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Nov 15, 2019

How to do an at-home Wine Tasting with Experienced Simply

If you know anything about all of us at the IBT HQ, you know we sure do love our wine! There is also something even more cozy about sipping on a rich glass of cab when the weather chills off, and you’re in the comfort of your own home with all your favorite people. Another fact you know about is that we’re always looking for new ways to host! Well, lucky for us, we have wine aficionado and founder of Experienced Simply, Ronda Fraley, sharing her expert tips on how to effortlessly host such an amazing wine tasting at your home that your guests will be asking how you managed to pull it off. Grab your glass of vino and let’s get down to it!

Step 1: Wine

Experienced Simply provides five bottles of wine curated for a seasonal tasting theme {we’re doing Pinot Noir from Around the Globe right now, for example.}

A tasting is about 2 ounces so you get 10 servings out of one bottle
Opt for a classic theme like “A Tour of Tuscany” where you serve any wines from Tuscany or try something fun like “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” where you serve rosés at your tasting on a Wednesday. A theme is not only fun and helps guests know what to expect but it also helps to organize the experience so people can easily grasp the potential commonalities and differences from bottle to bottle!

Step 2: Food

Experienced Simply not only provides the wine (the best part) but also provides suggested pairings along with mouth-watering recipes to accompany their seasonal theme.

It seems like there are a lot of rules with pairing wine with food but there’s really only one trick you need to know. Still wine tastes better with salt, acid, and fat; it tastes worse with sweets and umami. How easy was that?
If you want to keep it really simple, whip together a quick charcuterie board with cured meats, cheese, olives, grapes, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, etc. Who doesn’t love charcuterie after all?

Step 3: Prep

Experienced Simply‘s hosting guide walks you through step-by-step how to prep and it’s easy since they’re covering most of the bases for you. They also send over a corkscrew. They always seem to go missing in the house when you need it most, right? 😉

Unless you really want a serious tasting {which is ok if you do!}, you can use the wine glasses that you have. The varietal-specific wine glasses are designed to enhance the tasting experience but the difference isn’t that noticeable especially if your tasting is just for fun. You don’t need a fancy wine cooler to get your wines to the right temperature, just a refrigerator and a timer.

White wines: Pop the wines in the refrigerator for about 2.5 hours to get your lighter bodied varieties to about 45 degrees {think Sauvignon Blanc} and fuller bodied varieties to about 50 degrees {think Chardonnay}
Red wines: Lightly chill reds in the refrigerator for about 40 minutes to get them down to room temperature which is cooler than you think {59 – 65 degrees is favorable}

Step 4: Set Up

Experienced Simply sends you beautifully designed displays for your table top to accompany the wines and the tasting tools {more to follow on those} and packets for each of your guests so they have everything they need to participate {pen, tasting note cards, pocket instructions, coaster}

Get a playlist going {we love Wine Tasting Tracks on Spotify}, deck out your space to prepare, and set out the food and wine.

Use the bottles as part of a chic display by using items that you have around the house to introduce levels, height, and visual appeal. Cookbooks, cake stands, or even boxes arranged under a tablecloth can make your bottle display pop.

Step 5: Host

And this is where we lose you. How exactly do you host a tasting…?
Experienced Simply’s hosting guide walks you through exactly how to organize the tasting and even tells you what to say as you guide your guests through the four tasting steps. They also include hands-on tasting tools to help guests have fun with and assess the wines {think color swatches, conversation starters, aroma lexicons, and more}. If your tasting notes are usually pretty basic then these are the perfect tools to help you learn the colors, aromas, and characteristics of wine in an interactive way.

Set expectations that you will be tasting one wine every 20 minutes so they know how much time they have to complete their tasting cards and how much time they have for socializing!

Note: This is when guests would be “playing” with the hands-on tasting tools provided by Experienced Simply

Just like when you’re playing a board game, explain the four tasting steps {see, smell, sip, savor} so that your guests know how to play. Complete the steps, jot down their notes, repeat.

More simple than you thought, right? We are all here for making a wine tasting experience effortless and fun {and companies that do all of the heavy lifting for you!} What soiree are you most excited to host this holiday season? PS just in case you are wondering what to wear to all your fall events this year, we’ve got a guide for you!

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