I don’t claim to know very much about wine, but I would like to think that I can at least tell the difference between good wine and bad wine. On a good day I can tell the difference between a merlot and a cabernet sauvignon, as well as a good food pairing and a bad one, but anything more than that is a bit out of my expertise.
However, that by no means gets in the way of me trying to learn more by trial and error. My husband and I often have “home wine tastings” simply by buying a new bottle and giving it a go. We will often take a photo of the label of some of our favorites to keep track of which ones we like, but trying a lot of different kinds at once can get expensive.
One way to avoid the steep cost of buying more than a couple bottles of wine at once is to invite a group of friends over for a group wine tasting. Have each person bring a bottle of their favorite (or just whichever one they think has a great-looking label) wine, and some fancy cheese and crackers if you’d like, ranging in price. Place each bottle in a numbered paper sack, and begin the blind tasting! Not only do you get to try multiple different wines, but you get to spend it with friends and I can’t think of very many things better than drinking wine with friends.
I’ve attached a free downloadable PDF of a tasting sheet that we used at our most recent hosting; it has a couple quips from Wikipedia about “bouquet” and “notes” and all that jazz, so feel free to print out a couple booklets, grab a couple friends, and taste away!
After each wine profile has been filled out, you can spice up the competition by seeing who was closest to guessing the price, or who got how many of the wine varieties correct. Some of my favorite quotes from last week ranged from “extremely deep and leathery” to “waaayyyy toooo wine-y.” Just be honest and have some fun with it!
Download the double-sided booklet PDF here: