Wine Night with Friends
There’s only one way to really understand different types of wine, and that’s to compare a handful of the same style at the same time. Like books, wine is enjoyable to consume alone, but the most interesting ones are those you want to discuss and share with others. It’s more fun when there are lots of you (between five and ten is a good number). And since other people are choosing too, you’re bound to sample a few things that you’ve never tried before.
Here’s how it works.
1. Take turns in choosing a theme for your Wine Club Night.
2. Everyone brings a bottle according to the theme.
3. Everyone does a little research on the bottle they’re bringing. Winemakers, grape varieties, region, whatever; the story behind the wine.
4. The person who chose the theme starts by presenting their bottle and pouring everyone a sample.
5. You talk about the wine: who likes it, who doesn’t, and why. Then move on to the next person.
6. At the end, everyone chooses their Wine Of The Night.
Either way, if the conversation strays during the allotted tasting period (it needn’t last the whole evening), it’s up to the person who chose the theme to enforce the First Rule of Wine Club. It is: you must talk about wine at Wine Club.
Here are some ideas for themes.
- Regions: Rioja, Chablis, Napa Valley, Chianti…
- Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Furmint…
- Producers: Guigal, Torres, Concha y Toro, Catena…
- Food matches: wines for roast chicken, spaghetti bolognaise, fish pie… (the host could provide the food)
- Or summer wines; best value; sherry; award winners; low alcohol; high alcohol; dry rosé; the list is endless.
When it comes to topics of conversation anything goes, but here are a few to start with. What does it taste like? What do you like about it? Is there anything you don’t like about it? Is it what you expected? Is it fairly priced? If it’s an award winner, is it worthy? How does it compare to the other wines? Is it better or worse? Why? But don’t worry too much – there’s no expert breathing down your neck and wine tends to put people in a conversational mood anyway. It will get a bit louder than book club, and there will probably be more laughs.