It’s the holidays and you know how that goes……..shopping, shopping………eating, eating……….wrapping, wrapping………….. As the years have gone on the list for those that I buy gifts for has gotten larger and larger. My friends now have children and of course we have to get them something! I mean you can’t leave the kids out at christmas, right??? Well the list was just getting too long and really what do I want from my friends and what do they want from me? Time!!!! Time is a hard thing to come by when you are working and taking care of a family. I have to say we are good about getting together on the weekends but how often as adults only do we get to see each other? Not as often as we would all like that’s for sure! So we decided that we were no longer going to buy gifts and our gifts to each other would be getting together to have a child free christmas party. Of course I said I would host as planning a party is one of my favorite things to do. So I put together a “Blind Wine Tasting Party”…….. Oh my is it tons of fun!
Here’s how it works………
1. You need a guest list! I have been lazy and used Facebook to invite my guests but I am sure you could make some awesome invitations! (If you want to go all out)
2. All of your guests must know that it is a CONTEST! The person who brings the winning bottle gets a wine basket at the end of the night!
3. All guests are asked to bring at least two bottles of the same wine and a dish to share. One bottle is put into the tasting and the other bottle is put into a basket for the winner! This way the winner gets to take home most of the wines that were tasted that evening.Be sure to cover the basket with a blanket so no one can cheat and check out all the wines!
Note: Be sure to let your guests know that they are welcome to bring more than one bottle to add to the tasting but they only need to bring one double for the basket. ( The more bottles you add to the tasting the better chance you have to win)
4. Make a menu. I always make a lot of food probably more than needed but I enjoy it so I like to make a nice menu and fill in with the dishes that my guests bring. It’s a nice chance to try something you haven’t before because you know that others will be bringing dishes to share so if your new recipe flops you know you won’t go hungry!
5. Make or buy wine score cards. I made mine on word. The score card includes the number of bottles and across from the bottle number are the numbers 1-5. I wasn’t sure how many bottles I would have so I made a card with 15 bottles listed. I figured that would be more than enough and if we didn’t get 15 bottle I would have my guests cross off the unused numbers.
Example: Bottle #1~ 1 2 3 4 5
6. I asked my local package store for the tall paper wine bags and numbered them. As each guest arrives I place a sticker with their name on the bottle and I placed all the bottles on a table with the labels facing the wall. Once all my guests arrive I count the bottles and remove any extra bags I have. If I got 12 bottles I would remove bags numbered 13, 14 and 15 . I shuffle the numbered bags and with the numbers face down I filled all the bags with wine and tied a ribbon around the top keeping the numbers facing away from me until all the bags were filled. Once all the bags were filled I hand out the score cards and turned the bags around and opened the wine! Of course when filling the bags I make an honest effort not to see what the wines are.
Note: The sticker with your guest’s name on it on the bottle is important as one year we had two people bring the same wine and one scored higher than the other but we didn’t know who brought what bottle( hey, crazy things happen at blind wine tastings!).
7. It’s time to taste, score and eat!
Note: Be sure to remind your guests that you have to get as many tastings out of a bottle as there are guests so small pours until everyone has tasted all the wines.
8. As everyone chats and tastes they score the wines by circling a number 1-5, 1 being horrible and 5 being awesome! After they have tasted all the wines they place their card in a basket and once all your guests have tasted you add up all the scores for each bottle and the winner takes home an awesome wine basket!
Note: If you have a tie place the names in a basket and pick a winner or you can split the basket between the winners.
This has truly become one of my favorite nights of the year and it is now an annual event! Enjoy your party! I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and ideas! Please leave me some comments.