Occasions 365

Wine

Fine Wine Parties

Wine isn't called the nectar of the gods for nothing -- there are many people who passionately devote their hobby time or even their entire careers to studying its history and becoming attuned to the subtle differences in wine's staggering range of varying tastes and textures.

The social enjoyment of wine can be as simple as sharing a bottle with friends over a homemade dinner or raising a celebratory glass at a bar. However, you can also plan events in which wine is the well-deserved star of the evening.

Wine-Tasting Parties

If you and your friends are or would like to become genuine connoisseurs of fine wines, then you will likely agree that there are few social events as enjoyable as a wine-tasting party.

Besides a choice selection of white and/or red wines, for a proper wine-tasting party you will also need the right wine glasses, to allow your guests to swirl and sniff their wine and enhance their tasting experience.

Have glasses or bottles of water on hand for palate cleansing between tastings. Plain bread or crackers is also a good palate cleanser, and it's good to make these available to your guests before the wine tasting, as well, so that no one goes in on an empty stomach.

Wine-Pairing Parties

Perhaps you feel strongly that red-with-red-meat, white-with-chicken-and-fish is more than sufficient information to go on when putting food and wine together; if that's the case, then a wine-pairing party is not for you. If, however, you think that rule is not only outdated but a terrible oversimplification of the complex art of matching a meal with a wine whose flavors perfectly complement it, you will likely get a lot of enjoyment from a wine-pairing party.

Proper preparation for a wine-pairing party requires research. Your starting point can be either the foods or the wines you want to serve, but in either case you're going to have to doing some reading -- and then some taste testing -- to finalize your menu.

You will also have to decide whether you want to serve formal courses of appetizers, main and dessert, with a wine for each course, or an informal tasting menu with a wine for each round of bite-sized food.

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