How to Host a Wine Tasting Party
Ever since I had heard about a Tidal Bay wine tasting party on the Magic Winery Bus I knew I had to have one. Any excuse for a party.
So, for my birthday this year, my friend offered to host our very own Tidal Bay Wine Tasting Party!
What is Tidal Bay?
Every wine region hopes to have wines that stand out and get recognized for defining what they do best. In Nova Scotia, our wines have consistently been known for their fresh, crisp and bright style. With this in mind, Nova Scotia winery owners and winemakers decided to develop a signature wine that revealed these characteristics, and so began Tidal Bay. A wine with unique character, Tidal Bay brilliantly reflects the terroir, coastal breezes and cooler climate of its birthplace.
To obtain the Tidal Bay designation, all wines must be made from specific grape varieties, include 100% Nova Scotia grown grapes, follow a strict set of standards and be approved every year by an independent blind tasting pane.
So, a Tidal Bay wine is purely Nova Scotian white wine!
Before the Party
I spoke with a gentleman in the area who I know had hosted several Tidal Bay tasting parties in the past, and got a lot of wisdom from him.
Being very Type A, and very into party planning, I knew I could go overboard with the details and the rules, so we tried to keep it fairly low-key and more fun than a scientific authentic comparison!
To manage the party, I used Evite. (This is not an affiliate link. I just love how this free site keeps track of everything, including what guests are to bring.)
I created a list of all the Tidal Bays I could find, and asked each guest to sign up to bring one of the wines.
Avondale Sky Tidal Bay
Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay
Blomidon Estate Tidal Bay
Domaine de Grand Pre Tidal Bay
Gaspereau Vinyard Tidal Bay
Jost Tidal Bay
Lightfoot & Wolfville Tidal Bay
Luckett Vinyard Tidal Bay
Mercator Tidal Bay
Planters Ridge Tidal Bay
Saint Famille Tidal Bay
Annapolis Highland Vineyards
Petite Riviere Vineyards
Then, I made up a tasting/score sheet based on some ideas I found on Pinterest.
We borrowed wine glasses from a local organization, and bought a few packs of plastic wine cups, so we wouldn’t have to wash dishes in between so much!
Before the party, we put a coloured dot on the base of each cup. Enough for one per guest. We broke into the kids’ stickers and used some of those, too, so we would have enough different colours and styles!
Then, we laid the glasses out in rows, according to their stickers.
Now, we are ready for the party!
Judging and Tasting the Wines
One of the women poured the wine into the glasses, covering the bottle with a tea towel, so it would be a blind taste.
With our tasting charts in hand, we started with the first row of cups. We removed the sticker from the base of the glass and put it in our chart. Then, we gave each wine a score out of 5.
At the very end of the evening, she brought the wines out, and we compared notes, and learned which ones were our favourites.
As we didn’t really do this scientifically, and after testing 11 bottles of wine, it was kind of hard to judge, but we had a lot of fun trying and comparing notes! So, I won’t write down our favourites!
However, it was interesting to note that all the red wine drinkers in the room had a completely different opinion than the white wine drinkers!
We’ve already decided that our next party will be all about red wine! We will pick a type of red wine and then everyone will be assigned a country.
Other possibilities we came up with are cider, craft beer and sparkling wines.
The possibilities are endless!
If you host this type of party, please drink responsibly. We were lucky to have several of the husbands offer to be Cabbies on the night, shuffling their happy wives to and fro from the party!
This was such a fun night, and the perfect way to celebrate my birthday! Can’t wait for the next theme!