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Host the best blind wine tasting party ever with this fun party idea. BYOB (or in this case, ‘W’) has never been so fun!
A number of years ago my sister and I wanted to throw a ‘big’ birthday party for my mom. We wanted to invite her very large crew of awesome friends, but we didn’t have a huge budget to work with. We needed to provide wine for a number of people that had discerning palates that intimidated us, and we didn’t want to disappoint our mother, either. Creativity was required.
The result, a blind wine tasting party, ended up being one of the best events I’ve ever hosted. It was incredibly inexpensive to host. And… there was a ‘party game’ with prizes involved. Everyone had fun; I can’t wait to host another blind wine tasting party again soon.
How to Host a Blind Wine Tasting Party
Step 1: Pick a wine theme
The first thing you’ll need to do is pick a theme for your blind wine tasting party. Do you want to taste Pinot Noir from anywhere in the world? California reds of any variety? Or simply open it up to your favorite bottle? For the ease of hosting, picking a theme that singularly focuses on reds means no keeping wines chilled. But, if you’re a white wine lover, you’ll find a way to keep wine labels discreet and chilled at the same time. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Party Hint: be sure to pick a wine theme that you know you’ll love. I love Pinot Noir, so that’s the theme I usually pick for a wine tasting – Pinots Under $30 or Pinots from California are both fun themes. To fit either of these themes & to put my best foot forward towards winning (and let’s’ be honest, I ALWAYS want to win the wine), I bring a bottle of Böen Pinot Noir to the party. The Böen Pinot Noir is perfectly smooth, rich & velvety, and sourced from various vineyards throughout selected wine growing regions in California by winemaker, Joe Wagner. Plus, it’s reasonably priced at right around $20. The nuanced and complex taste is sure to have my guests rating it a solid “10”.
Step 2: Invite your guests and instruct them to bring 2 bottles of the the SAME WINE that fit within your designated theme.
Why two bottles? One bottle will be opened for the tasting, the second bottles brought by your guests will be collected as prizes. Prior to your guests arrival, create a quick spreadsheet with an assigned number for each guest next to their name. Leave a space beside their name so that you can enter the type of wine they bring.
Party Hint: You can’t go wrong with bringing Böen wine to a party because not only do they have a delicious Pinot Noir, but they have a crisp, fruity Chardonnay option too, so you can easily satisfy any guest’s palette. Plus, it’s super convenient to pick up at a retailer near you when you go out to gather other party supplies.
Step 3: As your guests arrive designate one person (who will not participate in the tasting) to fill in the spreadsheet with the wine your guest brought.
That same person will cover each “tasting” bottle with a sleeve (a paper bag will suffice) and tie it securely with a numbered label to match the one assigned in the spreadsheet.
Step 4: Every guest will receive a numbered tasting sheet.
Guests will rank each wine tasted on a scale of 1-10. 1 being “no thanks”, 10 being “yes please!” Encourage guests to be honest!
Step 5: After guests have tasted the wines, tally up the scores.
This is when it gets fun.
- The guest who brought the winning wine gets 70% of the spare wine bottles brought.
- The guest who brings in the runner up wine gets 30% of the spare wine bottles.
- The loser gets their bottle back!
It never hurts to explain the game before your guests pick out the wine bring. Knowing there’s a wine prize package for bringing a great bottle may be just the enticement your guests need to put some thought into the selection (enter the “hands down” winning wine, Böen Pinot Noir).
My guests loved the rich flavor and smooth finish of Böen Pinot Noir, and great wines always shine, especially when you can’t see the label. I love raking in the compliments and going home with all the spare bottles of wine! And why yes, I’ll be taking the second bottle of Böen back, thanks! 😉
If it happens that you blow through your tasting wines before the end of the party, just open up some wine from the prize collection… your party, your rules!