Throw a Wine Tasting Party!

By Kate Riley September 18, 2012

I love a great themed get together, whether it’s a costume, murder mystery, or decade themed party.   Another great theme party for grown ups is throwing a blind wine tasting party at your place complete with great vino and good eats!

wine tasting party cg


The fun of a blind tasting is the mystery of what’s in the bottle – you can choose different wines and make people try to figure out the varietal (Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) or you can tell them the varietal and have them rank the wine with points and compare everyone’s notes at the end.  You can supply the wine or have everyone bring a favorite bottle.

numbered bottle covers cg


I bought a single varietal, Pinot Noirs, and three I found at my local grocery store.  It’s fun to throw in a really fancy or really cheap one too just to see how people respond to it!

pinot noirs


How do you find a great bottle of wine to serve?  If you have a smartphone, there’s a free app that guarantees you get good wine – Matt is one of the developers of this easy to use app – it’s called Wine Finder and it helps you find the best wine at the supermarket!   I used it at my local Safeway supermarket to find several bottles of Pinot Noir.

winefinder app

Simply pick your store, your price range, the type of wine, and hit “Search”.  A list pops up of all the good ones and gives you details about the wine, so you can grab and go and know you’re getting a great bottle.

For a blind tasting, you need bottle covers to hide the identity of the wine.  You can use wine bags in paper or fabric form, I came up with these stenciled bottle covers made from woven placemats!

numbered wine bottle covers cg

To recreate, you’ll need some woven material, a runner or placemats will work.  I found these at World Market and the stencils are Martha Stewart from Michaels.  I cut the woven placemats in half lengthwise and then stenciled the front with craft paint.

stenciled wine bottle covers

Tie up the back with jute twine for a festive textured wine bottle cover!

tie back with jute twine


At your party, supply a wine glass for everyone and small bites to eat while your guests are sampling and tasting.  Wine glass charms are also fun and easy to make.

bites to eat cg

small bites at party cg


A wine bottle holds 25 ounces and a tasting pour is 2 ounces so one bottle will allow for sampling for 12.  You can use simple score cards and challenge everyone to score the wines in good fun.  Reveal the identity of the label after everyone has scored their favorite.


Download a page of four cards here.


Throwing a wine tasting party is so much fun, and easy too!  Round up some bottle covers, some great wine, a few things to eat, and a group of friends, and you’re guaranteed a great time!

wine tasting party setting centsational girl

Linking up to the tablescape party over at The Lettered Cottage today!

2012 fall link parties



  1. Thanks for this post! This is something I would love to do, but wouldn’t know where to start. Thanks again for all the awesome info!

  2. Hey Kate… Maybe it’s just me but whenever I go over to TLC it’s still yesterday’s post. Has Layla wrote today’s tablescape post yet?


  3. So cute and such a good idea. I live in Portland, OR, and we have some really amazing wine out here. One of my best friends is a wine expert for a local winery and we are always getting to do fun tastings with her. It is so interesting that often the cheapest bottle is the most well liked!

  4. Beautiful tablescape! (Those plates are adorable) Love the stenciled placemat/covers…cute idea. I wish I knew more about wine and good pairings…but I like to drink it from time to time. ;) The app sounds like something I need to check out!

  5. I love wine tasting parties. I love it so much that I had a wine tasting reception at my wedding. It was elegant yet inexpensive since the bartender poured a few ounces per glass. Add a few inexpensive baguettes and chunks of cheese and we had a great reception! It’s been 14 years and people still talk about it.

  6. Kate I loved this. I’m not big on wine…I know I’m crazy, but this was such a great idea. What a fun party with friends/family. I might have to try that one day. Loved all the little touches. :)

  7. Love this. I too live in Oregon, so lots of good cheap wine. I love the bottle wraps, but I think I’ll use burlap I have tons of scraps. Thanks for posting I was just thinking about having a wine party. Kate I think your physic

  8. This is stunning. I LOVE the burlap warps. Such gorgeous shots as well, Kate. Our last wine tasting party was so embrassing . . . we brought a bottle of Justin {one of our favorites} and when it was poured it was HORRIBLE. It happened to be a bad bottle. I should redeem myself and try again. So pretty.

  9. Very cool post – near and dear to my heart. Wine(dot)com is a good place to research wine. They have a section called something like “90 Points for Under $20” which is always good for some high quality, reasonably prices bottle recommendations. My brother swears by a podcast called “Wine for Normal People” that he says does a good job of making wine tasting and choosing accessible to most.

    Personally, when doing a tasting I like to pick one grape varietal and serve bottles from multiple growing regions so that people can see the difference location makes despite the principal ingredient being identical. Two great grapes that show stark diversity through this tasting method are Sauvingon Blanc and Malbec. Maybe try a Sav Blanc from New Zealand up against one from Napa/Sonoma and one from Chile. Likewise, I like to do a Malbec from Argentina against one from France and one from California. They change so much from place to place that it can really open the eyes of a new wine drinker to the possibilities.

    Anybody else just get really thirsty?

  10. I love this! I’ve been wanting to have a wine tasting for awhile now. Since I am single and most of my friends are married, should I do I girls wine tasting or just a mixed party?

  11. Such a pretty setup! We started a neighborhood wine crawl, each house hosted a region (both wine and food) and we walked from house to house drinking and eating! It was a fun time and safe because we were walking! Thanks for sharing your wine tasting party pics! – Susan

  12. What a great tutorial! So crafty! My boyfriend and I are both wine lovers and we should be, South Africa has some of the best wine in the world!

  13. Are you kidding me?!? I thought these were stock photos from a magazine….these are stunning, Kate!! your styling and photography are insane. And the party looks super fun. We went to one last weekend (funny enough)…40 people brought bottles to sample. Let’s just say I don’t remember which ones I liked! :/

  14. Dang, girl, each photo just made me want to catch my breath it is so gorgeous. I didn’t think there could be a better composed and lit photo than the second one, and then I get to the one with the olives …mmm mm. And then you end with that spectacular photo that is so similar to the first one, only now you can see a vineyard in the background, YOUR vineyard. It leaves one almost overwhelmed. In a good way. Sigh.

  15. Okay, I have more…(seriously, someone could use these pictures in a photo styling, tablescape, or photography course or textbook)… Going back to that second photo, I love how the breadsticks mimic the branches in the vase, and how the pattern and color of the napkin picks up on the small potted flowers. Really, just a spectacular photo. But there’s more to love in all that you made in the photo as well, like the bottle covers, and the way you tied them up in back – adorable. The bowl that you wrapped in twine. And oh, ya, one other thing… that HANDMADE breadboard …that you made …with your hands! Really, I just shake my head. Bless you, Kate.

    • Awwwww Michigan Home, *choking up* you are so so kind, thank you for noticing all those details!

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