How Do You Host a Blind Wine Tasting Party?

Jan 18, 2024by Andrew Lowry
friends having a blind wine tasting

Blind wine tasting parties are a fun and educational way to spend time with friends while exploring the world of wine. Learn how to organize and host a successful blind wine tasting event with these easy-to-follow steps.

Setting Up Your Wine Blind Tasting Party

Inviting Guests and Selecting Wines

The first step in planning your blind wine tasting party is to invite your guests and decide on the wines. Here's what you need to do:

  • Ask friends to bring a bottle of wine as their "admission ticket"
  • Consider setting a price cap or specifying a wine region
  • Focusing on a specific region enhances learning potential (e.g., Loire Valley)
By establishing guidelines for wine selection, you'll create a more cohesive tasting experience and increase the learning potential for all participants.

Essential Materials

To ensure a smooth tasting experience, gather the following materials: 

  • Wine glasses (stemmed preferred, but stemless work too)
  • Wine bottle bags or tall paper lunch bags (SUPER IMPORTANT! Make sure whatever bags you are using are tall enough to conceal the wine bottles. Separate the whites from reds and rosés if you have all three)
  • Notepads and pens for each guest
  • Scoreboard (whiteboard, Excel spreadsheet, or notebook)
Having these items ready will help organize the tasting and keep track of everyone's guesses.

Preparing the Wine Tasting Area

Before your guests arrive, set up the tasting area:

  1. Number each bagged wine bottle
  2. Separate wines by type (white, red, rosé)
  3. Set up the scoreboard with guests' names and wine numbers
  4. Create a word bank of possible wine varietals (optional)
A well-prepared tasting area will keep the event running smoothly and allow everyone to focus on the wines.

Conducting the Blind Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting Order

When it's time to start tasting, follow this order: 

  1. Start with white wines
  2. Progress to red wines
  3. Aim for light-bodied to full-bodied progression
This order helps prevent stronger wines from overwhelming the palate early in the tasting.

Wine Tasting Process

Guide your guests through the tasting process: 

  1. Pour wine for all guests
  2. Allow time for deliberation
  3. Each guest describes the wine and guesses the varietal
  4. Encourage creative descriptions to enhance fun
The tasting process is where the real fun begins. Encourage your guests to be creative with their descriptions and to trust their palates.

Revealing the Wines

After all wines have been tasted, it's time for the big reveal: 

  • Unveil wines in any order after tasting is complete
  • Record guesses on the scoreboard
This moment often brings surprises and laughter as guests discover how accurate (or inaccurate) their guesses were.

Wrapping Up the Blind Tasting

Determining Winners and Losers

Conclude the evening by tallying up the results:

  • Count correct guesses for each guest
  • Award prizes to the winner (e.g., leftover wine or bet winnings)
  • Decide on a penalty for the person with the least correct guesses
By following this guide, you'll host an engaging and memorable blind wine tasting party that combines learning, fun, and friendly competition. Whether your guests are wine novices or seasoned enthusiasts, this format provides an enjoyable way to explore and appreciate wine together.