Wine Tasting Party - Family, Friends & Homemade Wine

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

ChuckD

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
2,025
Reaction score
3,624
Location
NE Wisconsin
So this morning there’s 18 empty bottles on the counter and the cellar shelves are a little “thin” in places. Not counting a few commercial offerings brought by guests.

We had more than 30 people show up for our first official wine tasting party yesterday and a good time was had by all. We offered seven homemade wines and the results were very interesting:
  • Elderberry - this three year old offering was probably the favorite. It’s one of our first and a bit sweet for my current taste. Before this I was not a fan of elderberry… turns out I just hadn’t has a good one. We have maybe 10 bottles left. I’m going to try saving some for a few more years.
  • Beet - Another three year old wine fermented on the cooked chopped beets. Most everyone couldn’t believe it was beets and couldn’t identify the beet taste until told that’s what it was. A few, including my daughter said it tastes like dirt! This is another one that has been getting better with age.
  • Rhubarb - this one is only a year old. Made from 100% pressed rhubarb juice aged on one medium toast oak spiral. there is no doubt about what this wine is! It was very tart so it required quite a bit of back sweetening to balance. People who like rhubarb loved this wine.
  • Sweetie Pie apple - a two year old sweet apple that was a mix of whatever the orchard owner had left in his cellar. It’s probably 90% juice and pretty heavily back sweetened. The sweet white drinkers liked it a lot.
  • One Bad Apple - a mix of two home grown apples and whatever the orchard owner wanted to get rid of. This one is about 75% juice, aged on oak, and barely sweetened. The dry whit drinkers liked it best. I have a request from family for a sparkling apple for a future wedding… I told her I’d give it a try.
To be continued…
 
Last edited:
Continued…
  • On the Wild Side - this is my three year old wild grape wine. 5lbs/gallon aged on medium toast oak. At one year I was ready to do this down the drain! Now it’s my wife’s favorite. For me it’s still to foxy but for the sweet “communion wine” crowd liked it. This (and the beet) were good lessons in not giving up too quickly.
  • Maple wine - this one was an afterthought. I grabbed a helper and my siphon and we pulled a gallon from the carboy. It’s the first I’ve tasted it since last winter-ish. It was interesting seeing people’s reaction. It was not back sweetened at all but still has a residual sweetness. I taste smokey caramel. A few really liked it but the most common reaction was “interesting”! A friend summed it up nicely. He said he was expecting wine but this is not wine. He said it reminds him of a mild caramel whisky. If I make it again it won’t be for a while… I have five gallons!
  • Sunshine’s Northern Red Blend - this one is the reason for the season! It’s not from my vineyard (next year 🤞) but two of the varieties I’m growing. @Vern was kind enough to supply me with the grapes. It’s a bench blend of Petite Pearl (50%), Marquette (25%), and Verona (25%). This is the wine of the recent purple volcano fame. I degassed a gallon and back sweetened it lightly. We received a lot of good comments and many who couldn’t believe we could make this from locally grown grapes. I am very happy with this wine!
Edit to correct my math… that’s eight homemade wines!
 
Was there a clear favorite in that bunch?

Cheers!
Probably the elderberry. Lots of good comments on the rhubarb and red blend too. I did have a squeeze bottle of simple syrup there for the sweet wine lovers. If they took a sip and it was too dry for their taste they could add a bit… I did a lot of explaining about fermenting dry and back sweetening.
 
Probably the elderberry. Lots of good comments on the rhubarb and red blend too. I did have a squeeze bottle of simple syrup there for the sweet wine lovers. If they took a sip and it was too dry for their taste they could add a bit… I did a lot of explaining about fermenting dry and back sweetening.
What ratio do you use for your simple syrup?
 
Didn't get my invite but you can catch me next time! Its so much fun to entertain with family / friends for wine night.

We do the same thing pretty frequently but most of the time on a much smaller scale. Try this with 8-10 people .... Costco Wine Advent or now its called Around the World in 24 Wines. There are YouTube videos to explain each of the wines before you sample. I purchased two this year so we can wine taste in December and again in July!

Keep us posted on your parties and congrats on a great event.
 
Yeah this was more of a party than a tasting event… not a spit bucket in sight.

I would love to do something smaller with wine makers so I could discuss wine making instead of teaching about wine making. Not that that’s bad, but some more educated feedback would be welcome. Then again it might just deflate my ego 😕
 
Last edited:
Back
Top