Brews, Bites & Bottles

How to: Poor Girl’s Wine Tasting

Bites, Bottles, Wine, PartyNatalie Wright

When you’re a girl on a budget, hosting a wine tasting can be a great way to have some fun without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

I recently did a wine tasting at our apartment for my mom’s birthday. There were only four of us, so I didn’t need to go (too) crazy with the supplies. I love party planning so it’s easy for me to get carried away. Here are 5 tips I found to be helpful throughout the process.

1. Use what you’ve got. Too often, I overindulge in things I don’t need. There’s a time and place to do so, but this isn’t it. My basic white plates were a tad boring and I had to make it work with the serving dishes we had, but no one batted an eye. We were all focused on the wine.

2. Shop the right food & beverage stores. Aldi and Total Wine were my saviors for this soiree. There’s nothing better than affordable products that people think cost way more than you paid for. 

An array of snacks were included in this get together. My mom is gluten and diary free, so I tried to incorporate items we all could enjoy (there’s nothing I love more than cheese, so I had to get that purely for my own selfish benefit).

I also purchased a variety of wine - two whites, one light red, and two true reds. I arranged them from lightest to heaviest. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph all 5 of the wines we had (too busy drinking them, duh!), but we certainly found our favorites.

3. Add special touches. I created quick tasting sheets through a design program so that we could take notes on which wines we liked and used colored pencils to document - I thought the color from the pencils made it a little more festive.

4. Prepare ahead of time. Although I had never had the wine before, I did my research and came up with a little description written on a notecard to read prior to tasting the wine. I included the origin of the wine, flavor notes and pairing recommendations.

5. Enjoy. There’s nothing worse than hosting a party and not having any fun because you’re too busy working. Be sure to sit back, relax, and enjoy the community and conversation. That is what will make the event memorable and worthwhile.

Needless to say, this was a success. I think my mom will request this for all of her birthdays moving forward.