Replicate the sophisticated elegance of a Sonoma or Napa Valley wine tasting by creating your own in the comfort of your home. Explore a few surefire tips to host an unforgettable gathering:


Start with a Small Group of People

At-home wine tastings work best with a limited number of people so that everyone can weigh in. Invite between five to ten friends, and ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine to sample. Set a price range so that everyone chooses wines that are within a similar category. By keeping the event intimate, you can ensure that everyone has a chance to share their thoughts on a given wine.

Choose a Theme

To keep things focused, choose a specific theme for the wine tasting. For example, if it’s summertime, you could ask everyone to bring a bottle of their favorite rosé to pass around. If it’s winter, you might want to host a Pinot Noir night instead. You can also focus on a particular region, like wines from Bordeaux or Napa. Limiting each event to a particular theme will help attendees begin to distinguish the subtle differences between types. 

Set the Table

You’ll want to stage a blind tasting so everyone gives their true thoughts without being swayed by the names on the labels. To do this, simply wrap each bottle in foil and number each one with a permanent marker so that the correct type of wine is poured each time. Throughout the event, you’ll refer to the bottles by their numbers, with the names and wineries being unveiled at the end. Place a white tablecloth over the table so guests can see the precise color of each wine, then put as many wine glasses in front of each person as there are wines. You’ll also want to place a cup or coffee mug by each place so people can spit out any wine they don’t want to finish. Provide some crackers or crusty bread so guests can clean their palates before sampling a new wine.

Have Everyone Discuss

After sampling a particular wine, have everyone give their tasting notes. If it’s your first time holding a wine tasting, encourage people to look at the wine, swirl it, and sip it. Then, discuss what particular notes you picked up in the wine and how it tastes it your mouth. Is it crisp and light? Is it well-balanced? What is the finish like? Have everyone vote on their favorites, and then reveal the labels.


If hosting a wine tasting makes you long to live in the heart of wine country, contact Ginger Martin today. As a licensed Napa and Sonoma Valley real estate agent, Ginger can guide you through the home buying process and help you find a place that’s right for you.