Will and I had a party nearly six years ago that we considered our favorite party ever. We had everyone bring a bottle of wine and we did a blind wine tasting. It was low overhead and a lot of fun. We kept saying we’d host the party again, but neither of us imagined it would be 5 years until we finally got around to it again.
The party this time around was another success! I kept the appetizers to my most basic prepare-ahead variety so the setup was minimal and stress free as well.
We held the party on a Saturday night starting at 7:30pm (just after Julius retires for the night). We sent evites out for the party 2 weeks in advance and included the text below.
Let’s get fancy and have some wine & apps! We’ll do a blind tasting. This is how it will work:
- We’ll make a list of the wines that everyone brought
- We’ll put each bottle of wine in a paper bag
- We’ll number each paper bag
- Everyone will taste each wine, and guess which wine on the list they think it matches. Then we’ll see who got the most correct!
If you’re going to join us, please bring a bottle of wine (one per couple). If you know what wine you’re going to bring ahead of time – let us know in the comments so we don’t end up with all the same type! We’ll also give prizes away for the crowd favorite wines!
- Obtain brown paper bottle bags (we collected these from our local liquor store) 1 per bottle of wine you expect
- 1 oz pourers (1 per bottle of wine you expect – these will allow everyone to have a taste from each bottle without accidental overpours!)
- Permanent marker
- Tasting Sheet & pen (one per person)
- 1 copy of the wine list
- Wine glasses (one per person)
- Wine charms/markers etc
- Cocktail napkins and plates
- An assortment of red and white wines of different varietals to have on hand in case every guest brings the same type of wine
- Silly prizes for the winners (or just bottles of wine from the bullet above if you prefer)
(GF = gluten free, V = vegetarian)
- Assortment of cheeses 1-2 oz per person (GF, V)
- Charcuterie assortment 1-2 oz per person
- Assortment of crackers and thin sliced baguettes (don’t forget to include a seperate plate for gluten free if you have friends with gluten allergies) (GF, V)
- Chili corn custard squares (V) with Frontera chipotle salsa
- Red pepper jelly over Cream cheese – (this is exactly what it sounds like, spread cream cheese on a platter, top with red pepper jelly) (GF, V)
- Olives (GF, V)
- Caprese Salad (tomato slices topped with mozzarella slices, then sprinkled with basil chiffonade and drizzled with olive oil) (GF, V)
- Crudites and hummus (GF, V)
- Flourless chocolate cake (GF, V) (I used this recipe in its entirety, but wish I had used my go-to ganache from Julia Child instead)
The morning of make the flourless chocolate cake
2 hours before the party: make the chili corn custard squares then let cool at room temperature. While cooling, make ganache for flourless chocolate cake and frost cake.
1 hour before the party: set out wine glasses and wine markers in one area with pens and tasting sheets, cocktail napkins and plates in another (next to appetizer station). Place wine pourers, paper bags and a marker in the area reserved for wine, along with the wine list print out. Slice tomatoes for the caprese salad. Chop & plate crudites and refrigerate
15 minutes before guests arrive: Assemble caprese salad and chili corn custard squares.
As guests arrive: Put out appetizers. Instruct guests to register their bottle of wine on the “wine list” then remove the cork, insert a 1 oz pour and place in a paper bag.
When all guests have arrived, shuffle the wine bottles around and label them with numbers from 1 to x (where x is the number of bottles of wine) using the marker. Inform guests they are to write down their wine guess (using the “wine list” guests filled out upon entry) for each numbered wine bottle next to each corresponding number on the Wine Tasting sheet. Guests can also include their own notes and their own rating for how much they liked the wine.
At the end of the night, after everyone has added their guess for each wine bottle, remove the bottle from each bag to reveal the wine. Guests will tally up the number of guesses they got right and prizes are awarded for the best guessers. Finally, via a show of hands, have guests indicate which wine was their favorite. Prizes are also awarded for favorite wines.