A fun idea I stole from my friend Zel who stole it from another friend is a Wine Tasting Party. Simple and fun!
First: Choose a Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is always a favorite)
Second: Set a Price Cap ($15 per bottle of wine)
Third: Invite Some friends (each will bring two bottles of wine)
Fourth: Get some brown paper wine bottle bags (your grocery store will give them to you)
Fifth: Appetizers, palette cleansers, water, etc
Every month we are trying to host at one of our houses. As guests arrive, the wine is taken to a secret location (shhhh). Then one bottle from each person is logged with an assigned number. The wine is then bagged and taped or rubber banded and the number written on the bag. You can get fancier with your bags, if you like. I like the brown bag irony when drinking wine at a wine party.
The wine is brought out and everyone takes a tasting of all wine. You can have pre-printed sheets with a rating system you create. Or, if you are me, I just handed out notepads and pens. 1st, 2nd and Last were selected. Parties differ in size which can contribute to determining the method of voting. I went easy, because I had around 16 people. Most of the time the party is around 6-10 people.
As people take tastes, they note the rating or their favorites. The fun of this party is that this can take a couple hours of mingling and tasting. When everyone is completed with their tasting, the score cards are collected. These score cards determine:
1st Place: Takes the majority of the second bottles home that they select first.
2nd Place: Takes a few bottles that are leftover.
Last Place: Takes their own bottle of wine home.
A great time is had and it is truly amazing how different everyone's palette really is as some enjoy bold while others enjoy mild. I like to serve cucumber sandwiches, chocolates, oyster crackers, goldfish, and meat/cheese trays.
Make sure your guests are truly aware of the wine selection. I selected Syrah and people showed up with Shiraz. No need to panic, disclose the information and have a good time!
"In Vino Veritas!" ~~> "There is Truth in Wine!"