Blind Tasting Party

Being among the first to serve the Little Penguin wines will automatically make you a star, but what else? While the Little Penguin is stuck in a tux 24/7, you can choose to throw any type of Penguin Party, from casual to elaborate. the Little Penguin has put together a quick guide on wine tasting to help you get started.

What You'll Need:

  • Bottle bags to conceal the identity of each wine until the tasting is over - no peaking.
  • Good lighting, comfortable chairs, nice size table, and whatever else will help set a fun, enjoyable mood - music, candles, a fun board game.
  • All-purpose wine glasses - or, if no wine glasses, then select glasses that will allow you to swirl the wine.
  • Stemware tags or tasting mats if you have enough wine glasses to allow for one per person per wine. These tags or mats can be used to number each person's glass and the wines can easily be cross-compared throughout the tasting.
  • Containers for spitting and dumping out excess wine. While this may seem a waste, after 6 or 7 wines, you're going to want to learn how to spit.
  • A pitcher of fresh, cold drinking water, water glasses, and some plain bread or crackers.
  • FOOD...from cheese to finger food to a 7-course meal. Your guests can experiment with how various foods affect the flavor of the wines.

Tasting Group Tips:

  • Think Small - Invite 4 to 10 fellow penguins for your first party to help you get used to hosting a Penguin Party. Once you've got a couple parties under your belt, expand into a larger guest list, more elaborate food pairings, and wine selections.
  • Plan Ahead - Choose a day and stick to it. Make sure people RSVP and understand that no-shows still have to pay for their portion.
  • Less is More - Start with 4 of the Little Penguin wine types (Shiraz, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvingon). The goal is to see who can guess all four of the wine types.
  • Little Doses - Repeat this to yourself: "I am tasting, not drinking". One or two ounces will be enough to sample the wine. A 750 milliliter bottle has 25 ounces in it and can serve up to 15 tasters. You'll also have more for a second round or to serve during a meal.
  • Go Blind - By covering the bottles, removing capsules and corks before guests arrive, you are ensuring that guests won't be influenced by preconceptions or clues.
  • Lights Please - Good lighting and a white background will help when judging the color and clarity of the wine.
  • Take Notes - This will help you build your wine vocabulary, recall the tasting, and what you did or didn't like.
  • Pairing Food - Avoid overpowering flavors. Nibbling on bread between tastings will help replenish a tired palate. Try tasting the wine without food, then re-taste the wine during a meal - you'll be astonished at how food affects wine.
  • Talk About It - It's always helpful to hear other people's opinions and voice your own. Remember, there's no such thing as right or wrong with wine. Each person's tastes are different.
  • Relax - Enjoy the day, relax with friends, and examine the wines. Don't rush through or you'll miss the subtle nuances each wine has to offer.

Then waddle online to the Little Penguin Wine Personality Test. It's quick. It's quirky. And it's a fun way to tap into your inner penguin by matching the unique flavors of each of the Little Penguin varietals to your personality. The real question is, are you a Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet or Merlot?

For tips on how to get the most out of drinking the Little Penguin wines, visit our tasting tips page.