Add a bit of sparkle to your village wine-tasting event

02 April, 2010

QIíve been asked to run a tasting event, lasting for about an hour, for a club in our village. How much should I charge and what can I do to make the evening entertaining??A It would be reasonable to ask for £50-£75 for your time, plus the cost of the wine you bring along Ė although you might choose to waive your appearance fee if you think the people youíll be addressing are potential customers. Itís a hard one to call, but you are a professional, and itís only right that you should expect a fee for your services.

The golden rule for events such as this is to encourage audience participation. As youíre tasting the wine, ask people to shout out their own observations. Congratulate those who identify classic flavours (blackcurrants in Cabernet, butterscotch in Chardonnay and so forth) and perhaps even offer a prize for the craziest comment.

As well as talking through what makes grape varieties and classic styles distinctive, why not spend some time discussing wine faults too? If you happen to come across a corked or oxidised wine, pass it around and let people sniff it. It may also be useful to demonstrate the right and wrong way to open a bottle of Champagne.

Finally, the classic wine options game Ė where you make two statements about a wine which people must choose between Ė can be a good way to round off proceedings. Those who choose incorrectly sit down, while?remaining players continue answering questions until a winner emerges.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle Ė which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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