Sunday, May 09, 2010

Wine-Tasting Party

I love organising and hosting parties, dinners, and get-togethers, be it a Thanksgiving eat-a-thon, dinner for four or eight, surprise birthdays, potlucks, pre-Marathon pasta feed, picnics...whatever you name it. If anything it gives us an excuse to get friends together and it also allows me to experiment with my culinary skills and new recipes.

Last night we organised a fun wine-tasting challenge and potluck at our flat, and it was a major success! The wine-tasting challenge is a great way get friends together, and learn about, and taste different varieties of wines. We did the Big Eight Tasting Challenge by Varieties, where I assigned each guest a bottle of wine to bring to the party. There was a sampling of eight "mystery bottles": four reds and four whites, four from the New World and four from the Old World. All wine labels were covered by thick cardstock paper and each bottle was assigned a number: White 1 to 4 and Red A to D. With the aid of a "cheat sheet" of tasting notes, in teams of two, we had to guess the variety and the country, where each grape and origin were only featured once in the answer sheet. One point for each correct answer for a total of 16 points.

As the organiser, I didn't participate in the wine challenge (I knew the answers already), but Keenan participated since he didn't know what bottles were assigned to everyone. The prize: Monmouth Coffee and chocolates! The winners, Anneliese and Farnaz, got 10 out of 16 points and even more impressive, they guessed all the correct grape varieties! Well done!

The 8 "mystery bottles," tasting notes, spit glass, water to rinse the glass, and crackers:

Tasting - Chardonnay vs Sauvignon Blanc? Syrah vs Cab?:

Unveiling of the "mystery" wines:

Team 'Stop Wining' (Keenan and Rod) got 5/16 points:

The mystery bottles:
Pinot Noir - Chile; Cab Sauvignon - France; Rioja - Spain; Shiraz - South Africa; Chardonnay - Australia; Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand; Pinot Grigio - Italy; Reisling - Germany

Of course, the other fun part of a good party: The Food -- Mediterranean Delights:

Ottenlenghi's Grilled Eggplant with Tahini | Pasta with Mushroom & Artichoke | Lebanese Fatoush Salad | Medley of Salads | Baked Salmon Tray | Provencal-style Aubergine and Tomato Bake | Roast Chicken | Truffles | Vino

Great fun! Thanks for the great company last night everyone!

Also, Happy Mother's Day!

Cheers, Lily + Keenan


  1. Ohmigosh this looks so fabulous! Such a great themed get together! =)

  2. Thanks Mejgan -- wish you were here! xx