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Hosting Tips

Inviting Guests

  • Invite your guests at least 2-3 weeks prior to the tasting. Request RSVPs and set a deadline
  • 'M' suggests using an electronic invitation to let your guests know about the event
  • Advise guests that they will be attending a guided tasting by a Certified Specialist of Wine and to arrive on time so guests can taste the wines together
  • Do not worry if you have fewer RSVPs than anticipated. 'M' enjoys conducting tastings for an intimate group



  • A typical tasting last two hours
  • Start your event 30 minutes in advance of the tasting getting underway to allow for guest arrival and mingling
  • Welcome guests with a "refresher" beverage (sparkling water or something a little more festive, such as bubbly)


Foods to Serve

  • Keep your foods light and easy!
  • Cheeses 3-4 varieties
  • Mild: Brie, Camembert, or Jack
  • Medium: Chevre, Gruyere, Gouda
  • Strong: Aged Cheddar, Stilton or Parmesan
  • Crackers and Baguettes
  • Fresh Fruit: Apples, Pears, Strawberries
  • Dried Fruit: Apricots, Craisins
  • Nuts: Almonds, Cashews
  • Palate cleansers, along with ample water, keep the taste buds neutral and awake!


How Much Wine?

'M' does not buy or sell wine. The wine is purchased by the host or 'M' will buy the wine on the host's behalf with the preferred method of payment.

The number of bottles to purchase depends on how many people are invited and how many wines you wish to sample. A typical tasting is 5 to 6 assorted "pours" per person. Which means you will need a minimum of 5 to 6 bottles of wine.

1 bottle of wine equals 750 ml (about 25 oz.)
or 12 generous 2 oz. tastes
or 5 standard 150 ml (5 oz.) glasses of wine

Hosting an event at a public venue that does not have a license to sell alcohol may require the host or caterer to obtain an event permit from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Dos and Don'ts

  • Wine is a sensory pleasure so let guests know to avoid use of perfume or aftershave
  • Don't smoke – smoking before or during a tasting will affect the taste of the wines
  • Advise guests to be receptive to wines that they think they may not like - through tasting, they may discover the opposite
  • Make the setup as comfortable as possible with options to sit or stand, adequate light so people can see what's in the glass, and keep "other" distractions to a minimum