Wine entertainment > Tips for a successful tasting

Try a wine tasting > Entertain guests simply but memorably by letting them try a few “mystery” wines, “unveiling” labels only after friends have tasted and evaluated. 

A SOMMELIER OFFERS SOME TASTING TIPS >

1. Best time to taste wine? In the morning! About 10 a.m. This is when your palate is the freshest and not tainted with all the things you consume throughout the day.

2. Start on time, and keep it focused. If you invite people to arrive at 10 a.m., start at 10:15, keep everyone on track for an hour, and then have 45 minutes for chatter, cleanup and food, if any.

3. Have plenty of proper glassware (not too big, not too small and hopefully all the same size), and make sure it is clean (lint and odor free). You can use wineglasses for champagne if you don’t have enough champagne flutes.

4. Make sure the wines are at the proper temperatures. Put the reds in the fridge to bring them to cellar temperature (which, at 55 degrees, is not room temperature) and pull the whites out about 15 minutes ahead to let them warm up a bit.

5. Have tasting sheets available so people can take notes.

6. Have the tasting in a room with good natural light. You can see the wines better.

7. Offer plain bread or crackers during the tasting. Unless you are specifically doing a wine-and-food pairing, keep the food out of the picture until after you have tasted the wines.

8. Get a retailer or other wine professional to choose the wines for you based on your theme or budget.

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