I know I haven’t published anything in a while, I have been busy! I did want to share images from a recent wine tasting party we co-hosted with some good friends. A few years ago, I shared a post on hosting a wine tasting – you can read about that here. The process was fairly similar this year, we did change up how the wines were presented, however.
We had about 45 guests planning to attend and asked everyone to bring an appetizer and two bottles of the wine they wished to enter into the competition. I didn’t communicate this very clearly as some guests brought two different bottles, but it worked out OK! Upon arrival, we asked everyone to write their names with a white grease pencil on the back of the bottle. My co-host and I then opened them, put them in a paper bag, tied the top with a rubber band, and attached a numbered label on the bag. Thankfully we own an Oster Electric Wine Opener, it opened 26 bottles of wine in nothing flat!
While waiting for the tasting to start, we had a table set up with other bottles of red wine along with champagne to enjoy. We also had a cooler full of beer and water.
The event was held in our backyard and The Hubby did A LOT to make it look spectacular! Unfortunately, I am no professional photographer and a couple of my pictures of the seating areas did not turn out so great. But below you can get some ideas of how the backyard looked.
These Glow Ready Beach Balls are from www.beachballs.com and looked fantastic in our pool! We ordered a few different sizes to create variety.
We also rented three cocktail tables and tablecloths from Y-Knot Party Rentals – they were a great spot for guests to mingle and enjoy their appetizers.
We added a couple of lamps in the patio spaces and lots of votives with tea lights throughout the space.
We had these grape cluster lights from our Wine Themed Christmas Tree and thought they would look perfect under this umbrella.
I took this quick video of the backyard just before the majority of the guests arrived, as you can see the beach balls floated around in the pool, but we thought everything looked fantastic!
Once we knew all of the wine and guests had arrived, we arranged the bottles on the tasting tables in numerical order so that it would be easier to keep track while tasting. When we had two of the same bottle, we placed one behind the other so that it could be used once the first bottle was empty. Also on the tasting tables were “spit buckets” and a pitcher of water allowing the guests the opportunity to pour out a wine if they didn’t like the taste and to rinse their glass. As guests were tasting the wines, we did end up writing an “R” for red or a “W” for white on the labels so you knew a little bit more about what you were pouring.
I found these 5 oz disposable wine glasses at Smart & Final – these were perfect for the tasting, they also made for easy clean up!
Once everyone was finished with their tastings, we kept it simple by allowing them to vote for one wine. Yes. One. Out of 26. Maybe we will do it differently next time. I made voting cards ahead of time and set up a little station for people to cast their vote.
Since this was held just a few days before the Presidential Election, there were lots of comment (of course) about voting, etc. and when I was tabulating the results in my office, even found one vote for Trump in the mix.
Once I had the results, I gathered the guests to announce the winners. Taking photos of the prizes was a miss on my part as well! In 2nd place and winning their own Oster Electric Wine Opener, was this Il Conte D’Alba Stella Rosa
Our first place winner was this J Brut Rose, it was a big hit with the party goers! With this win, the guests who brought this entry took home a basket filled with a bottle of McManis Cabernet Sauvignon, two wine glasses, a kitchen towel, and a box of chocolates – all purchased at Cost Plus World Market.
Once we were finished announcing the winners, we unveiled all of the wines, keeping them with their numbered bags so guests could see what they were and take note of the ones they enjoyed most.
The party continued into the night – it was beautiful outside and the ambiance along with spending time with great friends made it perfect. We want to thank everyone who attended for bringing an appetizer to share as well as contributing to our wine tasting. It was definitely a success! Cheers!