Tired of winter? I feel you. Try hosting a wine tasting party at home.
When New Yorkers have had enough of the cold weather, they have to take action. Some like to escape the city for sun and warmer weather. Some prefer to bundle up and head out for a wild night on the town. Others invite friends over for a cozy evening inside. Hosting friends is always fun for me, and it’s often enough to yank me from my winter slump, at least for an afternoon or evening. Last year, I organized a New York wine tasting party with bottles hailing from New York State. This year, Italian wines were the theme. Antipasto cleared our palates and was enough for a light meal. Here’s what we tasted.
We started off our Italian wine-tasting, sipping, and drinking fest with a bottle of Zonin Prosecco Cuvée 1821. This sparkling white is fresh and elegant – the ideal aperitif or celebratory wine. The four of us polished off the bottle in no time. To be honest, I think you could drink this wine at any time of day or night.
Rosso Dolce Castello Del Poggio Sweet Red ($13)
From there we went to the lightest bottle: Sweet Red. None of us are fans of sweet wines, so this one was our least favorite of the bunch. However, with its notes of apricot and peach, I think it would taste great in Sangria. We thought this bottle would be an excellent warm weather wine too – ideal for summer sips on an August day, and it would pair well with spicy dishes.
2016 Le Focaie DOC ($14.99)
Next up was the unbelievably bright wine from Maremma, Tuscany. We loved the soft finish on this bottle. The 100% Sangiovese is fruit-forward and boasts a beautiful ruby color. Le Focaie DOC may have been our favorite of the three dry reds. It’s smooth enough to pair with just about anything, so serve it every day. But this wine is especially good with grilled red meat and aged cheese. Due to the soft finish, it’s a beautiful wine with rich pasta dishes too.
2013 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($19)
Who doesn’t appreciate a good Chianti? One of the most popular Italian reds, Chianti is incredibly drinkable. This juicy, medium-bodied wine features berry aromas, mild tannins, and a touch of earthiness. Pair it with chicken or pork. Or, since it’s an easy-drinking wine, quaff on a Sunday afternoon before dinner.
2015 Fattoria Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano ($18.99)
I adore this blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Alicante, and 5% Malvasia Nera. It’s juicy, fruit-forward, and smooth. You’ll taste cherry, plum, and a touch of spice. This wine paired well with our charcuterie, but drink it with beef, lamb, veal, and poultry as well. It’s a terrific food wine for sure!
Have you hosted a wine tasting party at home before? It’s super easy and can be as casual as you like. I recommend sticking with a theme, such as Italian reds, or California whites. You could also taste all one variety, such as pinot noirs or chardonnays. You decide. Invite friends or a group of coworkers and sip away.
Wine and food will always be the greatest way to bring people together, whether they’re BFFs or total strangers. And no need to worry if you don’t know much about wine. The more you taste, the more you learn.
Organize a wine tasting party at home, and I can promise – you’ll have a terrific time. 🙂
Thanks to Colangelo & Partners for sponsoring a portion of our wine tasting party.
And if you’d like to know more about hosting a wine tasting party at home, read this post.
Plus, I had a Valentine’s Day/pre-Oscar party a few years back and it was a blast.