wine nights

Posted by susan on January 29th, 2009. Filed under: epicurious travel.

wine in santa barbara

[From Susie & Mike’s Santa Barbara trip, 2006]

I have been trying to make plans to get together with a long lost friend/former co-worker and it has got me thinking about our wine nights, and how much I miss them. On special days after work, I would head over to her apartment and we would talk, laugh and try out some new wines. One night, she introduced me to a fun wine tasting game that her and her then fiancee, now husband always played. We did it with an arrangement of Zinfandels, some really nice, some mediocre and another, cheap.

Here is how it works:

First, purchase a sampling of wines.

~If you are a beginner and are not quite sure what type of wine is your favorite, then just grab a random sampling of either red or white.

~If you are intermediate, then grab various brands of your favorite kind. I like Shiraz and Zinfandel.

Yes, I made up those levels.

Next, sample each wine and try to become familiar with their differences and also, try to remember how each one tastes.

Then, designate one person to be the server, everyone else should take their glass, get a pen and paper and leave the room.

The server will bring out wine #1, while hiding it’s identity. Everyone should then take a sip of this wine, think of adjectives to describe it, rate it from 1-5 and write everything down. Once everyone is finished, discuss your thoughts. It is actually pretty fun to hear first impressions, especially when they are the exact opposite of your own.

The server will then bring out wine #2, and so on…

Once everyone has gone through all the wines, somebody must volunteer to treat the server to all the wines as well.

By the end, everyone will have a pretty good idea of which one they like best, but the tricky part is being able to match each number to each bottle.

Everyone wins because let’s face it, you just spent the night sampling wine.

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