A: A brown bag wine party.
As you can see, we did quite a bit of damage! My roommate and I recently hosted a wine tasting at our house, but this was not a super serious, even remotely stuffy wine tasting. Our wine party, in addition to being incredibly rowdy, turned out to be quite interactive. Rather than sitting around, tasting and sipping, our guests milled around the house tasting each bagged wine that had been set out. The style of the tasting really facilitated wine conversation. With the Final Four playing in the background, these conversations often turned to basketball (forgivable), but I was impressed with how engaged each guest was with the wines.
If you feel like you don’t know a lot about wine (or just want to have a good time) and want to host a wine party, here are the rules.
1. Each guest (or couple) brings 2 bottles of the same type of wine.You can set a price point or type (i.e. Pinot Noir). Kevin and I decided to make the wine selections a free for all, but set the price point at between $10 and $20.
2. As guests arrive, take one of each bottle and place it in a numbered brown bag. The other bottle goes in the stash. Make sure you have an honest person bagging the wines. Kevin put me in charge of this.
3. Set out the wines around the room. Guests each take a wine glass and walk around, tasting each of the bagged wines and giving them a score based on how much they like or dislike it. Kevin and I kept our scoring very simple, and had guests rate each wine on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the lowest.
4. Once each wine has been tasted, collect the score sheets and tally the winning wine. Being the nerds that we are, Kevin and I did this in excel. I would recommend this as all guests will have consumed nearly a bottle of wine by this point, likely resulting in compromised math skills.
5. Have an unveiling ceremony to reveal the winners. The person or couple who brought the crowd favorite leaves the party with the stash of wines we set aside!
For our tasting, we had about 18 bottles of wine. The first place winner went home with 12 bottles, the second place winner left with 5, and the person who brought the worst wine got to pick their favorite wine of the stash to take home as a consolation prize. Our first and second place winners – Kathleen Farr and Tyler Stinnett – are a couple, so they really lucked out with enough of a stash to last them for quite some time!
This tasting is a guaranteed good time. If you’re looking for a good reason to have a party, why not host one that involves a little wine education? Your guests are guaranteed to love it. When else do people get the chance to taste as many as 20 wines in one sitting? Not every day. Kevin and I have already had requests to host another one at our house soon!