Host your own organic wine tasting party
If you’ve decided to brave the storm and take on hosting a dinner/party/book club, why not make it fun? We’ve got something up our sleeve that will really wow and engage your guests! Hosting a wine tasting is easy and will get your guests talking without much effort on your part.
Why choose organic wines?
It’s simply wine but made with organically grown grapes, and without added sulfites. Think no artificial or synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. And some experts say pesticide-free grapes do make for healthier wine. Organic wine production grew by 280% between 2004 and 2015, so it’s safe to say it’s gained some traction among enthusiasts. The aforementioned sulfites are worth considering too, making those with sulfite sensitivity miserable— causing asthma attacks, hives, rashes, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea; you’re safer drinking organic wines due to no added sulfites. If you’re already living an organic lifestyle and eating organic foods, drinking organic wine may be a natural move. If you need more convincing, buying it supports sustainable organic farming and production methods. And BONUS! Organic wines are typically lower in cost, because the fermentation process is quicker, meaning the growers don’t have to age it in barrels and charge you for all of that time.
Now, grab a pen, because you will want to take notes. Your guests are guaranteed to have a good time and will even walk away with knowledge, and maybe even a new love for organic wines.
Pick your wines
When doing a tasting, there is typically an order the wines should be served in to allow their flavors to be best appreciated. Start with the lightest wine and work your way up to something heavier and darker. For example, start with a sparkling, followed by a white, then a red, and ending with a dessert wine.
Here are some organic wines to pick up at your local health food store:
- Lobetia Pink Sparkling – Clean and brightly colored, with a pale rose tint. On the nose, red cherries bouquet. On the palate, creamy bubbly, full flavored, fresh with good acidity.
- La Marouette Chardonnay – Pale straw color with green reflections. Complex nose of lemon and tropical fruit. Smooth buttery taste with honey-like finish.
- Pacific Redwood Cabernet Sauvignon – full-bodied, layered with flavors of cherry, chocolate, and cloves.
- Honeyrun Elderberry Wine – fruity flavor, on the sweet side.
Wine Supplies & Setup
This party can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want it to be. There aren’t many supplies you need, but you can upgrade what you need where you see fit.
- Have an ice bucket for your whites, and set up the red and dessert wine next to the bucket.
- You will most certainly need glasses – simple eco-friendly Dixie cups work fine, or you can give everyone a wine glass. If you really want to go all out, getting the right shape of glass for the right type of wine enhances the flavor or the wine.
- Next you need pens and rating cards. Printable rating cards can be found on-line, like these here.
- Other ways to spruce up the experience is to have things like a decanter, or glass charms if using stemware to keep glasses separated. Richard's has the most adorable gift bags with flamingo wine charms.
Hidden at your local health food store are more than enough pairing options you can supply your guests with which will suffice for the tasting as well as satisfy their snack cravings. For example bulk mixed nuts, dried fruit or chocolates. Or the obvious, cheese and crackers – this combo goes with any varietal of wine. Get gluten–free crackers, so everyone can participate guilt-free. Cabot Creamery offers several affordable cheese options, with different flavors like sun-dried tomato and smoked bacon. Offer some sardines in oil for added protein.
Wine and cheese suggestions:
- Pair bold and creamy Richard's Brie or Lactose-Free Extra Sharp Cabot Farmhouse Reserve with Running Duck Pinotage
- Pair smooth and buttery Nature Valley Meunster or Cabot Colby and Monterary Jack with Running Duck Rose
- Pair Richard's Domestic Blue or spicier Habernero with Blackberry Wine or Frey’s Zinfandel
- Pair a creamy horse radish spread or Ellsworth Cheddar Cheese Curds with Beajoulais or robust Running Duck Merlot
- Pair exceptionally flavorful Old Croc's Smoked Cheddar with Running Duck Malbec or Chardonnay
Make it fun
It doesn’t hurt to add some extra fun into the mix, here are some ideas to make the evening extra special.
- At the end of the tasting, the group can vote on which bottle is the crowd favorite
- If you have time, put together some fun photo props for selfies. You can distribute them around the party or gather the props together and display them in a large bowl or centerpiece
- Share wine facts throughout the evening (Example: Did you know it takes 500-650 grapes to make one bottle of wine?)
Hosting an organic wine tasting will make any get together an extra special memorable experience. And don't forget the wine wipes available at Richard's, of course.