1. Mix it up – Feature different wines from super cheap Two Buck Chuck to pricey. See if your guests really can tell the difference. Make SURE to disguise the labels.
2. Be tricky – Pick four to six wines of varying prices and hide the bottles (in a sock, wine sleeve, whatever). This time though, just put the dollar amount and the type of wine on the tag (ie – chardonnay , $37/bottle). Then ask your guests to describe why they think that wine is more expensive than the other wine labeled “chardonnay $12.” The trick is that you’ve really mixed up the wines. The most expensive are really the cheapest and vice versa.
3. Create a Wine IQ test – Pick four kinds of wines from the bottles your guests have brought, all different: a shiraz, merlot, cabernet, etc and cover the bottles. Then see if the guests can actually tell you which one is which. You’ll be surprised!
4. Make it a potluck – Have everyone bring a dish OR a bottle of wine. At the end of the night, guests get to decide which wine/food pairings tasted the best.
5. Discuss the defaults – During the party ask your guests what their “default” bottle of wine is and why. Makes for good conversation.
6. For wine sophisticates, pick a theme – Decide that you’re going to taste 6 different California chardonnays (or different bottles of another type of wine) and taste and rate them according to a wine wheel that you hand out at the beginning of the evening. Guests write down the characteristics that they taste in the wine and then compare notes.