In everyday life we rarely have time to meet friends, family and even less to meet interesting new people. It is proved that winter is the most appropriate period to invite friends for a visit and to turn the ordinary dinner in something a little bit more interesting, educating and of course concerning the wine. The wine tasting with friends can create interesting discussions or to awake memories from passed wine tours, visited wineries or tasted wines. It can also help you plan your next wine experience TOGETHER during the summer time.

The traditional pairing of wine with food is exhausting and requiring for the host and he will always be outsider. You can create your set of cheeses, dried fruits, appetizers and different types of bread, which would best accompany your wine tasting, create a theme and ask your guests to bring a bottle or maybe two. In time, you will be convinced that this type of events will happen more often and the number of the invitees will increase every time.

 How to choose the theme of the wine tasting?

It is a well known fact that the best way to appreciate the differences (or the similarities) in the wines is to taste them side by side. This is why in time, different concepts were created regarding the organization of wine tastings. When organize such event, you can choose between general, vertical or horizontal tasting.

General tasting – it is absolutely free of theme and limits in the organization. There are also no limits regarding the wines you can include but of course you can pick criteria for choosing the wine (for example by price, vintage, grape variety or geographic origin but the choice is absolutely yours.

But what is actually horizontal tasting and what is vertical tasting?

The horizontal wine tasting is maybe the most famous one and it includes wines from the same vintage (year of production). You can also put other limits regarding the wines (for example only red wines, white wines, or wines from specific grape variety) but they all should be from the same vintage. This type of tasting is a good way for us to figure out what winery was the most successful during this vintage but also this way we could start finding all by ourselves the style and the specifics of the winery. For example, if you are tasting only Cabernet Sauvignon vintage 2009 you could easier find out which wines are “bigger”, “richer” than others and which have more aging potential, are they revealing the aromatic flavors younger or they need more time. This type of wine tasting says a lot about the winemakers, about their style and particularities and this will help you recognize them in the future, to determine your own preferred style.

The vertical tasting includes wines from different vintages, produces by only one winery. If the winery has more than one type of wine, you should choose always the type. During this type of wine tastings you will learn how much the growth conditions of the grape influence the final product. Here you can make it clear about the fine differences between the vintages and the fact that any variation in the vintage year has bigger influence than have ever imagined.

There is no strict rule of practice about the number of wines for any type of tasting. You could of course just taste two wines together and compare them according to the chosen criteria. But having 5 or 6 wines can make the tasting more interesting and helpful for the training of your palate.

But the most important thing – have fun! Exploring the world of the wine should be fun – finding out which vintages, grape varieties or winemakers suit you best could be really satisfying. And would you prefer general, horizontal or vertical tasting – only time can tell!