How to Run a Wine tasting

Wine Tastings can be a lot of fun, interesting and don’t need to be snooty or complicated. We’ve put some ideas together to inspire you, just in case you fancy giving this a go!

How to Run a Wine tasting


Opt for a well lit room so you can see what you’re tasting.

Sitting round a table is the easiest option; it’s a good idea to have two or three wine glasses (for comparing wines) and a water glass.

Hold the candles until afterwards and minimise cooking smells too, you want to be able to smell the wine.


How to Run a Wine tasting



A couple of corkscrews

Two or three wine glasses. Ideally tulip shaped to prevent wine spillage when you’re all swirling!

Lots of water and water glasses.

A spitoon or similar vessel for getting rid of excess wine.

Breadsticks and water crackers to refresh the palate between wines.



Pouring Portions

If you are tasting more than 6 bottles of wine, it’s probably best to stick to 50ml serves. This means you’ll get 15 pours out of a standard 750ml bottle. (If you taste 8 wines, this means your guests will consume over a half a bottle of wine each.) If you’re only trying 6 wines you may want to be more generous and get 12 pours out of the bottle. Encourage your guests to drink lots of water too.

Themes for a Tasting

The wine world is your oyster!

How to Run a Wine tasting
Old versus New

If you’re new to tasting a good place to start is by picking a grape and tasting it from a range of countries. A classic comparison is ‘Old World’, ie France, Spain, Italy, Germany versus ‘New World’ U.S.A, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand etc. You might want to pick some of the following grape varietals- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling and for red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz and Pinot Noir.

A single country or region

If you’re a Francophile, a lover of Spain or Australia floats your boat you can theme your night around trying different wines from your chosen country or region within that country. The food you offer can be based on this too.

A path less trodden

How about discovering wines from less well known countries Georgia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Slovenia and Hungary to name but a few. Consider the UK too! You may also want to contemplate trying natural, orange and pet nat wines.

Red, white or fizz?

If you know your guests well you might choose to serve only red or white wine or just sparkling. A sparkling wine tasting alone can cover lots of different styles and countries!

Review the reviews

This is a good theme for groups that do a lot of wine tasting. Buy a wine magazine, such as Decanter, (or look for wine reviews online) buy some of the wines that have been reviewed and see how your conclusions compare.

We hope this gives you some ideas, Google is also a rich resource for wine tasting themes. Above all, remember there are no ‘wrong’ answers- just have fun!

Best regards and happy tasting from Fizz HQ