Introduction

Create Zones for Good Flow

The key to maintaining a natural flow at parties that feature wine is to break the event space into zones. High-top tables placed around the perimeter are ideal for displaying wine pairings. Low-slung club chairs paired with coffee tables allow for easy casual conversation over cocktails, cider or brew. Standard-height circular tables paired with Chiavari chairs create a lounge area with versatility that accommodates drinks and/or plates of small finger foods.

Step 1

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Setting It Up

Since wine pairings use primers, such as cinnamon or vanilla, to enhance features of the palate, be sure to identify each wine with easy-to-read signage and also display primers in ramekins and dishes. To add a designer touch to the table, create floral arrangements inspired by colors and textures found in vineyards, such as deep purples and cork.

Step 2

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Chalkboard Signs

Add a custom touch to your tasting tables with conversation-bubble chalkboards. Trace a conversation bubble shape to 1/4” luan using a pencil. Cut the traced shape out with a jigsaw, sand the edges with a sanding block, then apply two coats of black chalkboard paint. To create a stand, pick up a dowel and corresponding wooden disc base from the craft store, then secure the thought bubble chalkboard to the top portion of the dowel using hot glue. Use chalk to identify the featured wine as well as the accompanying primers.

Step 3

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Don't Forget the Flowers

Bring rustic, vineyard-inspired charm to your wine tasting with floral arrangements reminiscent of wild blooms found in vineyards and on farms. Ditch standard glass vases and use rustic wooden vessels instead. For a variety of colors, shapes and textures, mix Merlot-toned hydrangea with leafy greens, grasses, wildflowers and small bunches of grapes.

Step 4

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Primers

Professional chefs and food stylists use classic, clean white plates for proper presentation of their culinary creations. White ramekins are the best choice for displaying primers, which are small bites and flavors used to bring out the flavor of a particular wine. When contrasted with white, true colors and textures of foods show up more clearly.

Step 5

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Wine Storage

Wall-mounted wine bottle racks are a great way to work a wine tasting into your decor. This also offers a way for the wine bottles meant for the party to double as art until opened, or for empty bottles to be put on display once used.

Step 6

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Be Sure to Use the Proper Stemware

Cabernet glasses have deeper bowls than other stemmed wineglasses. This extra depth allows the wine to breathe, enhancing the nature of its flavor.

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Practical Design

Stemless wineglasses are ideal for parties, and there's good reason their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. The lack of stem makes them less likely to tip over when people are crowded around tables and countertops. Also, they’re easier to hold onto while standing and talking, as the bottom of the glass nestles securely in the palm of the hand.

Step 8

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White Wine Glass

White wine glasses have narrower openings along the top than other glasses. Since white wine is served chilled, it’s also recommended to hold the glass near the bottom of the stem to avoid heating up both the glass itself and the wine.

Step 9

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Aperitif Glass

Aperitif glasses are made for dessert wines such as Ports and sherry. Since Ports and dessert wines are served in small quantities, the glasses are small in stature. The small yet proportionate stems are perfect for sipping.

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Rustic Chic

Add an extra layer of elegance to high-top tables with table skirt tie-backs. These can be made from just about anything including ribbon, rope, twine or fabric. Here, natural-toned burlap enhances the organic aesthetic of the wine tasting.

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Tall Tables

One of the most-important factors to a successful wine tasting is creating proper flow. By setting up wine-pairing stations along the perimeter of your space, you'll designate the stations as an area for sampling and quick chats, and free up the center for longer-term mingling. To ensure guests at each table don’t crowd into one another, keep at least three feet of space between each table.

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Primers for Sauvignon Blanc

Regarded for its light and subtly tropical taste, Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice for white wine. Three excellent primers to enhance its layers of flavor include grapefruit, melon and lime.

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Primers for Cabernet Sauvignon

The flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon (made from what many sommeliers consider to be the most-famous red wine grape) are best enhanced when paired with dark chocolate, blackberries and cinnamon.

Step 14

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Primers for Pinot Noir

When presenting Pinot Noir at a wine tasting, experts consider apple, vanilla and nutmeg to be the perfect primers.

Step 15

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Save the Corks

Wine tastings create a good amount of waste, primarily by way of discarded wine bottles and corks. Designate a vessel to collect used corks, a material which can be used for clever craft projects.

Step 16

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Wine Bottle Light Fixture

Add wine-inspired ambiance to your wine tasting with a wine bottle chandelier or pendant light. These can be made with discarded wine bottles, a wine bottle cutter and basic lumber as well as chain and pendant kits. Many manufacturers offer them in different shapes and sizes, both for hard-wired applications and for plug-in use.