider renting a limo so that no one has to drive. For home wine tasting parties, offer a designated driver or taxi service to those who need it.