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Where There's a Wine There's a Way - Wine Tasting Party (15 photos)

 
 

Super decadent chocolate and salted caramel and pretzel shortbread bars

 
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I know people who have bought big fancy kits for this, or pulled out all the stops and had super elaborate wine tasting parties - but I didn't have time for that. I just wanted a fun, easy to throw together, casual wine tasting.

We asked all our guests to bring a wine. In hindsight, I would have done all white or all red, but we did mixed and it worked out fine. When guests arrive, I just grabbed the bottle of wine and took it to the kitchen. Once everyone arrived, I lined the wines up in an order loosely resembling lightest to darkest/boldest - just like in a winery. Start with whites, then lighter reds, then more bold reds, then any sweet wines, etc. If you have all whites or all reds this doesn't matter as much.

I wrapped each bottle in a brown paper lunch sack and tied on these sweet, rustic/glam gift tags with gold detail that I found on sale after Christmas. We were going for a casual, rustic theme with some glam touches, so there was lots of brown craft paper and wood, with a bit of metalics and mercury glass.

For the tasting, I poured everyone a (small) glass of bottle #1, followed by bottle #2, etc. Guests took notes on little DIY score cards (I just did 4 per 8.5x11 piece of paper, printed them on cardstock and cut them out) and we awarded a winner at the end. We gave the first place winner a wine aerator, and a bottle opener for second place.

Of course, no wine tasting is complete without snacks! We had cheese with the whites and chocolate with the reds. I did a simple cheese platter, sharp cheddar cheese straws and thyme and gruyere gougeres followed by a super decadent dark chocolate, salted dulce de leche and pretzel shortbread tart (recipes at madebylynsey.com). Trust me - definitely make this tart. I often make it in a sheet pan and cut it up into squares, which we've affectionately renamed Crack Bars.


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