Today I am sharing some tips on celebrating wines with friends while hosting a fun wine tasting party. This post was sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own This content is intended for those 21 and older.
Hello Friends! Wine tasting parties can be fun, but the way to host a memorable party is to have a wine party with a twist. Today I want to share with you some tips on hosting a wine tasting party focused on discovering the wines of Italy.
Italy is one of my favorite countries and it produces the largest volume of wine in the world. Italy may have as many as 3,000 varieties of grapes, of which 590 are officially recorded with hundreds left to be cataloged. We have been to Italy a handful of times and while each trip is a little different, one constant is that we always enjoy great food and wine.
Before hosting an evening of Italian Wines party, decide what wines you would like to explore. For my recent party, I chose Cinque Terre, which means “five lands.” It is a lovely group of small villages located in the cliffs along the coast north of La Spezia. The photos here are from my trip there. Vines in this area have been planted for centuries and it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.
In this beautiful coastal area north of La Spezia, you will find wines made from grapes such as the rare Bosco and Albarola and the more prevalent Vermentino. I loved seeing all of the lovely wine cafes and enjoying a bottle of Vermentino, takes me right back to the Liguria region of Italy. People in Italy know how to live La Dolce Vita (“the sweet life”) - that is the kind of life I want to live.
For your gathering, I recommend picking out a few good Italian wines for tasting. Most Italian wines are often named after a region, so it could be fun to focus on a region for the party. You can also ask your friends to bring an Italian wine as a fun way to discover different wines.
A few Italian regions that you could focus on highlighting include:
Of course, there are many more regions, but I would suggest concentrating on one and offer a combination of white and red wines for the tastings. There is a great diversity of Italian wines across all 20 wine regions.
A few of my favorites from the Liguria region are:
Vermentino - a dry white wine with hints of grapefruit. This is one of my favorite wines.
Rossese – a vibrant, bittersweet red wine. Another lovely varietal that goes great with sausages and cheese.
Albarola - these wines have honey and floral aromas
A fun idea is to cover the wine labels so that guests can try to identify the wine type. Let everyone have a chance to examine the appearance, aroma, and taste of the wine.
It is always a good idea to also include light bites to go with the wine for your party.
You may want to provide note cards for your guests and have them make a note of which varietal they think it is, as It can help them determine new favorites.
For your wine party bites, I suggest offering simple bites such as crackers, cheese, nuts and fruit for your guests to enjoy while wine tasting. This will also allow your guests to see which food item they enjoy pairing with the wines they are tasting
At the end of the evening, you can unveil the wines and give guests a small prize to the person see who was able to correctly identify the most wines.
Wine Tasting Party Tips
- Use full-sized glasses, not mini-glasses in case some want a larger pour. You can find them at home stores and also at the dollar store.
- Buy a couple of extra bottles so that guests can enjoy a glass of their favorite after the tasting.
- Keep it simple. Encourage people to share what they like or don't like about each wine and you may want to give them a few hints.
- Provide small bottled waters for guests and ensure that all drink the wine responsibly.
After your party, consider enjoying some delicious Italian wines at your next dinner party, some great pairings include Italian Rosato with BBQ, Italian whites with sushi or fish, Nero d’Avola with Korean BBQ, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with burgers, and Lambrusco with Mac n’ Cheese.
Italy offers a variety of young wines to enjoy now as well as sophisticated wines that age beautifully. Why not start a collection like I have? I hope you enjoyed these tips for your next wine-tasting party. A simple party with friends can be memorable and so much fun.
What is your favorite Italian wine?