Limit your tasting to five or six different wines; a sparkling sweet, two whites, and two or three reds. One bottle will give you ten 2oz pours.
You will read almost everywhere, to move from the lightest whites to the heaviest reds. So start with the sparkling wine, then move towards the darker heavier wines.
Take your time between pours. Six bottles with five to ten minutes between pours is a perfect amount of time to taste and discuss.
Tasting tips to share with your guests:
• See Hold your glass by the stem at a 45-degree angle so it catches the light. It’s really about appreciating what you’re going to sip.
• Swirl Hold the base of the stem between your first two fingers and move it around (slowly!) in a small, circular motion to aerate the wine and unlock its aromas.
• Smell Stick your nose way into the glass (no, it won’t get stuck) and deeply inhale. This ritual triggers your taste buds.
• Sip Take a nice-sized sip and let the wine touch all parts of your mouth, rolling over your tongue and hitting the sides to really get the flavor.
Tongue-tied? These terms will help you describe what you’re tasting.
• acidic The tart (or over-the-top sour) quality that wine gives off naturally.
• tannic Tannins create a dry, puckery, astringent sensation in your mouth.
• body A full-bodied wine feels heavy (the way whole milk feels thicker than skim).
• dry A wine is called dry if it’s not sweet. Most table wines are considered dry.