Tag Archive for Winefest

Winefest Recap

Well THAT was a fun night!! I think the consensus is that Winefest was the biggest hit of all the “fests” to date! Everyone hit a home run with the food this time! In the coming week, I will be sharing the recipes for Drunken Cheesy Bread, Amazing Chicken in Garlic White Wine Sauce, Chocolate Red Wine Cake….just to name a few! There was such a great mix of food and no one went hungry. 

The wine tasting was great fun! We had 2 bottles of white wine (a chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc), 9 bottles of red (red blends, pinot noir, cab, zinfandel and merlots) and a pinot beer to try. The prices ranged from $8-$20. The tasters were really getting into it.

Of course, comments were made that the “dump bucket” was my big Alabama pitcher…but that’s neither here nor there.

When the tasters were done filling out their tasting cards, they put them in a holder so we could see which wines won the tasting.

Wine Tasting

As it turns out, this crowd is not much into white wine. Both whites came in pretty low in the overall taste test. The reds, however, were all over the map. All of the wines were rated high and low by the guests. It goes to show you that the taste of wine truly is a personal thing! 


How to host a Wine Tasting

Wine TastingWinefest is tonight!!! Hosting a wine tasting party isn’t the same as hosting other types of parties. There’s a little more planning that goes into it. Here are a couple of key tips and ideas to host a successful wine tasting party. 


8 tips to hosting a successful wine tasting

1. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Have your guests pitch in! We are having everyone bring a dish made with wine. We also asked for everyone who wants to participate in the wine tasting to bring a bottle to share. Oh yes…and Dominos for the kids!

2. Have food specific for the tasting. We are setting up our wine tasting in the bar in our basement. You always hear about “cleansing the palate” when you are tasting different wines so we have bread, cheese and fruit to help with this. We are not offering any of those tasteless crackers!

3. Use glasses not plastic. If you are going to have a wine tasting, you really have to use glass! You cannot properly taste wine in a solo cup, really! With this many people, you probably don’t have enough of the proper shape for each varietal in a cut crystal glass, but glass is still key. Just try to use the ‘generic’ shape glass.

4. Dump buckets and water. It’s important to have a dump bucket so guests can dump any wine that they don’t want to finish drinking. You also want to have some pitchers of water so guests can rinse their glass between tastings if they want. However, if tasting in the same varietal, it’s best to have remnants of the previous wine than water anyway. 

5. Have a tasting sheet. The goal of a wine tasting isn’t to get drunk off of lots of different kinds of wine. It’s to try new wines that you wouldn’t normally have the chance to taste and see what you like! We have a sheet for guests to rate the wines on aroma (bouquet, nose), flavor & texture, finish, and appearance (color, legs, etc.). It will be fun to see which wines come out the winner!

6. The blind taste test. There are different ways to have a wine tasting. We have decided to do a blind taste test so each bottle will be wrapped in foil with a number on it. The guests will be given an index card to write down the description of the wine they brought on one side. That will be what the guests see when tasting the wine. On the other side of the card, it will be the name, vintage, year and price of the wine. We don’t want people to see the type of wine they are drinking or the price point until they have decided whether or not they like it!

7. Beverages. It might be a hard concept to grasp, but not everyone likes wine. You should have other options for the guests who don’t like wine or don’t drink alcohol. You also need water. Lots of water!!!

8. Have fun.  As with any party you host, have fun!! You are entitled to it as much as your guests are. For more ideas of planning a party, make sure you visit the Entertaining with Ease section of our website.

Valentines Day Card from Tiny Prints


Wine Tasting

For those of you have been following us since the summer, you will know that we kicked off our “Fests” with Baconfest in July. We followed that up with Beerfest in October and then Bourbonfest in December. As the one year anniversary of McNacks approaches this weekend, it only makes sense to celebrate with Winefest. 

We have asked that each person/couple attending bring a dish that is in some way made with wine. The wine can be in a sauce, marinade, white, red, port….anything! Anyone who wants to participate in the actual tasting is to bring a bottle of wine in a bag so the label is hidden. They will be writing down their wine, vintage, year, description and price on a card so people can know what types of wine they enjoyed and what they would go out and buy on their own. 

For the tasting, each bottle will have a number one it. We will separate the whites from the reds. Each guest will be given their own tasting sheet with the an area to make notes about appearance, aroma, flavor. We will have everyone vote for their favorite white and red. It will be interesting to see if the more expensive wines are actually the favorites!

As always, recipes to follow! Cheers!