If you think ringing in the New Year and snooty wine-tastings don't go together, think again. Picture your dining room table filled with wine-friendly snacks, surrounded by a pack of wine bottles and glasses about to be filled. No score cards, or handbooks necessary, just add the following rules: no using the word "nose" or "oak-y," and no spitting.
You've almost got the set-up for a fab wine party without the pretentiousness of wine snobs. Now, all you need is a theme.
Instead of comparing Pinot Noirs (and pretending you hate Merlot), try to mix up your wine tasting theme. Because the less seriously you take all of this, the more fun you and your guests are going to have.
Here's some suggestions to get your thinker started:
Go around the USA and pick a wine from the coolest towns where you're most likely to find small vineyards with a mind towards the eco, and a college nearby with a degree in making the stuff. As host, you are required to wear your ironic t-shirt and skinny jeans while sipping. My picks from the uber cool towns:
Austin, Texas: Fall Creek Vineyards
Madison, Wisconsin: Wollersheim Winery
Portland, Oregon: Soter Vineyards
Santa Cruz, California: Bonny Doon
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Chatham Hill Winery
Boulder, Colorado: Boulder Creek Winery
Box Wine Tasting
I told you about the insurgence of box wines before, and since then I was sent some other boxes of wine to test out. Luckily, I've been pleasantly surprised a few more times by a cardboard box containing top-notch vino. Octavin has a patent-pending package that holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine in one slick package. I tried a few wineries they're currently working with, Monthaven Winery in the Central Coast of California, and the Bonny Doon vineyard, outside of Santa Cruz, California. Since I've already been to Bonny Doon, and drank more than my fair share of their Big House Red, I knew that one was a winner. Monthaven's Cabernet Sauvignon is also a very drinkable red from the latest hot spot in the wine world. Eco-friendly without sacrificing taste, means you can feel superior about your box wine tasting party.
To guarantee a mixed bag, have your guests bring their own box of wine and pray for the best.
We Kicked Your Butt in WWII Wine Tasting
Horde the Banfi Rosso di Montalcino because finding a Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian wine for this tasting will be impossible, and Japan is more about sake (and great beer) than wine. But I say why not compare apples to oranges? It's a fun drinking party, not a class at the 92nd Street Y. So pick up a few bottles of Hakutsuru and a few bottles of Pfeffingen Reisling and talk about the superiority of California wines. This works especially well if you've invited old people to the party.