A good way to do wine tasting is to invite some friends for a wine tasting evening.
It makes for a good evening, and better than tasting on your own.
There are several articles that you can find with good advice on hosting some wine tasting sessions with friends. I won’t bother trying to re-invent the wheel, so I have provided some links below to two of the best that I found. (The first from Wikihow, the second from Wineware).
I had already done a couple of wine tasting evenings before I found these sites. (And before I launched this website, as this took longer than planned to get this up and running).
Overall, after comparing how my first few tastings went with the advice, I did not do too badly. I had some food and nibbles, and made sure I did not get ‘wine-wasted’. I stuck to a theme. First one all reds, mainly Bordeaux, then all whites, mainly Chardonnays, then some rosés. I did not have the recommended number of people, and kept it all quite informal. A good time was had by all.
What I found especially useful on these sites, was the wine tasting/scoring sheets that you can download as PDF documents. I will definitely consider printing these our rather than just giving people A4 printouts with a picture of the wines on them.
However the biggest problem I had was ‘how much feedback can you ask for?’
These people are not wine journalists/reviewers, who are used to writing detailed articles about wine. And as it is a social evening, you cannot pressurise your guests into writing more than a few comments. That is why some of my early tasting sessions just had a comment such as ‘quite dry’.I cannot criticise this. As I am just beginning on my wine journey, a lot of my comments are along the lines of ‘a bit rough’ or ‘quite smooth’.
One way of making it easier, is to ask them to give a score out of 10.
My thanks to Cameron who did this without asking on one tasting session. It really does make it easier to make comparisons.
This is where the wine tasting/scoring sheets are really useful to make it easier for the guests to rate the wines.
The wine scoring sheet from ‘wikihow’ website has all the wines on one sheet, with a score of 1-5 on different categories.
Having different categories, with suggested text for what scores a 5, and what scores a 1 in each category helps guests to score. (Also, having one sheet for all wines will save on printing costs).
The wine tasting sheet from wineware allows guests a bit more flexibility.
You will have to a sheet for each wine, but you can put more details for each one, rather than just a number in different categories.
I will try both in later ‘tasting’ evenings and let you know how I get on.