Energize your next party with these creative wine tasting themes. It’s a great way to keep
These wine themes are centered around the wine itself, focusing on a particular style of wine and then varying the line up by region or production style so that you can compare and contrast.
- Warm weather and sunshine are all about the blush wine. So beautiful and very popular. Wine producers have quite a variety to explore.
- Sip on a variety of refreshing white wine and don your summer whites while doing it.
- What better way to celebrate summer than with the bubbles in sparkling wine / Champagne.
- Light reds are the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening.
I’ve found some great wine recommendations and accessories to help kick off your party with fun and flair! Believe me, I learned my lesson with wine tasting parties. I served white wine that got warm, appetizers that didn’t pair right, you name it. We still had fun, but I’ve learned and improved. Check out these recommendations to help you whip up a fabulous party.
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A Rosé by Any Other Name…
There’s nothing better than sipping on a refreshing Rosé in the summer. The beautiful pink colors of the wine will add elegance to this party. You’ll have an easy time finding Rosé because all the stores have big selections for the summer.
Rosé Wine Recommendations
The Rosé wines I’ve selected here are from France, Spain, Oregon, and California. This selection will give you some great options to taste, compare, and enjoy.
PRO TIP: Select 3-6 different bottles of wine to taste and compare at your party. More than 6 will be hard to distinguish between.
For a smaller group of say 4: compare 3-4 bottles.
For a larger group: compare 4-6 bottles.
Figure ½ to 1 bottle
Quick Math for 12 guests:
6 types of wine * 1 to 2 of each bottle = 6 to 12 total bottles of wine
4 types of wine * 2 to 3 of each bottle = 6 to 12 total bottles of wine
To have a well-rounded tasting, select one Rosé from each region. Here are my recommendations: France (Mirabeau, Chateau Routas), Oregon (Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley) Spain (Mia, Jean Leon), and California (Grgich Hills, Rodney Strong).
I have visited both Freixenet and Jean Leon in Spain. Freixenet is a large winery known for its sparkling wine, although this Rosé is a still wine (aka no bubbles). Jean Leon is a boutique winery sitting on some gorgeous property in Spain. They use beautiful artistic labels on their delicious wine (of course not on the one I selected..hmmm). And Grgich Hills is owned by the beret-wearing winemaker who put California wine on the map.
Wine Party Accessories
Serve your Rosé in style with these party accessories. Keep your bottles chilled with the stainless steel chiller. Just place in the freezer overnight and it’s ready to keep your wine chilled. These stemmed and stemless wine glasses are a great way to taste and compare Rosé. The Rabbit wine opener makes it easy when your opening several bottles for a tasting. It comes with a foil cutter and a handy case. This is our go-to wine opener because it’s super easy.
Rosé Party Tips
1) Wine Chilling Tip
A fun trick to keep your wine cold on a hot sunny day is to add frozen grapes to the glass of wine. I’m normally not an advocate of adding ice or other items into your glass of wine, BUT this will keep your wine cold while preventing it from watering down and shouldn’t change the flavor of the wine.
2) Cheese Pairing Tips
The best cheese pairings for Rosé are Gouda, Jarlsberg, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Swiss, Feta, and Fontina. Stay away from aged or smoked cheese. Those cheeses will have an earthy flavor that would go better with a red than with a nice light Rosé.
3) Rosé Wine Tasting Notes
Much of Rosé is actually made from red grapes, while some are a blend of both red and white grapes. The reason the wine is a light rosé or pink color is that
This party is all about white wines, white food, white decorations, and white clothing clad guests. Remember white wine isn’t always made with white grapes. Have fun with this one and mix it up. Toss in a white wine made with Pinot Noir grapes.
Have your guests wear all white. Use white plates, napkins, serving trays and other white decorations. Serve white food like white cheeses, popcorn,
White Wine Recommendations
This white wine line up gives you a variety of white wine to try and a great way to compare the different grapes and styles of winemaking. The list below is essentially your tasting order.
- Dry Riesling from the Mosel Valley in Germany an area known for delicious Rieslings.
- Sauvignon Blanc from Oyster Bay in New Zealand another winner.
- A Chablis (aka Chardonnay) from the Burgundy region in France. Typical Chablis is not aged in oak. This will give you a nice comparison to the next wine in the line up that has been aged in oak.
- Chardonnay from the Duckhorn Vineyard in California. One of our go-to vineyards for a variety of wine.
- And one last surprise to shake things up. A Pinot Noir Blanc. This is from Mendocino California and is a white wine made from a red grape. The trick is to remove the skins right away to keep the color from coming through.
White Party Accessories
Have fun with these white decorations. Chill all of your white wine in this festive wine tub. Add a little bling with these gold wine charms. The lighthouse cork holder and the wine bottle caddy add a nice touch to the white party decor. These Spiegelau white wine glasses are essential for your white party wine tasting.
White Party Tips
1) Cheese Pairing Tips
Pair your white wine with a variety of white or light-colored cheeses like these: Colby, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, and Goat Cheese.
2) White Food Tips
Surprisingly, there are a lot of options for white or neutral-colored foods for your white themed party. You can serve up croissant sandwiches with chicken salad, pinwheels, cucumber sandwiches, mixed nuts, and popcorn.
Don’t worry about adding some color such as green grapes. Try this warm herbed goat cheese with bruschetta from finecooking.com, or this bruschetta with fig, goat cheese & prosciutto from foxandbriar.com.
Include some sweets to round out your party menu such as white chocolate covered pretzels, white macaroons, white cupcakes, cheesecake, and white cake pops.
3) Decorating Tips
To pull off your white party, make as much of the decor white as you possibly can. Use white table cloths, white plates, napkins, serving trays, flowers, candles. If you are hosting this party outside, you could use fun white lights and white lanterns.
Feel free to add a pop of color, but choose only 1 color to incorporate as an accent. You could use a beautiful green or blue color. Or you could stick with another neutral color like gold, silver, or tans.
For additional inspiration visit the contemporist.com.
4) Wine Tasting Notes
Riesling: This wine ranges from sweet to dry and pairs with a variety of foods. Find out how to tell the range of sweetness from this Common Grape post.
Sauvignon Blanc: This wine is very acidic. Makes your mouth pucker. It’s a great light-bodied wine for summer sipping.
Chardonnay: Fuller body, ranges from light to creamy. This is determined by stainless steel aging (light) or oak barrel aging (cream, toasty notes).
Blanc de Noir (White Pinot Noir): A rich white wine with medium acidity and light tannins.
This summer tasting theme is all about the bubbles. Nothing is more festive than sparkling wine and champagne. Bring on the sparkle and the fun!
And before you think I’ve jumped away from the 7 noble grapes, just wait. Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier ( a relative to Pinot Noir). So, okay I’ve made a little departure with that last one, but we’ll let it slide in the name of learning and enjoying!
Champagne & Sparkling Recommendations
This line up comes from around the world starting with the Champagne region in France. Sparkling wine from any other region cannot be called Champagne. So, it’s a must to have a true Champagne as part of the lineup.
- Moutard Grande Cuvee from none other than the Champagne region in France.
- Next, we’ll travel to Italy for a little of their bubbly with Ferrari Brut.
- On to Spain for their Mercat Cava. When you see Cava on the label that means it’s a Spanish sparkling wine. I’ve also found many Spanish wines are reasonably priced. A great incentive to try more of their delicious wine.
- We’ll end our tour in California with a Chandon Brut.
Bursting Bubbles Wine Party Accessories
Add a little silver or gold sparkle to your party with these fun and functional accessories. Now you can finally keep your Champagne corks under control with this Champagne puller. Use this beautiful hammered stainless-steel ice bucket to keep your sparkling wine chilled. Add a little bling with these gold wine charms. These Spiegelau stemmed champagne glasses and Riedel stemless champagne glasses are top-notch and will serve you well for many more celebrations. We have the Riedel stemless champagne glasses and they actually have a tiny circle etched in the bottom of the glass that keeps the bubbles coming to the top.
Bursting Bubbles Wine Party Tips
1) Cheese Pairing Tips
The cheese options with champagne are endless. Try a few of these options for your party such as Brie, Camembert, Mild cheddar, Colby, cream cheese, Edam, Feta, Havarti, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino-romano, swiss, gouda, gruyere, chevre, asiago, and goat cheese.
2) Decorating Tips
Infuse some shimmer with some silver or gold accents. Check out the accessories I recommended to get a few ideas.
3) Wine Tasting Notes
Champagne is from the French region of Champagne (this is the only way it can be called Champagne; otherwise it is known as sparkling wine). Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
If labeled blanc de blanc, then it is only made from Chardonnay grapes. If labeled blanc de noir, then it is made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.
Champagne and Sparkling wine are produced with a variety of sweetness levels. This is described as Extra Brut (Driest), Brut, Extra-Dry, Sec, Demi-Sec, and Doux (sweetest). The most common style is Brut. You’ll notice that all of my sparkling wine recommendations are Brut.
Summer Evening Reds
Bring your next wine night to life with this sophisticated theme. Nice light reds are perfect for those warm summer evenings.
Evening Reds Recommendations
These light reds will make a great tasting line up. I’ve chosen a delicious Pinot Noir from Coastal California called Meiomi. This is one of my favs. Compare that to the fancy French Burgundy (aka Pinot Noir).
Then I’ve chosen two Gamay wines. Gamay is not one of the 7 noble grapes, but it is a cousin to the Pinot Noir grape. It will make a nice tasting comparison since these are all nice light reds. I’ve chosen two Gamay wines produced in the Beaujolais region of France which is just to the south of Burgundy. One of the more popular labels for Gamay is Louis Jadot. The other I’ve chosen is from Morgon which is the name of a sub-region within Beaujolais.
Evening Reds Party Accessories
To help inspire you for your Summer Evening Reds party, check out some of these accessories. This marble cheese knife set from France will add some sophistication to your tasting party. These Riedel stemmed and stemless Pinot Noir wine glasses will be perfect for this wine tasting. The Rabbit wine opener makes it so easy to open any bottle, much less several in a night. The Chickadee and Stem Spring wine charms will add a bit of whimsy. Since we mostly use stemless wine glasses, the chickadee wine charms that sit on the rim are perfect, especially for the wider pinot noir glasses.
Evening Red Party Tips
1) Cheese & Charcuterie Pairing Tips
Serve up this cheese options that pair perfectly with light red wine: Jarlesburg, Gruyere, Feta, Pecorino-Romano, Swiss, Brick
These charcuterie options will pair nicely with the light reds you’ll be serving at your party: Saucisson Sec, Prosciutto, Pate.
You can even pair appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and bacon-wrapped dates. These light reds really go with all kinds of food.
2) Wine Tasting Notes
Pinot Noir is light-bodied with rich oak, cherry notes, and light tannins.
Gamay is a light-bodied wine with high acidity and light tannins. The Gamay grape is a cousin to the Pinot Noir grape and has a very similar light taste. Gamay (or Beaujolais) is produced in the Beaujolais region of France which is just south of Burgundy where Pinot Noir is grown and produced.
Wine Tasting Themes Wrap Up
There are so many ways to experience wine and it can be rather stuffy. So, why not add some fun and flair to your tastings with these Summer Wine Tasting Themes. Bring your friends together to learn about Rosé, find a white you like, compare those bubbles, or find some delicious reds with these fun tastings.
Host your next creative wine event with some great wine tools and accessories to make sure that wine stays chilled, bubbly, flavorful or whatever it needs to do!