My husband and I love to throw parties, and we are no stranger to wine tastings. Here’s the tough part, though- how do you choose a selection of wines if you aren’t a wine connoisseur? Are you the type of person that stands in front of the wine section, pacing in front of the golden and ruby-hued bottles, finally grabbing the one with the fanciest-looking label and calling it a day? I am going to help you take the guesswork out of wine selection and give you some tips, recipes and party ideas to make your DIY wine tasting a success. I worked with a few wine suppliers to bring you multi-bottle specials for a compete wine tasting for under $100!
I think my most creative invitation to date was creating personalized mini wine labels that detailed the event, then I adhered them to mini bottles of wine. I then carefully packaged each one and shipped them to our guests. This takes a bit of effort and expense, but what a better way to set the scene for an amazing party than sending a sample in the mail?
You can easily create a label in Canva and affix it to a mini bottle of wine for your DIY wine tasting. Note- you can’t ship wine via USPS….I tried. Here is a sample label that would be a big hit with your guests!
Although pairing appetizers with specific wines might seem overwhelming, it is a lot easier than you might think. Many wines will say what they pair well with in their description, and you can usually find an appetizer that fits the bill. For example, Wine Insiders has a great deal on a Taste of California Premier Red 6-pack for less than $80 through this link. One of the wines, receive- Black Fox Cellars Cabernet- pairs well with savory steaks and burgers. Why not make gourmet sliders if you want something simple, or this recipe for Pepper-Crusted Steak with Horseradish Cream on Grilled Garlic Crostini? YUM!
In terms of an appetizer that pairs well with white, grab this impressive Wines Around the World Whites 12 Pack from Wine Insiders. It includes Fachada Sauvignon Blanc which pairs well with seafood. Since grilling season is just around the corner, make simple Quick Marinated Shrimp Kebabs that guests can eat while mingling.
When in doubt, bacon-wrapped anything is usually a crowd-pleaser!
You could go to the store and spend hours pondering the labels of dozens upon dozens of bottles of wine. Or you could make it easy and order your vino online. Totally up to you, but I prefer to to take the easy route. I work with a company called Maven, which has created a few great deals on wine for a limited time. They are hand-picked by people who actually know what they are talking about, so it takes the guesswork out for you. These aren’t wine clubs (although you can join the clubs if you wish, it isn’t required). Here are some of my top picks- it is basically a DIY wine tasting party in a box!
You can offer guests wines from California, Spain, Germany and Italy with this 6 pack of winter wines. I think it would be fun to offer region-specific appetizers to go with each wine! Maybe some bruschetta for Italy, sausage slices with spicy mustard for Germany, mini paellas for Spain and avocado toast for California.
Ok, time to invite ALL of your girlfriends over for this one! This selection works out to $6/bottle so it is the perfect selection for a party. Less than 5% of the wines they sample actually make the cut, so you know that they are as ultra-picky as you would be. Every bottle comes with a guarantee- love it, or they will do whatever they have to in order to make it right.
12 Award-Winning Wines
Want to pick your own wines? Barclays has a great selection of award-winning wines that they have selected, and you can choose your own dozen. From all red to mixed to even super premium selections, you have a wide range to choose from.
Whatever you chose, enjoy your party!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, but all opinions are honest and my own as always.