Tips from Food & Wine Experts on How to Host a Wine Tasting

Robert Mondavi said it well. Wine is not just a drink. “It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art.” If you are feeling inspired, tap into your inner artist and create an excuse to enjoy good wine, good food, and good company by hosting your own wine tasting.

You don’t need be a wine sommelier or owner of a four-star restaurant to host a wine tasting. You also don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to throw a fabulous wine tasting party.

As Epicurious writer Lauren Salkeld wrote, “With just a little planning and shopping, a wine tasting can be fun, easy, and affordable.”

Stephen Tanzer of Food & Wine recommends no more than eight tasters for a casual in-home wine tasting. Tanzer suggests lining up three or four glasses in front of each person to serve them in “flights.” For each taste, pour between one and two ounces of wine.

The best way to ensure your guests get the most out of the wine tasting is to organize it similar to the way you would a science experiment. As silly as that may sound, the idea is to keep all but one variable the same for each group of wines. For example, try to choose wines of the same variety and same year, but from different regions. This way you and your guests can enjoy picking up on subtle differences.

Here are some additional ideas and inspiration on how to organize and host your wine tasting party:

Show your guests the steps…

wine tasting party steps

Photo via With This Bling

Make it a mystery wine tasting …

mystery wine tasting party

Photo via CB2

Let your guests be the judge …

wine tasting score card

Photo via Things Festive

Pair the wine with gourmet sausage, cheese, and crackers…

Photo via Etsy

The most important thing to remember when hosting a wine tasting is to keep it light and fun! Make sure your guests can really enjoy themselves no matter how much they know or don’t know about wines.

Let Hickory Farms help you throw a fabulous in-home wine tasting party with our selection of gourmet sausage, cheese, crackers, wine gift baskets, and more! Don’t forget to share your favorite wine tasting party ideas on the Hickory Farms Face book page, too!


Wonderful Wedding Present Ideas

While traditional gifts like china or towels are an appropriate gift for a couple that’s about to tie the knot, why not try something a little different. We came up with a few fantastic ideas for unique wedding or engagement presents that are useful and fun. And with these gifts, you can rest assure that no one else will have the same gift as you.

You can’t go wrong with presenting the happy couple with a gourmet wine gift basket to celebrate their newly wed bliss! Imagine how delighted they will be to see a gift basket filled with a bottle of wine that’s been carefully paired with a selection of flavorful Summer Sausage, cheese, crackers, and nuts. It’s a perfect collection of goodies for a romantic picnic or a spur of the moment gathering with friends.


wedding gift ideas


Another great gift would be to pair a gourmet wine or food gift with a wine bucket or galvanized tub for chilling wine and other beverages. A bucket or tub can be personalized with the couple’s last name or initials to make it even more meaningful. Wine buckets or beverage tubs are an especially thoughtful gift for couple’s that like to entertain and dine in style.

hickory farm wine basket gifts

Photo via Etsy



Personalized cutting boards are also a fun and unique kitchen necessity to pair with a gourmet food wedding gift. To make it even more special, have the cutting board engraved with a quote, the couple’s names, or even their wedding date. Keep it simple with pretty script or get creative with a unique theme that suits the couple.

hickory farms

Photo via The Stationary Suite

hickory farms

Photo via Etsy



What are some of your favorite ideas for unique engagement or wedding presents? Or, what was one of your favorite gifts that you received at your own wedding or shower? Share with us in the comments section below.

Pair Wine Gift Baskets with DIY Personalized Wine Glasses

Wine is always a fine gift, but why not take it one step further? After all, it’s the thought that counts, right? We came across some fantastic ideas for DIY personalized wine glasses that would go perfectly with wine gift baskets from Hickory Farms.

Making your own personalized wine glasses is actually quite easy, too! All you need are wine glasses and some paint. Dip the bottom of each wine glass into the paint, and then place them upside down to dry. To prevent drips, use painter’s tape on the stem.

We love the idea of using chalkboard paint to make personalized wine glasses! This way you can write your own message or the names of the recipients’ right on the rim of the glasses. Don’t forget to include pieces of chalk with your gift so the recipients can have fun writing on them, too!

chalkboard wine glasses

Photo via Maryland Pink and Green

If you want your wine glasses to look a bit fancier, choose a metallic gold or silver paint instead of chalkboard paint. They’ll turn out beautiful and will look great in any kitchen.

DIY personalized wine glasses

Photo via TaylorMade

Here’s another spin on the chalkboard paint idea that we like just as well – Paint a small square (or the shape of your choice) on the glass. Then, you can monogram the glasses by writing the recipient’s initials in chalk. This would be the perfect gift for those that love monogrammed items. Plus, they’ll make for a pretty display in china cabinets.

personalized wine glass gifts

Photo via Decor & Dior

If you’re not great with paint, you can always just use glass markers to personalize your wine glasses. Purchase glass markers in a few colors, write on the glasses, and then include the markers in the gift. This way, your gift will keep on giving and the glasses can be personalized over and over again.

wine glass markers

Photo via Life Every Day

Of course, you won’t want to forget the wine, so recipients can enjoy their DIY personalized wine glasses right away! Hickory Farms has several great wine gift baskets to choose from, each with a perfectly paired selection of gourmet meat, cheese, nuts, or fruit.

Wine Gift Baskets from Hickory Farms

What’s your favorite way to personalize wine gifts? Leave a comment to share with us!