Wow- no lie, this was absolutely one of the best ladie's nights I've ever had. Probably one of my favorite "dinner parties" ever. For sure in the top 5.
It was awesome. 12 ladies- and 5 hours of sampling wine, eating great food, and talking and talking and talking. We all stayed up late past our bedtimes, and the time flew by. I had no idea it was so late when we closed up shop. Five hours of eating, talking, laughing, even crying a couple of times, together at a table. Isn't that exactly how women have a good time??
If you're going to host a tasting of your own, I have a few tips.
1. Rustic, basic, natural foods are a great companion for wine- especially if you want them to shine as you compare the different varieties. We had sourdough cheese twists, water crackers, great bread with dipping olive oil and balsamic vinegar, brie, sharp cheddar (with a natural honey drizzle), gouda, and sausage. Also marinated olives, several kinds of chocolate, natural almonds, dried figs and apricots, and bosc pears. Not only are these simple and tasty, but you don't have to cook anything.
2. The point of a tasting is to sample many kinds of wine, pairing them with sweet, savory, basic foods. So, for each passing of a new bottle of wine, everyone takes about 1/2 inch of wine in their glass- it's about savoring the flavors. As you sample, travel from the lightest, to the darkest and richest (white to red). We also had glasses for ice water, flutes for sparkling cider, and also tea and coffee. I love any reason to break out the silver, and the china, and all kinds of pretty glasses.
3. Get a glass marker. You can write on any glass surface, it dries instantly, and then you can use and use your glass and the label stays clear for everyone- no worries about setting down your glass, and never finding it again. It's especially good when you're using a few different kinds of glasses. When it's all over, it comes right off with hot, soapy water.
4. We wrote down the names of the wine, if we wanted, and took notes on what we thought. I also photographed most of the bottles...I think I missed a few. No other way could you sample, compare and contrast so many wonderful wines at one time, for so little cost. So fun.