If you are trying to meet more people at work or in your field, one way to do it is to host wine tasting parties. This type of party has a number of advantages over cocktail parties, dinners, and other informal gatherings can Expand Your Network.
First, a wine tasting is shorter than an open-ended evening party. This should encourage participation. Next, a tasting party has a structure in the way that the average party does not. This makes it easier to keep personalities in check. You want to have the opportunity to network, but you don’t want a loud or boorish person to take over the event.
When compared to a lunch or dinner, a tasting party can be structured to ensure that people mix together. A lunch or dinner can make it difficult to interact with people you wish to seek out.
Budgeting is Easier Than You Think and can Expand Your Network
A tasting party can be far less expensive than a party or dinner.. You will be offering only small amounts of each wine. At the end, you can share the rest of the bottles with your guests.
You can set a budget, buy the wine, and use what’s leftover from your budget to purchase some appropriate snacks. Your guests will know that this event is not about the food.
To further reduce costs, perhaps you have others in your life who are wanting to network. It would make sense to combine forces and host these wine parties together. This will divide your costs and maybe widen your networking circle.
Planning a Wine Tasting Party
A tasting party requires wine, of course. How should you set up yours? If this is your first try, you can compare red wines to one another. This allows your guests to test their knowledge of what a wine should taste like. You choose a good Cabernet Sauvignon and see how it compares to Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir.
You should be able to find good choices between $15 and $30. One bottle of wine can provide enough ½ ounce servings to take care of 8 to 12 guests and still have enough leftover that guests can have a glass or two after the tasting.
A 750 ml bottle has about 25 ounces or 50 ½ ounce servings. So, definitely enough for your purposes!
A small group can easily do a wine tasting together. Or, you can set up stations where wine tasting can happen. The important thing is to control the pour, keeping people from taking gulps instead of sips. You should cover the wine labels and number them. This will make it impossible for your guests to know what they are drinking.
A stemmed wine glass is best for sniffing, swishing, and sipping. You also need spit cups to be authentic to how tastings are conducted. Finally, you need water for people to rinse out their mouth between tastings. A white cloth or tablecloth is a good way to let the wine show off its color.
You’ll want to walk a line between guided tasting and informal gathering to Expand Your Network. Plan a short discussion before the tasting about the “rules” and maybe offer a prize for the person who can identify every wine type correctly just by taste. Another way to guide the event is to print out cards where the guests will put the wine’s number and their thoughts. The cards could have simple prompts such as color, aroma, taste, finish, sweet/semi-dry/dry, etc. Or you could ask questions such as “what fruit flavors did you smell, taste?”
If you give them a numerical scale to rank each wine as they try it, it will be easy to determine a “winner” of the favorite wine at the end. Once you discover what the wines were and discuss with guests formally, you can hand around real glasses of wine, put out the appetizers, and wrap up the event.
Hopefully you will have made a good impression and some networking connections that may help your career.