Tag Archives: wine tasting party

Decanting Wine as Entertainment

Did you know that decanting the wine is a form of entertainment here in the Napa Valley? Given that we don’t have much to talk about around here but wine and food – and food and wine – it shouldn’t be too surprising 😉

Visit A Million Cooks for more brief videos from experts on the food you eat: Where it comes from, where to buy it and how to prepare it.

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July 6, 2013 · 7:53 pm

Is There a Correct Order to Serve the Wines?

Lotsawine

Question from Gina: I want to have a wine-tasting party. Is there a correct order to serve the wines?

Reply: Hi, Gina. Thanks for writing! How great – I know it will be really fun! Tasting order is pretty simple:

Whether it’s a party or a formal tasting, it’s smart to serve the wines from light to dark and dry to sweet. The wines with deeper color are usually “bigger”, or heavier, than the lighter colored ones. If you taste the big wine first, the lighter wine seems almost flavorless. It applies to white wines, too. If the Sauvignon Blanc is paler than the Chardonnay, unless it’s unusually assertive in flavor, serve it first. 

Dry is the opposite of sweet (it doesn’t mean sour, which is a sign of a spoiled wine. It just means there’s so little sugar in the wine that it’s unnoticeable). If you taste a sweet wine, followed by a dry one, the dry wine tastes sour.

TIP!  The same theory works with food and wine pairing.  If you pair sweet food with dry wine the wine will taste sour.  The wine should be at least as sweet as the food.

Speaking of pairings, you might want to serve a little something to complement each wine. If you prefer a low-impact evening, you could have each of your friends bring a favorite pairing, which could make for a really fun contest. Everyone could vote on the best pairing! If you want to evaluate the wines, you might have everyone taste the wines without any food first. You’ll be surprised by how much the food changes the wine and perhaps your preferences!  Continue reading

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Today’s Wine Word: Horizontal Tasting

What’s a horizontal wine tasting?

Don’t worry – you don’t have to lie down. Unless you want to 😉

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Le Nez du Vin for your next Wine Tasting Party

Have you ever heard of Le Nez du Vin? This 2-minute video tells you how you can use it to jazz up your next wine-tasting party!
What’s your favorite way to liven up your tasting parties? 

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Throw a Wine and Food Pairing Party!

We talked about a couple of great books on pairing wine with food recently. Now that you’re armed with really good advice and recipes, how about throwing a wine and food pairing party? Tons of fun! 

What are some of your favorite formats when you host a wine tasting party or pairing party?

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What’s the Correct Order for Serving Wine?

Question from Lily: I’m having a wine-tasting party and I wonder if there’s a correct order for serving wine.  

Reply: Hi, Lily. Thanks for asking! Assuming you’re serving some tidbits, they kind of cloud the issue – the food changes the wine and vice versa. Plus, if your friends are like mine, they’re total anarchists when it comes to eating and drinking…

However, there is a normal progression for wine tastings and when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. 

Here’s how it goes: Serve the wines from light to dark and dry to sweet. 

Why? The wines with deeper color usually are “bigger”, or heavier, than the lighter colored ones. If you taste the big wine first, the lighter wine seems almost flavorless. So, even within the white wine category, serve the lightest colored white first. 

TRIVIA! Color can be very communicative in terms of what to expect from the wine. Very light whites, those that are almost as clear as a glass of water, probably never saw the inside of a barrel and are still relatively young and fresh. Time in the barrel allows the wine to oxidize a bit, which deepens the color and concentrates the wine a bit so it’s a touch heavier. BTW, this continues in the bottle. So, if the wines are about the same age, it explains why your favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has almost no color and a rich glass of Chardonnay looks kind of yellow. 

What’s the difference between dry and sweet? Dry is the opposite of sweet. For most of us the threshold is about 1/2 of 1%. Anything less than that is referred to as “dry” and the fermentation may take the wine all the way down to something in the neighborhood of .02% – That’s DRY!  If you taste a sweet wine, followed by a dry one, the dry wine will taste sour.

TIP!  The same principle holds with food and wine pairing. If you pair sweet food with dry wine the wine will taste sour.  The wine should be at least as sweet as the food.

Lily, I hope your party is a blast! Cheers!

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