Blind Wine Tasting Party
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Every Fall my husband and I host a blind wine tasting party. It is so much fun and we look forward to it every year. Grab your glass and join me to hear tips on how to make your wine tasting party a success!
A blind wine tasting party is an event where your guests bring a concealed bottle of wine for everyone to sample. Each guest will rate the bottles and a winner is declared. It's so much fun!
A blind wine tasting party goes like this:
SEND THE INVITE: With this event invitation wording is key. Depending on the size of the party each couple/guest will need to bring 1 or 2 bottles. We usually have around 55-65 guests so we have them them bring 2 of the SAME bottles. (One year we had someone bring 2 different bottles of wine instead of 2 of the same, so make sure that you specify that.)
Here is the wording we use:
"Please join us for our 3rd annual Blind Wine Tasting Party!
Here’s how it works: Each couple will bring 2 identical bottles of wine for tasting. The bottles will then be covered as we will be blind tasting throughout the evening and rating each wine. If everyone rates your wine the best, you will go home with a prize! The runner up will also leave with a prize!
Come hungry as we will have hors d'oeuvre, cheese, crackers and desserts.
Semi-formal dress attire
Due to limited parking, we ask that you consider using Uber/Lyft or carpool."
PREPPING FOR THE PARTY:
Scatter tables throughout your house or backyard. On each table place a spittoon, cups, crackers and some pens. (We use small cups so that guests do not over pour their sample). If there are no trash cans close by, set a small one near the table.
FOOD: Have appetizers, desserts and water available. One year I did a giant charcuterie board. The next year we had appetizers catered. Then servers walked around to hand them out through the evening.
MUSIC: Music is key to a great party. Beforehand find a playlist you love, make your own playlist or hire a musician.
ARRIVAL:Your guests will need bring their wine in a bag so the other guests can not tell what it is. Take the wine to another room in the house where there are no guests present.
PREPARING THE BOTTLES: This is a great task to have a friend do, who may want to participate in sampling. That way you can greet all your guests.
First, assign a number to each couples' wine (no one will know what number is theirs until the end). Write it down on paper. Then open one of each bottle of wine. I love this wine opener here. It has a base that is also a foil cutter.
Second, place the wine in either a numbered paper bag that coincides with the number you gave them or if you want to get fancy, a numbered burlap sack. (Make sure the sack is tall enough to cover any labels on the bottle).
If you are having the guests bring two bottles of wine, place one in the bag. Then put a sticky note on or place a piece of paper under the other bottle indicating the number that coincides with the one on the burlap sack. This bottle will be used to replace the empty one later on in the night.
In order to avoid drips and spills you can use these awesome wine discs!
Now, write down the guests name and the number of their bag on a sheet of paper. You will want to place this in a safe area until the end of the party so you know who the owner of the winning bottle is.
VOTING: Once all the guests have arrived, hand each guest a voting card. Here is a printable voting card you can download and print.
SAMPLING: Have all the guest sample each bottle and record the score. 1 being they do not care for the wine at all, 5 being they loved it. Let them know that they do not have to go in any specific order. This will help with having too many people at one station or table.
WINNER, WINNER: Once everyone has had a chance to try all the wines and vote, tally up the scores to determine the winner! We do a first and second place. Our prizes are always more wine but you can chose cash, gift baskets, etc.
REVEAL: Finally, hand back the vote cards, remove the wine from bags and set them out so guests could see which wines they liked or disliked.
VARIATIONS: Have each guest or couple bring 1 bottle for tasting and 1 for the gift basket. This will only work if you have about 20-25 people total, because if you have more than that, you will need that second bottle for tastings. HAPPY TASTING!