W hile you might think of wine tastings as things that take place at four-star restaurants and fancy wine shops, there are many compelling reasons to host a tasting in the comfort of your own home. With just a little planning and shopping, a wine tasting can be fun, easy, and affordable.
For advice on hosting an at-home wine tasting we spoke to Dina Cheney, a professional tasting host and author of Tasting Club. Cheney explains that compared to a cocktail or dinner party, a tasting requires significantly less planning, prep, shopping, or cleanup, leaving you more time to enjoy your friends—and the wine. Plus, with so many bargain bottles on the market, a wine tasting can be surprisingly wallet-friendly.
Cheney's at-home wine-tasting plan covers everything: scheduling the event, choosing a theme, shopping for bottles, and leading the tasting. She also shares her expertise on finding a good local wine merchant, choosing recipes (if you opt to serve food), and setting up your party space. And, if you really enjoy hosting tastings, consider forming a wine-tasting club or experimenting with different kinds of tastings—chocolate, cheese, honey, beer, and tea are perfect for tasting parties.
Photos by Charles Schiller
Dina Cheney is a freelance writer, recipe developer, culinary consultant, and tasting host. She is the author of Tasting Club and Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salad. To learn more about Cheney, go to dinacheney.com.