Vertical Wine Tasting

Wine and Cheese Party | Horizontal Tasting | World Wine Tasting
Guess The Price | Wine Tasting Chart Evaluation

In a vertical wine tasting, you are exploring the same wine varietal (type of grape) from the same winery, for different vintage years.

An easy way to do this is to contact a winery near you and ask them which of their wines they have available from several different years – not necessarily consecutive years.

This provides an excellent way to experience how a specific wine is affected by weather and growing conditions, and also how the wine ages over time.

Educate Yourself

Educate yourself so you can educate your guests. Select one of the wines for your party. Then:

  • Ask the winemaker or other knowledgeable staff member about the weather and the growing conditions for each of the selected years
  • Ask if anything else changed as well
  • Ask them what kinds of foods pair well with the wine or wines you’ve selected

*For tasting, one bottle of each wine for six-eight guests (2-oz. of wine per tasting)
* Taste the wines in order from younger to older
* Have a few extra bottles to enjoy with dinner and make sure everyone drinks responsibly
* Keep it simple – three vintages of one wine is plenty for your dinner party
* Keep it simple – plan on a few food items that complement your wine

Homemade Wine Making Friends?

Do you make your own wine? Do you have friends who make homemade wines?

Go ahead! Throw a vertical wine tasting party featuring one or more of those wines. One of the cardinal rules when making your own wine is to save some for later, and later, and later. So you should have some stock on hand. Now would be a great time to taste the changes in the wines.

You and your friends will have fun and learn from each other as well.

  • Discuss what you did differently in making the wines – what changed from year to year.
  • Did you blend it with anything?
  • What were the lessons learned?
  • What were the “aha” moments?

Make it a Vertical Wine Tasting Dinner Party

Once you know what kind of wine you’ll be serving, you can plan your menu.

Keep it simple – the wines are the focal point. Not sure what foods complement the wine of the evening?

  • Ask knowledgeable staff at the local winery or wine shop
  • Have your wine making friends let you know what they are bringing, so you have an idea which direction your menu should go.
  • OR plan a simple menu like the one below and have them bring a wine that will compliment it!

Here is a sample menu for a Cabernet Suavignon or similar robust red wine.

3 Vintages - Cabernet Suavignon
Artisan Breads (not sourdough)
Grilled Filet Mignon
Grilled Baby Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli
Dark Chocolates
*Use cheeses like blue, camembert and cheddar: non-citrusy fruits
Don't be afraid to experiment. This is your party and you can do as you want to. Put whatever spin on it you would like. Have fun!

Get your Wine Tasting Chart here.
Let's Go Plan a Wine and Cheese Party.
OR a Horizontal Wine Tasting Potluck Dinner.
Mix it up and try this Homemade Wine vs. World Wines!

Return from Vertical Wine Tasting to Wine Tasting Parties.
Return to Homemade Wine Making Guide Home Page.

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