Wine Development Manager at Le Cordon Bleu London, Matthieu Longuère MS, explains that wine tasting can truly be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend an evening with friends, and shares some tips on how to host.

The words ‘wine tasting’ can be somewhat intimidating. We assume to do this a depth of wine knowledge is required – will we be up to the task and, crucially, will it be any fun? 

Have you ever thought of using wine tasting as a way to socialise and spend quality time with friends in a relaxed environment? These are my suggestions for creating the perfect and fun wine tasting evening... 

Set a budget

Have an idea of how much you would like to spend before starting out. Expensive wines are by no means the only option for an interesting wine tasting event; a really good wine can be as reasonable as €15 or as expensive as €482,000 – the price of one of the most expensive wines ever sold! So, for that one, a bit of research might be needed. There are a lot of great options to suit all budgets.

Know your audience

It is very important to be sure that everybody at the party can drink – designated drivers aside. Also, gauge their interest in wine at other gatherings.

Maybe you have considered it but were put off by the slight (very, very slight) possibility that your friends might not find wine as fascinating as you do? Of course, most of them are likely to enjoy a glass or two every now and then, but long debates into the fine nuances of a New Zealand Pinot Noir from Central Otago versus one from Marlborough might send your guests seeking out other forms of entertainment and tuning you out.

Once your detective work is complete and you have the answers to the above. You can decide on a theme and activities. Some classics are;

  • Unusual wines from your guests’ country(ies) of origin;
  • Wines from your guests’ favourite holiday destinations;
  • Historical wines;
  • Wines to match your guests’ favourite meals;
  • Organic, Biodynamic or Natural wines;
  • Wines that have a story (for the more sentimental types, it could be the wine you drank or will drink at your wedding)

Blind tasting

Ask your guests to guess one element about the wine such as the grape, the country, the region, etc... clues are permitted!

Tasting Notes

Look up the wine’s tasting notes and get one of your party goers to try and describe the taste, see if they get close to it.

Bring Your Own

Ask everybody to bring a wine from their own country, if you have a multicultural group, or just one of their own choosing.

Most of all, have fun! 

Le Cordon Bleu London

As we know, wine tasting can be done on many levels, from amateur to professional. At Le Cordon Bleu London, our Wine Development Manager, Matthieu Longuère MS (pictured above) develops and delivers a wide variety of Wine Masterclasses for those looking to brush up their knowledge, to more comprehensive programmes such as the Diploma in Wine Gastronomy and Management designed for those looking to work professionally in the industry.

For more information on our culinary and wine programmes, click HERE

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