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Sounds simple - have a wine tasting party...

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Written by foodie pam   
Sunday, 10 September 2006

It was an easy enough idea - Let's have a wine tasting party.  Acutally a South American Malbec tasting party.   Husband and I had bought a couple of Malbecs at our favorite wine shop.  After the third bottle in as many weeks we realized we really couldn't compare something tasted 3 weeks apart.  Argentinian and Chilean Malbecs are generally cheap with most under $20 and many under $10 so why not buy several and open them all at once.  Well that's alot to drink for one reason.  Hence the idea for a party.  But how does one do a wine tasting party at home?  I mean at a winery they have the bottles you taste a bit and you buy or not.  But just wine doesn't make much for a party - unless you really drink alot!  I searched the web for info on a wine tasting party but couldn't find much if anything to help.  So we'd have to wing it.  The guests were easy we invited friends who love wine but what should we serve besides wine?

After many possible plans what we decided was to get together relatively early (4:30pm) to have the tasting (6 wines).  Then a couple of hours later (7pm) serve dinner.  They key was not to have too much for dinner and to serve something with the wine. That way we would not be starving by dinner time and not stuffed after dinner.  To go with the wine we went to our favorite Cheese Monger and got four cheeses to match our Malbec.  The cheese monger helped us wonderfully picking mostly Spanish cheeses to match the S. American Malbecs.  We also had some veggies, bread and crackers to keep the cheese course from being too heavy. 

Besides not being to heavy dinner had to be easy because after tasting six wines neither Husband nor I would want (or be able Smile ) to cook anything elaborate.  So we had a pork roast cooked on the grill with a fruit salsa that was prepared earlier in the day, roasted beans and sweet potatoe fries.  Dessert? Well not that we really needed anything but just to top things off we had sliced mixed fruit (from our neighborhood farmers market) with home made whipped cream.  

The event was a hit as were the wines...

Below is a listing of the Malbecs we tasted in our order of preference. Some were bought at The Wine Club  and others at BevMo.  The first place wine was $30 (nope nobody new the price when judging) and all others were under $15.

1. Luca Vintage 2004 Altos de Mendoza, Argentina
2. Finca El Portillo 2005 Valley de Oco Mendoza, Argentina
3. Tamari Reserve 2003 Mendoza, Argentina
4. Montes Reserve 2004 Colchaqua Valley, Chile
5. Filus Reserve 2003 Lunlunta Valley, Argentina
6. Alamos 2004 Mendoza, Argentina

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Cindi (Unregistered) 2006-09-12 06:54:08

Curious to know more about the characteristics of the wines you tasted! Good article, but now I am waiting for more info on each of the wines! What made the winner "the winner"? Also a little bit of history on wines from S. America would have been helpful as unfortunately, most Americans are NOT familiar with this wine area!
pam (Publisher) 2006-09-13 00:37:16

Let's see if I can remember why we ranked the wines as we did.

The lower scored wines were more earthy and musky whereas the higher ranked wines were smoother and perhaps a bit less sweet.

Malbecs are something I'm learning about also. As a northern California I'm pretty familar with the Californian wines and just starting to explore wines from other area.

As for some history on S. American wines I'll see if I can get some more info and follow-up on this as either a blog or frontpage article.
Home Wine Tasting Party
Michael M (Unregistered) 2007-05-10 06:25:58

Certainly there are different types of wine for different occasions, some people like red some white, I personally prefer wine more but it depends on a meal and how I feel. Also I look at the quality of wine that is important to me. Check this page for more on this topic here http://www.wine-expert-101.com/Home-Wine-Tasting-Party.php
Everyone loves wine tasting
Owen (Unregistered) 2007-12-10 08:27:25

A wine tasting party is really great fun. I have been a wine lover for a long time and hostes a wine tasting party for some of my friends last year. Everyone LOVED it.
I also wrote a article on my blog about what to pay attention to tasting wine.
Read it and make your own wine tasting party with your friends.
Wangari Maathai (Unregistered) 2012-05-05 05:03:33

Thanks for sharing this information. Information provided by you is useful, apart from this I am looking for a good gift for my sister on her wedding anniversary. I am thinking to give her wine club membership as she loves wine. One of my friends suggested wine clubs . They have wide range of wines like red wine, Italian wine & white wine. Do you have any idea about them or else you can suggest me some another gift.
pam (Publisher) 2012-05-15 14:37:21

Wine clubs can make a great wedding gift - I've given them a couple of times. It depends on where they live as to what club can ship to them. I typically pick a winery I like and get the club membership from them but other places offer wine clubs too I just haven't used any of them....
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