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Old 10-21-2008, 06:34 AM   #1
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Default Hosting a tasting

Have any of you ever hosted your own wine, beer or spirit tasting?

Being a big scotch whisky fan, 2 years ago I decided to host my own event for a few friends so that we could all enjoy a few drams and learn a bit about scotch and our tastes.

It has turned into an annual event and this year we may be stepping up the program to some higher quality malts.

I'm looking for any ideas or experiences you have had with your own tastings or ones that you have attended.

Cheers,
Ian
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hosting a tasting

This may be illegal in your state. Check with your state ABC to see if you need a license or permit.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:33 AM   #3
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I'm a Canuck.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hosting a tasting

I've hosted quite a few large wine tastings, usually at restaurants or private clubs. I'ts a lot of fun to work with the chef to plan your menu around the wine/whiskey/whatever your serving. The only problem there sometimes is finding a place that will let you bring your own alcohol in. Trying to make sure people don't leave too smashed can also be a chore.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hosting a tasting

So that means you have to buy your wine, beer & liquor at a separate government controlled store, eh? I've got tons of family in Toronto; I know all about it & would be doooomed if they ever cut us off out here in California. It's bad enough bars close at 2am (last call...1:15...makes no sense).

Anyhoo....great thread, I threw a wine tasting boat outing for my wife in July for her birthday. The gal, God love her, drinks Chardonnay like a fish. That'd be a sight. So I thought what better way to celebrate her birthday than to bring friends out on the open water and drink fine wines with relentless abandon.

We headed down to Newport Beach where you can rent little 'Duffy' boats. Picture the boat at Disneyland's Jungle River Adventure. They hold 12 and have tables and we spent 4 hours tasting wines brought by each participating couple and bar hopping. Bars lining the marina have pull-up slips where you can hop out, grab a shot & go back on board. Needless to say, after 4 hours, we were pretty sloshed but it was an excellent time.

The wine tasting was blind but we didn't require too much from our participants, just a 'is this a merlot grape, is this a cabernet, is this a sauvignon blanc', etc. We wrote down our picks and compared the notes we took on each wine, which we liked best, which we thought was the most expensive, etc.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hosting a tasting

Sounds like you had fun.

I had a small crew for both of my tastings, 5 people each. There was supposed to be more last year but there were a few last minute cancellations.

The first one was a blind tasting of 4 SMs that varied in age, price and region. My wife did the pouring so that even I didn't know what was what.

We compared 2 at a time to decide on favourites and then compared the two winners. We made notes and chatted about them.

The conclusions I was hoping would be made were. Age and price do not necessarily mean better scotch.

After the tasting part we then drank what we wanted along with some snacks.

For my tastings I buy all the whisky and ask guests to make a reimbursement towards the cost. I keep whats left over. I don't spend so much that it leaves me in the hole, but this way it doesn't matter how many people show up. Fewer people means more whisky for me, more people means more recovered money to buy more.

Each time I did have leftovers in each bottle, so I found it a great way to start building a little collection.
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