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Keeping It Social

A Sister's Guide to Hosting a Wine Tasting Without the Fuss

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Spend Simply

Be realistic about how much you would like to spend on your gathering up front. You don't need to spend a lot to create a memorable event. Plan on pouring ½ a bottle per guest to taste. If you have 6 guests, plan for three bottles. If you have 12 guests, plan for 6 bottles.

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Choose your wines wisely

Keep it really easy by sticking with at least three varietals, but no more than six. That way you can avoid overwhelming your guest's palates. Pick a selection that is unique and features a common connection or theme, for example wines selected from a certain region, vintage, appellation, country etc.

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Decide your Décor

You don't have to break the bank to set a tasteful scene. Try choosing minimalistic or rustic décor. What is growing in your garden? Grab elements from your yard or something you already have on hand to decorate your table and space.

Strawberry Sage Bruschetta

Food that's easy as pie

Keep the food filling and effortless. A simple plate of wine-friendly finger foods is always simple and inexpensive, try selecting a variety of the foods below to create a quick spread:

Chocolate (try a selection of dark, milk and flavored)
Almonds, cashews or pistachios. (Unflavored, salted and roasted versions are best)
Dried cherries, blueberries or apricots
Olives
Crackers
1 block sharp cheddar cheese
1 wedge mild soft cheese like Humbolt Fog
Salami or Prosciutto

Other ideas for great, simple finger foods that marry well with wine are:

Buttered Popcorn
Pairs well with sparkling wines, chardonnay or even Pinot Noir.

Bacon wrapped dates
Inexpensive to make and oh so satisfying! Check out our Pinterest for some great recipes.

Bruschetta
This delicious Italian delight can often be made with whatever is in season, saving you money and serving up some seriously scrumptious flavor. This dish often pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Sparkling or Rosé.

Try our recipe for strawberry sage bruschetta below:

Serves 6 people

Ingredients

5-7 Fresh sage leaves (basil or cilantro also work)
2 pints ripe strawberries
1 French baguette
Olive oil
Mild goat cheese or ricotta
Optional: Balsamic Glaze (you can make this by reducing balsamic vinegar to a syrup.  Trader Joe's also makes a delicious ready-made version)

Directions

  1. Chop the sage into strips
  2. Slice the strawberries
  3. Slice the baguette into ½ inch slices and drizzle with olive oil
  4. Place the baguette slices on a hot griddle or the barbecue and heat the slices for a couple of minutes on each side until toasted light brown. You can also toast them in the oven, but be careful not to burn them!
  5. Combine the basil and strawberries in a bowl, toss with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  6. Spread tomatoes and basil on top of the baguette slices
  7. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if you choose
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Set the scene

Lay out the wine in the order they should be tasted.  The easiest rule of thumb is to pour wines from the lightest to the heaviest. Not sure? Our tasting kits make this a snap!

Tasting Starter Kits »

Now you are ready to share some social sips with your Social Sisters. Remember, social sips create long lasting relationships! Share your next wine tasting with us: