HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN WINE TASTING by Lisa Poolec
“Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.” – Ernest Hemingway
There is just something about holding a glass of wine in your hand. Sipping Champagne makes us feel festive and even stand up a little taller. Enjoying a glass of wine and nibbling on cheese seems not just civilized but sophisticated. Wine even has it’s own language that is not described as flowery but, in fact, sensual. “A big muscular style with mocha and cocoa notes embedded in fleshy, ripe fruit with well integrated acidity and a long, firm finish.” Oh yeah, give me a glass of that!
However, to many, wine is a mystery. Is all that swirling, sniffing and swishing REALLY necessary? Perhaps you have had this experience: you go to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner. Now what? You find yourself in the wine isle – the most puzzling corridor in the store. You look bewildered and after scanning the shelves for what seems hours, you just pick a bottle because you like the label, the price is right and you will hope for the best. This is one of those times when you wished you knew more about wine. And you can. Just host your own wine tasting.
Here is how it works: Tell your friends and family that you are going to host a private wine tasting in your home and that a Wine Specialist will be there to guide the tasting. The best part? Everyone goes “Dutch!” Of course, you can customize the event to suit your guest’s level of knowledge from beginner to advanced. Work with your Wine Specialist in selecting the wines to be served. Best to listen to your Specialist here. Remember the grocery store? For about $20.00 per person you can plan a unique experience that includes exploring five wines, light hors d’ oeuvres and provides an fun and enriching experience that will benefit you the rest of your life! You could even institute a monthly tasting and continue to grow in your knowledge and experience with wine. Maybe start with a class customized for beginners then move on to themed Tastings like Wine and Chocolate, Wine and Cheese, Wines of Georgia or the Wines of Italy! The possibilities are endless! With each Tasting your knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of wine will grow. You will learn tasting techniques, the grapes, the regions, the foods that pair! Before long you will be able to decode the label, order confidently at a restaurant and navigate that wine isle without intimidation.
Yes, there is something about wine. Other cultures have understood this for centuries. It stimulates our senses. It is pleasure. It is food. It is good for you! It is liquid, but it is also glue. Sharing a glass of wine enables people to connect in a very special way. It encourages us to linger over meals around the family table and enjoy conversation again in a much too hurried world. Let’s slow down and enjoy each other’s company over a glass of wine. Hugh Johnson said, “All wine’s associations are with occasions when people are at their best; with relaxation, contentment, leisurely meals and the free flow of ideas.” That sounds good to me. Here is my glass!
We are living in the Golden Age of wine. As never before, high quality wines are available at affordable prices from all over the world. You can travel the world through a glass. So, begin a wine journey of your own. You will be glad you did. Cheers!
Come back in August and read all about our wonderful North Georgia wines in my Tour of North Georgia’s best wineries. Please feel free to email me any questions about wines or any suggestions for future columns.
About the Author: Lisa Poole, Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and Owner of The Vine Intervention, lives in Cartersville, Georgia. She conducts wine tasting seminars, both private and corporate, in the metro Atlanta and North Georgia areas. You can visit her website at www.thevineintervention.net or contact her at email@example.com.