FOR A MEAD/WINE TASTING
First you must choose the type of tasting you would like to host.
- Vertical Tasting: Tasting one specific type of wine/mead from the same producer but different years. Ex: Tasting Chaucer’s Traditional Mead from 2007, 2009, and 2011.
- Horizontal Tasting: Select one type of wine/mead from a specific year but different producers. Ex: Select a 2006 Cabernet from 4 different wineries.
- Old World vs New World Tasting: Select one type of wine/mead from the Old World (Europe-France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, and Portugal) vs the New World (North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
- Wine and Cheese Tasting (Click here for a specific pairing guide between wine and cheese)
- Wine and Chocolate Tasting (Click here for a specific pairing guide for wine and chocolate)
- “Priceless” Tasting: Withhold the price to prevent taste bias
- “Price-Point” Tasting: Used to establish a baseline price to compare ‘apples to apples’ in a given flight of drinks
- Big Eight Wine Tasting: Offer the world’s most popular and influential wines in the market. The Red Wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah/Shiraz. The White Wines include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio.
- Blind Tasting: Number the specific bottles and allow guests to write their own notes about each drink based on their senses.
Determine your guest list and send out invitations at least 2 weeks in advance. I prefer to use evites since they’re free. Also when deciding a number of guests remember that one 750ml bottle can serve up to 12 people if using the 2oz tasting rule.
Pick a place where there is enough table room and chairs to comfortably seat your guests and the flights of wines/meads/beer. Decide whether you want the tasters to bring their own glasses or not. Don’t rinse the glass between servings because a single drop of water can dilute your wine/mead.
Design a Tasting Card that specifies the type of drink, the year, and brief description. Allow room for guests to record the drink’s distinct appearance, aroma, flavor, etc. Make sure you bring a sufficient amount of pens/pencils.
Print out a small handout on how to properly taste wine/mead/beer.
Provide relaxing, smooth music to create a blissful ambiance.
Some general rules for tastings:
- Whites before Reds
- Dry before Sweet
- Older before Younger
Provide plain bread and water for guests to cleanse their palates between tastings. Hold off eating till later because spicy aromatic foods can influence the tasting.