The summer months are the best time of year to be entertaining especially when you can be outdoors. Spice up your typical backyard barbeque by adding a few games to the agenda. This summer host a Wine Swap party for you and your friends. We have found that it’s the best way to share your go-to wine and discover new favorites from your crew. The best part about this event is it ends up being BYOB so when planning remember: the more the merrier! Follow these simple steps to plan and host your own at home wine tasting and bottle swap:
Step 1: Inviting Guests
When you send out invites for your party ask each guest to bring two bottles of wine which are exactly the same. You can choose to set guidelines like adding in a price limit or specifying red, white or sparkling. Guidelines aren’t necessary and sometimes it is more fun to leave open so you can see everyone’s truly favorite wine.
Step 2: Start the Party & the Tasting
When your guests arrive put one of their bottles to the side for the swap and open the other. With the open bottles you will host a tasting which can be as formal or as informal as you choose. To properly taste start with dry sparkling wine, then lighter, drier whites, progressing to heavier, sweeter whites, lighter reds, and finally, to heavy reds. Dessert wines should be tasted last.
You want everybody to rate and take notes on each wine. This will be important later during the swap when they are trying to choose which wine to pick or steal. Pour an ounce of each wine for your guests in clean glasses. They can swirl, sip and rate each wine before moving on to the next. To be very official put out a spittoon and encourage people to dump wine they don’t enjoy.
Step 3: The Swap
Write each guest’s name on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl or hat. Draw a name, and let that person choose a wine from the table of unopened bottles to take home. Draw the next name, and let that person either “steal” the first person’s wine, or choose a new bottle from the table. The third person can “steal” from either of the previous people or choose a new bottle, and so on until all the wine is gone.
Step 4: The Meal
At this point everyone has a bottle of wine to take home to enjoy and has successfully tasted each wine available, which means your guests are going to be hungry! We suggest prepping lots of appetizers that will be ready as soon as the tasting is over. For the best outdoor meals for party planning check out our list of recipes.