Your Guide to Planning and Hosting an Unforgettable Wine Tasting for Your Friends and Family
Are you looking for a fun way to spend time with the ones you love? Playing board games and watching movies can quickly grow mundane. A unique new reason to get together could be just the ticket for an unforgettable time.
Hosting a wine tasting is an awesome way to bring people together and have a ton of fun. Plus, in the Temecula Valley, you’re already in the heart of some of the world’s best wine country. A wine tasting is the ideal social event that can be enjoyed by everyone, even those that don’t love vino…yet.
But where do you start in planning such an event? How do you get the word out and select the wine? Fortunately, there are a ton of great tips here to help you coordinate the perfect tasting.
Like palettes, everyone is different. The same wine tasting plan won’t work for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of options. From a themed soiree to an on the go gathering, you can host an amazing wine tasting that makes sense for you and your invitees.
The On the Go Temecula Wine Tasting Experience
Maybe your digs are just too small for hosting. Perhaps all of that prep just seems like too much work. Fortunately, you can still gather your favorite people for a wine tasting, on the go.
The Temecula Valley has some of the countries best vineyards. It would be a shame to taste wines from just one of them. That’s why your on the go gathering should include wine from a few of the areas very best winemakers.
Getting to and from these wineries can be super tedious. Why not make the commute part of the event? With a fun cable car wine tour, you and your guests will be shuttled from winery to winery. No one has to worry about driving and directions, you can just focus on enjoying each other’s company.
Let your tour guide play host as they shuttle you around the valley. They are experts in the area and their information and fun facts will only enhance your experience. Not only do they know the region well, but they also have behind the scenes access to the wineries. This allows them to share all kinds of interesting facts and tidbits with you and your guests.
Your party will visit three of the areas best wineries in the Temecula Valley. Sip all that the region has to offer as you bond with your guests and enjoy the stunning weather. Compare thoughts on various wines and take in the beautiful views of the region’s sprawling vineyards.
The on the go tasting option even eliminates your need to plan food for your guests. Lunch is included in the tour. You can select from a menu of fresh deli sandwiches and delicious crisp salads. Your guests will love being able to choose the perfect meal for their taste.
The best part about this tasting option is that you get to travel about the valley in an adorable historic open-air cable car. Enjoy the amazing weather as you travel between your destinations. Plus, the cable car makes for some awesome photo ops. Your guest list will be forever grateful that you invited them on this amazing wine adventure.
Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting in Temecula
Maybe you’re on a budget. Hosting a wine tasting doesn’t mean that you have to shell out a ton of cash. Find ways to cut your party budget and gather frugally. Everyone will still have an amazing time.
Your friends and family will be stoked that you’re coordinating a wine tasting. Asking them to contribute shouldn’t bother them in the least. In fact, this can make a bring your own wine tasting super fun.
Choose a varietal and price range for your tasting. Maybe you go with California Cabernet Sauvignons for under $30. Or if your group is more partial to white, a Temecula Valley Chardonnay between $15 and $20. Either way, make some guidelines and ask everyone to bring a bottle of their choosing that fits them.
Order some cloth wine bags to make the tasting a mystery. As guests arrive, place their bottles in the bags and tie them tightly at the neck. Mix them up and number each bag for a truly blind tasting.
As guests settle in, add some snacks to the mix. You don’t need a big expensive spread to impress. A well-planned menu can give your guests plenty to nibble on while still being budget-friendly.
Homemade hummus is an incredibly economical option, served alongside crackers and sliced veggies. Cut fruit, pretzels, and roasted nuts can be upgraded by good, strategic plating. Pop some frozen quiche or a wheel of brie in the oven for a semi-homemade, low-cost snack.
Go through the wines as a group, tasting each and comparing thoughts. Then, keep it super laid back and ask each guest to rate every wine on a scale of one to ten. A simple dry erase or chalkboard is a simple way to record the votes.
Once you taste your way through all of the wines, tally the results. Add up the votes and divide by the number of guests to get an average score for each wine. Then comes the fun part.
Unveil the wines from the lowest scoring to the highest. Your guests will get a kick out of seeing where their wine placed in the ranking. You can even secretly add a super frugal bottle to the mix and see where it places for an interesting surprise.
Find a trinket or fun trophy to award the winner with. Your event will be such a hit, it’s sure to catch on. If your guests chose to host their own bring-your-own -wine tastings, the trophy can be passed to the winner at each event.
What’s amazing about this tasting is that you have the bottles of wine and their rankings to reflect on when you’re done. You and your guests can dive back into each option, discussing why you gave it the rating you did. You’ll likely discover more about your palette, and your friends’, by being able to go back and revisit what you liked…and what you didn’t.
Themed Tasting Ideas For the Temecula Valley
Every good host or hostess knows, adding a theme can take your event to the next level. Everything from your decor to your food can come together for a really cool cohesive vibe. The same rings true when adding a theme to your wine tasting event.
Choosing a theme can be as specific or as broad as you would like. You can also tie your event components together subtly or go all out. Think about your interests, your guests’ preferences, and even the time of year when selecting your theme.
Temecula Valley wineries are influenced by wine regions from all over the world. This makes purchasing local wine for your event simple and convenient. Think about some of your favorite wineries and their cultural inspiration when choosing a theme.
A Spanish Themed Fiesta For Your Temecula Valley Wine Tasting
Masia de la Vinya is a great little Spanish-influenced winery with beautiful views and an impressive selection. Stop here to grab a few bottles for the perfect fiesta themed wine tasting.
For your guests that love red wine, the Tempranillo is a sure-fire hit. The winery also offers a great Granacha for that traditional flavor of Spanish wine. These are both perfect choices to add to your tasting menu.
Add some white wine to your tasting as well so there’s something for everyone. The Garnacha Blanca is a refreshing, citrusy take on one of Spain’s most popular grapes. A bottle of Verdelho is a great way to kick off your tasting. Made from grapes native to Portugal, it’s a unique vino with notes of fruit and nuts.
Let your wine shine and pair your choices with a selection of tapas. A delicious selection of Spanish olives can provide richness to complement your wines. Patatas bravas is a satisfying choice to fuel your guests. And don’t forget the cheese, it’s a wine tasting after all! A spread of queso is sure to pair perfectly with your Spanish wines!
A Touch of Italy With Your Temecula Wine Tasting Event
Europa Villiage is one of the most popular spots in all of the valley, and for good reason. Influenced by European culture, it’s stunning, diverse, and offers some seriously great wine. It’s also the perfect place to pick up some bottles for an Italian themed tasting.
Vienza, the village’s latest winery addition, is bursting with Italian influence and culture. Here, you can find the perfect Mediterranean-themed varietals for your tasting.
The Sangiovese is an Italian classic red with berry notes and a great finish. A bottle of Aleatico is another awesome red to add to your line-up. With flavors of the Meditteranean and fortified with brandy, it’s sure to make an impression on the palettes of your guests.
Vienza is also cranking out some great white wines. The Vermentino is a polished choice, made from grapes native to the island of Sardinia. And you can’t have an Italian tasting without Prosecco! Luckily, Vienza has a delicious one with refreshing fruit and floral notes.
Keep your menu simple with some delicious Italian breads and cheeses. While you’re at Europa Villiage, stop and grab some of their expertly curated oils and vinegar. Pick up a variety and add an oil tasting to your event!
A Temecula Brunch Wine Tasting
It’s never too early for wine! A brunch themed tasting can allow you to have a festive event, no matter the time of day! It can also allow you to taste some of the best bubbly the region has to offer.
Take some time to drive around the area, picking up the greatest champagne and prosecco available. Then use your tasting to narrow down the very best choice for mimosas. Orange juice optional!
Thornton Winery is known for having some of the area’s greatest champagne around. In fact, they even have a cafe named after it! Pick up a bottle of their Sweet Angels Waltz or Blanc de Noir to add traditional flavors to your tasting. Their Brut Rosé and Cuvée Rouge are awesome choices to mix up your menu a bit.
Wilson Creek Winery is another awesome option to purchase bottles for your tasting. They have one of the largest selections of sparkling wine in the area. The Coconut Nui and Yuzu Lemon Sparkling wines are unique choices to add to your tasting. And don’t forget a bottle of their super popular Almond Sparkling Wine, sure to be a hit with your guests.
Grab some tasting flutes and a simple menu and get to tasting. Fresh cute fruit, frittata, and french toast sticks are all brunch-time faves. Add a few mini-muffins and a bagel station and you’re good to go!
Whichever theme you choose, fun tasting cards are a must. This allows your guests to note their favorites and what they thought of each wine. It’s also a great way for them to keep track of the ones they love for future reference. These cards can be as simple or as detailed as you want.
Check out this printable wine tasting card. These are simple to fill out and give your guests just the right amount of space to take notes. Plus, there’s a convenient section to record the wine details whether you are doing a blind tasting or not.
If this is the first tasting for any of your guests, help guide them in filling out their first few cards. They’ll get the hang of it in no time. Plus, in wine tasting, there are no right or wrong answers!
You can even send them a little info ahead of time so they can familiarize themselves with the tasting process and terms. Here, is a printable wine tasting cheat sheet that makes discussing wine a no-brainer. Print a few off and scatter them around the table to inspire great conversations about the wine you are tasting.
Tasting for a Cause
Perhaps you want to do a little good along with tasting some great wine. Hosting a wine tasting can be an awesome way to give back to the community. Be creative and get your guests involved and everyone will have a fun, rewarding time.
Food pantries often struggle around the holidays. Your fall or winter wine tasting is the perfect opportunity for a food drive. Ask your guests to bring non-perishable food and household items and set a goal for a total weight to be collected and donated.
Are you an animal lover? A wine tasting can be a great way to bring people together to collect supplies for your favorite charity. Ask guests to bring dog and cat food for the local animal shelter. Your nearby wildlife rescue will appreciate your combined donation of birdseed and old towels.
You can even raise cash at your wine tasting in fun and interesting ways. Have guests vote for their favorite wines using designated jars and cash. The wine that raises the most donations wins the tasting and your favorite non-profit receives a big contribution.
Host a Virtual Tasting in Temecula Valley With The World
Sometimes physical or social distancing keeps you and your loved ones apart. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time tasting wine together. A virtual wine tasting can still be a super fun and interactive event.
First, you’ll want to find a time and date that works for everyone in your group. Set up a video conference and send everyone the link. Make sure anyone unfamiliar with the program does a trial run ahead of time.
Then, figure out the logistics of getting the wine to all of the tasters. If you are all located near the Temecula area this can be made super simple. Purchase your wines and divide them up prior to your scheduled tasting.
Small mason or jelly jars are perfect for this. Grab a set for each taster and fill with a small amount of wine. Number the jars so you can keep them in order. Make sure to keep a record of which wine corresponds to each number. Then, drop the wines off to each participant so they are ready for the tasting.
If distance makes this impossible, you can still have a fun wine tasting together. Many of the Temecula area wineries ship their wines all over the country. Select your favorites or those you want to try and have them sent right to the porches of your friends and family. Then, everyone will be prepped and ready for your online get-together.
Wine Tasting Success
No matter your budget and interests, you can host a fun and successful wine tasting. Inviting guests to your home or taking your tasting on the road makes for a memorable time for everyone. You can even use technology to have an interactive wine tasting with friends and family from afar.
Wine tastings are meant to be fun, educational, and a way to discover new favorites. Don’t take it too seriously or stress over the details. Your guests will have an amazing time enjoying each other’s company and discovering all of the amazing wines that Temecula has to offer.