Wine tasting party: group of people having a toast

When you want to gather with friends or family for a cozy get-together, a wine tasting party is hard to beat. You get to enjoy delicious wine and tasty bites in the company of great people — and learn something new about wine while you do.

If you’re planning a wine tasting party, we’re here to help. Discover our top tips for hosting a wine tasting party — from choosing a theme and creating your menu to setting the perfect atmosphere.

Savor the Flavor with These Wine Tasting Party Ideas

Whether you’re a huge wine lover or just developing an interest, hosting a wine tasting party is a fun way to dive into the hobby. While you can follow general party planning guidelines, here are some specific ways to host an incredible wine tasting party that you and your guests will love.

1. Choose Your Party Type

Wine tasting party: Wifi and Wine Invitation

Design: Sandra Picco Design LLC

Before you start selecting wines and arranging your space, you first need to decide what type of wine tasting party you’ll be hosting. There are many ways to enjoy wine tasting, so consider which option works best for you.

For instance, you could sample different wines from the same variety — like a collection of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, or malbec from various regions — or you could sample different types of wine, such as red wine, white wine, or sparkling wine from your favorite winemakers. Perhaps you want to set a price range and do a taste test to decide which bottle of vino offers the most value. You could also choose a handful of new wines that you’ve never tried and see which one(s) your group loves the most.

Another wine tasting party favorite is a blind tasting. This is where you pour the wine into a decanter or cover up the label in a creative way, so you can focus on the taste and aroma — without giving any notice to the variety, region, or brand.

As with any party, you’ll want to have at least a few snacks. While you could dream up a full meal replete with pro-level food pairings, you can also make it easy on yourself and set up several charcuterie boards with a selection of cheeses, fruits, olives, and chocolates with a variety of wine pairings.

If everyone isn’t able to gather in person, why not host a virtual wine tasting party? Schedule a date and time to meet together on a video call, send out your Wi-Fi and Wine invitation, and use a delivery app to send a few bottles of wine to each attendee in advance of your virtual event. There are also companies that will handle the virtual tasting process for you.

2. Invite Your Guests

Wine tasting party: Graphic Wine Night Invitation

Design: Kid Collective

With your party details nailed down, it’s time to invite your guests. Choose a matching party invite — like this fun modern design — and get your guests excited about what’s to come.

Whether you’re hosting a wine tasting as a fun thing to do on your birthday, as part of a wedding weekend, or as a standalone get-together with friends, Greenvelope offers plenty of customizable wine tasting event invites.

Once you find a design you love, you can easily customize the layout, colors, fonts, wording, and event details. Then, simply send it (or schedule it in advance) to your guests via email or text. You can even manage RSVPs from one place — giving you some much-needed time to focus on hosting your best wine tasting ever.

3. Choose and Buy Your Wines

Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s easier to find the perfect wines to serve at your tasting party. You can narrow your focus down to a specific region, variety, year, or budget and avoid getting overwhelmed by all the options.

Head to your local trusted wine shop and explore what they have, or get advice on which bottles of wine to take home with you. Seek out the best red wines, white wines, rosé wines, dessert wines, or whichever varieties you’ve chosen to focus on. Perhaps you want to choose Old World wines from regions like Crotia, France, or Italy; or maybe you want to emphasize New World regions like California, Oregon, New Zealand, or Australia; or maybe a combination of both.

To ensure you have enough wine for the event, you’ll have to do some simple math. Every bottle of wine contains roughly 10 servings if you serve standard 2-ounce serving pour. (For reference, a standard glass of wine is 5 ounces.) 

If you have a group smaller than eight, you could get away with one bottle of each wine you’re serving — for larger groups, plan to buy two. You could always buy more than you think you need in case you or someone else wants to enjoy a full pour of a particular vino.

4. Plan Your Menu

Food and drinks on a table

At a wine tasting party, there’s no expectation for you to serve a full sit-down meal unless it’s a dinner party. Instead, many hosts serve a small selection of appetizers or sides to enjoy during or after the wine tasting experience.

A cheese board always works well when paired with wine, and charcuterie boards are also a great option for your guests. Bruschetta, deviled eggs, and sushi rolls are also favorites. Explore some of the best appetizers for a wine tasting event, or come up with your own menu for the party. You could also consider a BYOB party and ask guests to bring along a favorite bottle of wine and cheese pairing – simply add your details to this Wine Pairing invitation

5. Get Your Supplies In Order

For the ultimate wine tasting experience, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Along with wine glasses, you may also want decanters, spitoons or spit buckets, and wine bags or covers for any bottles you want to disguise. Naturally, you’ll want a wine opener and corkscrew handy so there are no struggles when it’s time to pour.

Depending on the size of your guest list, you could be looking at a lot of wine glasses. For this reason, many hosts prefer to rent glassware from an event supply store. If you plan on hosting wine parties regularly though, you might want to stock up on some quality wine glasses you can use over and over again.

6. Create the Right Atmosphere

Wine Pairing Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Music and lighting play a key role at any get-together, and a wine tasting party is no different. Plan your lighting, seating, and playlists to create the right atmosphere for your celebration.

If your wine tasting is centered on a region, create a fun playlist filled with hits or traditional music from the location — like classic Italian songs or laid-back Californian tunes. You could even put together a playlist about the love of wine, with the help of these wine-themed songs.

For a cozy, intimate vibe, dim the lights or light candles in your space. For a backyard party, hang string lights, turn on the fire pit, or illuminate the area with path lights.

When it comes to seating, arrange everything so your guests can mingle and enjoy the experience together. Set up a communal table or bar area, rent extra chairs, or simply move your sofas around for an optimal gathering space.

7. Arrange Your Wine Tasting Area

If you’re new to hosting a wine tasting experience, it’s not always easy to know how to arrange your table. While you can’t really go wrong, you can help create a space that makes it easier for your guests to enjoy and immerse themselves in the moment.

Add placemats at the table where each guest will sit. Place a glass of water, napkin, and a personal spittoon near the area where they’ll be tasting wines. If you’re planning for guests to take wine tasting notes, be sure to also provide a pen and small notepad, or a personalized wine tasting grid print-out.

8. Properly Prep Your Wines

Person pouring wine into a wine glass

Set yourself up for success and make it easier for your guests by thinking ahead about how you’ll serve your wines. Decant any red wines that need time to air, and chill any white wines, sparkling wines, or rosé wines.

While you can serve your wines in any way you like, wine experts recommend starting with dry or light-bodied wines and moving towards the sweeter, full-bodied end of the scale if you’re hosting a traditional wine tasting. You might choose to work through your wines alphabetically, around the world by region, or in another creative way.

9. Play the Host

Wine and Dine Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

When the party day rolls around, it’s time to break out your best hosting skills. Welcome your guests with a smile, make sure they’re comfortable, and be there to guide them through the experience.

Take some time to learn about the wines you’re serving, or print out and hand out information sheets to your guests so they can discover more about what they’re tasting. If you want to take part in the event yourself, consider hiring a sommelier or wine expert to play the host instead — so you can take a seat and enjoy the wine.

Treat Your Guests to an Engaging Wine Tasting Party

Wine tasting parties are always a lot of fun. If you’re a wine lover, you get to share your excitement with your friends and loved ones. If you’re new to enjoying wine, it’s an opportunity to gather your closest friends and enjoy a new experience together.

When you’re ready to share the news about your event, use one of our wine tasting party invites. Find a design that matches your style, then customize it to suit your celebration. Send your invites on their way, and get your guests excited about your upcoming wine tasting party. Cheers!