Wine Tasting 101
I absolutely love hosting wine tastings. I host them regularly including private parties, restaurants, and retail wine shops. They are a ton of fun and you usually end up learning a wee bit. There are many options to host a tasting without spending a lot of dough. I will cover some basics.
First you’ll need to decide what type of wine for the tasting; Red, White, specific grape, i.e. Merlot, Riesling, or how about a specific grape from a specific region, i.e. a Cab from California (you could get even more specific by having a Cab from Napa Valley California. My suggestion is focus on a region so you can taste the different nuances from the areas, for example, California - Napa, Sonoma, etc.
Second you’ll need to decide on how many guests you’ll invite. I find that between 8 and 12 is a good sized group. Have each of your guests bring a bottle or 2 with what you designate as the tasting. Decide if this will be a “blind” tasting or regular. For blind simply have your guests bring the wine in a doubled-up brown lunch paper bag. Make sure you have enough wine glasses; you could pick some up on the cheap at places like Home Goods. I like to buy different ones individually so everyone has their very own thus no need for wine charms. I would also suggest making some simple wine tasting score cards. These can be as simple as aromas, flavors, overall, with some room to jot down notes or can get even more extensive adding appearance, finish, etc.
Lastly decide what type of food you’ll be serving. If hosted in the afternoon I usually get some cheeses, crackers, olives, etc. You could even order pizza (cut in small squares for appetizer portion). You could spend as little as $60 and have a wonderful tasting. After all, how good can wine be unless you share it with people you love (or at least like)?