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Starting a wine tasting club or organizing a wine tasting event is a great way to get to know other connoisseurs in the area. A lot of work goes into creating a perfect wine tasting experience, though, so don’t just set a date and assume everything will work itself out. Instead, check out these seven tips for how to organize the perfect event.
Do Some Research
The best way to find out what works and what doesn’t is to attend a professional wine tasting or two. Missouri residents can find out about local wine tasting events here. If they haven’t attended any wine tasting events yet, they’ll find that seeing how professional wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms go about it will offer some much-needed direction.
Keep it Intimate
Even if they have grand ambitions of large-scale wine-tasting parties, event planners should keep their initial events intimate and manageable by limiting their guest counts to no more than ten people. This will make it easier to ensure that everything goes smoothly and will prevent the need for purchasing multiple bottles of each wine. Plus, it will create a more welcoming, friendly environment for the guests.
Have all the necessary supplies on-hand in advance. These should include two glasses for each attendee, palate cleansers like crackers or simple pieces of bread, spit buckets, and plenty of water. Try to avoid tinted glassware, and consider providing pens and paper for guests in case they want to take notes.
Come Up with a Theme
Come up with a theme. It will make choosing wines and advertising the event much easier. Try organizing a wine tasting by region, style, vintage, or get a little more creative.
Provide the Wine
Some event planners like to have each guest bring along a bottle of wine, but this is more trouble than it’s worth. Not only will guests who have little experience with wine buying feel put upon, but it will make choosing and sticking to a theme more difficult. Plus, if organizers select and buy the wines, they can make sure there’ll be plenty to go around.
Integrate the food fully into the event, don’t just include it as an afterthought. While some hosts and hostesses prefer to offer a full, seated meal, others just provide some snacks. There’s no need for shelling out a small fortune on catering, but make sure that the snacks or meals are tasty and well-paired with the wines.
Share the Cost
Unless they’re feeling especially generous, most event planners don’t swallow the entire cost of organizing a full-scale wine tasting by themselves. Instead, they’ll pass on some of the cost to their guests, most of whom will be more than happy to pay their fair share for a wonderful event full of friends, wine, and food. Those who plan to ask for money to help cover the costs should be upfront with their guests and include the cost of participation on their invitations, specifying that the money will go to cover the costs of the wine.
The Bottom Line
Organizing a wine tasting event for the first time can be stressful, but it can also be fun. If they follow the tips listed above, event planners’ guests will be sure to leave happy. Once they’ve gotten a feel for how wine tastings go, hosts and hostesses might even want to consider switching to a seasonal or monthly event calendar.