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A Christmas party with a twist – host your own wine tasting event

09 Nov 15 By: Lene McGuinness

Whether you are hosting a Christmas party at home for friends and family, or you are organising a corporate event for your work colleagues, an evening of wine tasting is sure to be an unforgettably festive experience. However, there is more to wine tasting than meets the eye – do you know your Cabernet from your Chianti? Do you know which wine glass goes best with a warm, Christmassy pinot noir?

First of all, you need to decide on the type of wine tasting event you are hosting. Is it a formal wine tasting class, or an informal wine tasting party? Will your guests be following a seating plan, or left to mingle? Knowing your style and theme before planning the event is essential; following this, you need to brush up on your wine knowledge. For example, there is a specific order recommended by wine connoisseurs, as well as different glasses to get the best tasting experience for particular wines. Furthermore, if you serve nibbles such as cheese, grapes and bruschetta, the flavours will help to complement the taste of the wines, making the experience all the more enjoyable for your attendees.

Each wine tasting experience is different, however there is a general understanding that as we smell and taste a number of wines, out palates change. Some wines will have an extremely strong flavour, whereas others will be far more delicate – knowing which order to serve them in will help your guests enjoy each wine, as opposed to confusing their palates and combining the flavours.

Wine Serving Order:

  1. Sparkling wines, such as Champagne, Prosecco and Cava. Ensure they have been chilled for a minimum of 3 hours beforehand.
  2. Light white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. White and rosé wines need to be chilled for a minimum of two hours before serving.
  3. Bold white wines, such as Chardonnay.
  4. Rosé wines.
  5. Light red wines, such as Pinot Noir and Merlot. Red wine should be served at room temperature – do not chill beforehand.
  6. Bold red wines with a high-alcohol content, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.
  7. Sweet wines, such as dessert wine or port.

Here at Allens Hire, we are proud to have teamed up with Riedel to provide the UK’s most exclusive glassware for hire to the hospitality and event industry in London and the South Coast of England. Riedel are renowned in the wine industry for producing the most high-quality glassware to enjoy multiple types of wine; Claus J Riedel was the first in history to produce a grape-specific stemware which is designed to translate the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of a wine to the senses.

To truly impress your guests, ensure you have the correct glassware to serve your selection of wines, as well as periodic serving of canapés and nibbles. With light background music, somewhere to sit down and somebody discussing the taste and bouquet of each wine, your Christmas wine tasting event is sure to be a success.

To discuss further, please email us on [email protected] or call our London office on 020 8574 9600. If you are based on the South Coast, you can call 023 8065 2316.