Pacific Rim
November 15, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

Host Your Own Holiday Wine Tasting Party

During the holiday season, many people will be hosting parties at their homes for friends and families. Unfortunately for many guests, it is the same old thing; there is the usual turkey, lots of snacks, ample desserts, and tons of alcohol. 

hosting a wine tasting party

So why not do something different this year, like hosting your own holiday wine tasting party? This will give your guests something unique to look forward to. So how do you get started for your wine tasting party?

Here's what you'll need:

  • Wine glasses: One of the first things you will need for a holiday wine tasting party is some decent wine glasses. Good wine glasses have the power to amplify the aroma, flavor, and texture of wines. If this is your first wine tasting party and if money is no object, consider buying wine glasses from Zalto or Riedel. These specialty wine glasses are designed just to enhance the elements of the wine.
  • Corkscrews: Next, make sure you have at least half a dozen corkscrews.
  • Accessories: You will need utensils, small plates, and napkins.
  • Decorations: Choose your tablecloth wisely and place a small bouquet of fresh flowers at each table.

The Wine Selection

You want to think up a theme for your holiday wine tasting party.  You can select wines from a particular region, like the West Coast, or go international with wines from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, South America, France, or Germany, just to name a few countries that offer wonderful wines.  Or perhaps you may want to serve only red wines from California or only white wines from Washington state. 

Another option is to go bubbly with sparkling wines from France. The best recommendation is that only one person purchases the wine; if you let the guests bring their own wine choice, the party may lose its charm and surprise.  For wine tasting party ideas, you could have a blind holiday wine tasting party. Make sure you cover up all the wine labels so no one knows which wine is which.

How Much Wine Do You Need?

This all depends on the number of guests you will be inviting. First, for wine tasting, it is recommended that you have about 5-7 bottles of different wines for a small group (6-8 people). In general, for wine tasting, one bottle will comfortably serve 5-6 guests. To be on the safe side for a small party of 6-8 people, have two bottles of each wine. Always have more wine than you think you will need; you can rest assured wine leftovers are never an issue.

Possible Wine Choices For Wine-Tasting Parties

  • Barbera
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Dessert Wines
  • Grenache
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Rosé / Clarieting
  • Sangiovese
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Shiraz / Syrah
  • Vinho Verde
  • Viognier
  • Zinfandel

Foods That Are Perfect For a Wine Tasting Party:

The first thing to remember is to have ample food. Holiday wine tasting parties fail when there is not enough food to go around. No matter what you serve, have a little more than what you think you will need. You can either make the food at home or have it catered. For wine tasting, you have numerous food options, which include the following: 

  • Bread, including French baguette, sourdough, garlic bread, or European bread
  • Cheese and crackers. Have both plain and salted crackers with at least 4-6 varieties of cheeses (e.g., cheddar, parmesan, gruyere, brie, goat, Roquefort) – the more variety of cheeses and crackers, the better.
  • A variety of nuts, including cashews, Pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Nuts complement the flavors of wine.
  • A variety of fresh and dried fruits, like apples, pears, apricots, grapes, berries, and nectarines.
  • Pates that can be consumed with bread or crackers. Try and have both veggie and meat pates so that everyone can enjoy the mix. 
  • Sliced meats. If you want your guests to attain nirvana, have some variety of sliced meats, like Chorizo, Prosciutto, Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Chicken roll, Turkey, and Sliced Beef.


To complement the bread and crackers, also have some dips, such as:

  • Spicy Avocado Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Queso
  • Buffalo chicken dip
  • Pizza dip
  • Pimento cheese dip


Finally, have several varieties of both light and dark chocolates. You cannot go wrong with Cadburys. You can mix the different types of chocolates and your party will end up on a high note.

The Music

Wine tasting party ideas include having the right type of soft music playing in the background. Don’t have the music too loud as you do not want it to overwhelm the conversations. 

Finally, create an inviting atmosphere with soft lights and unscented candles. To end the party, offer the classic American nightcap - a cup of coffee with cream and sugar (have both regular sugar and substitute sugar on hand for diabetics).

Pacific Rim & Company are wine specialists and wine enthusiasts.  They can offer an abundance of exciting holiday wine tasting party ideas.  Give them a call today at 1-503-863-5454. 


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