Home is where the wine is …
Have you ever wanted to host a wine tasting at home?
A few weeks ago we did just that at Snowberry.
Last week I shared the engagement dinner we hosted for Jim’s son, his fiancé and her family.
We turned Snowberry’s library into a dining room.
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Before dinner we gathered around the back patio firepit for a wine tasting.
A wedding wine tasting.
To select wines to be poured at Kyle and Melody’s wedding next year.
We tasted 10 wines and and narrowed it down to six to be served at the wedding.
Here’s how I set set up our at-home wine tasting.
First things first.
Tasting 10 wines on an empty stomach … it’s just not done.
Well, it’s not done more than once anyway.
And there were no rookies in our group.
I ordered a charcuterie board from The Board Room in Pleasanton.
A local favorite for creative charcuterie boards and grazing stations.
All I had to do was assemble a basket of crackers and sliced baguette.
The gorgeous autumnal florals were created by Sheela of Sarah’s Garden Design.
She also created the beautiful florals in the library dining room.
You can read – and see – all about it here.
I love how Sheela uses fresh herbs in her floral arrangements.
Not only is it pretty, but it smells divine.
She even tucked a few mint sprigs into the charcuterie.
If you read my engagement dinner post, you know I enlisted the help of Lindsay Lauren Events.
She arranged the necessary rentals to turn our library into a dining room.
From Pleasanton Rentals.
And this included 80 wine glasses for the wine tasting.
Renting glasses is a great option and makes life a lot easier when it comes to clean up.
Instead of hand washing 80 glasses, I simply put them back in the glass racks they arrived in.
You can rent glass for around $.75 to $1.75 per glass.
But renting them isn’t necessary and I explain more a little later.
All set up and ready to taste wine!
Each place setting includes wine glasses and a water glass.
And we set out two ‘dump buckets.’
An inelegant term for a vessel used to ‘dump’ excess wine.
Also included, a pen for tasting notes.
Jim created placemats for each flight of wine … whites first and reds second.
Jim’s the king of powerpoint and he copied the graphic from the wedding save-the-date cards.
Lindsay arranged for engraved pens, by Blushtype, for note taking … and keepsakes.
Blushtype also created the scrolled place cards.
Aren’t they pretty?!
Jim put together a booklet of tasting notes on each wine.
It was a cool afternoon with rain in the forecast.
I placed my favorite ‘house’ throws around just in case it got too cold.
Fingers and toes crossed it would not rain until we went inside for dinner.
Before everyone arrived Jim opened all the wine bottles.
I was concerned it would take a long time to open the wines and encouraged (ahem … nagged) Jim to get started earlier.
‘I’m a trained professional’ he said.
And sure enough … pop, pop, pop … he had them opened in less than five minutes.
Why do I ever doubt?
With the wines opened, fire lit and snacks set out … we were ready for our guests.
Photo credit: All photos to this point by Monica Vargas Photography
And, we’re off …
Everyone took the tasting and selection of the wedding wines very seriously.
Jim did a great job presenting each of the wines.
There were lots of questions, discussions and opinions.
At the end of the tasting we reached unanimous agreement on wines for the wedding.
Drum roll, please …
- Sofia Blanc de Blancs 2018 Sparkling, Monterey
- Stoneleigh 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
- Diora 2019 Chardonnay, San Bernabe Vineyard, Monterey
- Diora 2020 Rose, San Bernabe Vineyard, Monterey
- Black Stallion Pinot Noir 2018 Pinot Noir, Los Carneros, Napa Valley
- Francis Coppola 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Directors Cut, Alexander Valley
As we moved inside for dinner it started to rain.
Jim and Kyle sprang into action to clear everything away
and cover the patio furniture before it got soaked.
Jim and the happy couple with their birth year wines
to be served at dinner.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux from 1990 and 1992.
Want to host a wine tasting in your home … here a few simple tips:
- Use clear wine glasses. We rented glasses, but you don’t have to. One wine glass per person is just fine. They can be rinsed between pours.
- Provide some type of vessel to use as a dump bucket. Not everyone will drink all their wine.
- Provide water glasses and pitcher of water for drinking and rinsing glasses between tastes.
- Allow for 2 oz of wine per person, per pour. A standard wine bottle contains about 24 oz.
- Provide food. A charcuterie board is a great option. But, if you’re taking things more seriously consider a food and wine pairing.
- Avoid scented candles and aromatic flowers.
- Provide note pads (or tasting notes printed from the brand’s website) and pens or pencils for making notes.
- Choosing what wines to taste can be as simple as what you have on hand or what interests you at the store. Or more organized, like a specific varietal or wine region. If tasting different varietals, order them from light to heavy. For example
- Dessert wines
This would be a fun activity over the holidays with family and friends!
For more tips on at-homes tastings, this is a good article.
So there you have it … our at-home wine tasting.
So much fun!
A huge thank you to ~
- Photography: Monica Vargas Photography ; Monica’s Instagram
- Planning & Design: Lindsay Lauren Events ; Lindsay’s Instagram
- Florals: Sarah’s Garden Design
- Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals ; Pleasanton Rentals Instagram
- Calligraphy: Blushtype ; Blushtype Instagram
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As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!