Admittedly, we don’t do much of this any longer. But, for quite some time, we did run a local Meetup group and over the years, my friends have picked up upon the fact that I own and operate an online wine club…..so I tend to end up being responsible for wine tastings at the holidays and the random Friday night. Because of all of that, I do have a few wine tasting ideas to talk about with you.
Wine Tasting Idea #1: Guess the Mass Produced Wine:
Ok, so this is going to require a trip to a good local wine shop, or ordering from someone like me to receive wines that aren’t widely available. Generally speaking, most wine drinkers don’t realize that the mass produced wines that they recognize so easily, are HEAVILY researched and the producers know exactly what the average consumer will drink. Ever wonder why that LaMarca Prosecco Review is always a positive one? It’s because a large wine company has an amount of data based on consumer preference in regard to not only taste profiles, but also bottle designs that would make big tech jealous.
So, to prove that….we take a handful of wines, normally 4 of them. I try and make them around the same price point. 3 of them are smaller production, or at least wines that aren’t for sale everywhere. The last, pick one mass produced wine that you see literally everywhere you shop. Cover all 4 bottles and simply ask everyone participating in your wine tasting, to rank them based on what they like best.
Almost every single we’ve done this, the mass produced wine has finished second or a close third. There’s almost always an excellent small production wine, if you ask someone who is paying attention. But, the mass produced wines show better than your wine snob friends think they do.
Wine Tasting Idea #2: Guess The Price Point
Much like the process above, we bring 4 bottles of wine to this wine tasting. Also like above, we cover the labels with brown paper bags.
The difference here is that we should have chosen bottles in different price points. As an example, the last time we did this, we had bottles priced at $5, $10, $20 and $40. Of course, for your wine tasting, adjust your price points on what works for your budget, but then you’ll want to ask everyone to guess the price point of the bottles. Generally speaking for this wine tasting, having bottles of the same varietal makes the most sense (IE all Cabernet Sauvignon)
Wine Tasting Idea #3: Guess the Varietal
This is exactly what you think it is, but PLEASE don’t make it too easy for everyone. Sure, it’s nice to have a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir, but throw in a Grenache and always throw in a blend. GSM blends are especially fun, often because they trip everyone up.
Wine Tasting Idea #4: Guess the Percentage
So, this is only going to work for GSM or other blends, but if you have a group of rather serious wine drinkers, this might be the most fun of any of my wine tasting ideas. In this you’ll have 4 GSM blends and ask people to estimate the amount of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre in each of them. It’s a rather fun wine tasting because it really challenges people to consider what they’re tasting. Plus, GSM might be the best value in wine right now and too many are stuck in a Cabernet or Pinot rut.
Often, you’ll find that people expect that the thickest and most dense of the wines to be the most expensive, whereas the lightest is often the most expensive especially if you’re dealing with Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
I hope you have enjoyed my wine tasting ideas. I think you’ll find that despite everything we read about wine, it’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be enjoyable and I hope these wine tasting ideas help you to get back to that, instead of the stuffy, snooty wine industry that too many people seem to find right now in America.