How to Throw A Wine Tasting Party On A Budget

Have you ever fancied holding a wine tasting evening with your friends but dismissed the idea thinking it might be an expensive project? I had the best night tasting wine with my husband and four friends this weekend for under £30!

budget wine tasting party

When I got the invitation from my friends to go and try out some wines they were considering using for an upcoming Halloween party I was really excited.

When we arrived their table was all set up with glasses, a carafe of still water for palate cleansing and six bottles of wine in numbered fabric bags.

The bags were made from old curtains apparently although you could use those paper bottle gift bags if (like me) you are not a natural seamstress. The main thing is to ensure no-one can get a peak at the neck or main label. Even the tops had been removed so we wouldn't get any cheeky clues before the big reveal.

Our hosts had also laid on some fairly neutral snacks - mixed nuts, bread and carrot sticks. We planned to have supper after the wine tasting so a chicken curry was bubbling away ready for that.

The final crucial part of the wine tasting kit was a set of numbered "Tasting Notes" which were lists for us to record our thoughts and opinions on. Our hosts explained we should give each wine a mark out of ten and we could (if we wished) add notes on our feelings about what the grape variety and region might be.

At the bottom of our list were three questions.

  1. Which wine would we be happy to carry on drinking?
  2. Which wine would we not like to drink again?
  3. Which did we think was the most expensive wine.

The best thing of all was the information that none of the bottles cost more than £5 and one of them cost just over £3! All the bottles came from Aldi or Lidl in this case but most supermarkets do decent quaffable wines costing around £5 nowadays.

madmumof7 and friend tasting budget priced wine from Aldi and Lidl

Our hosts had decided to stick to white wines for the experiment which suited me as it's my preferred choice.

It turned out that our friends had much more wine knowledge than me. They happily gave educated guesses on grape variety and regions which frequently turned out to be correct. I just nodded in agreement and drank more. There was no spitting the wine out at this tasting session!

wine tasting party using wines under £5 from Aldi and Lidl

Most impressive was the level of expertise from my friends Karen and John. For instance they were adamant that one wine was German. Our hosts informed us they hadn't bought any German wines but when the bottles were released from their bags it turned out one was actually made in Germany.

So which one was our winner?

Actually none of the wines were terrible and even though a couple of people said they weren't keen on one or another of the offerings no-one said they would refuse to drink any of them.

But the one which was chosen as the most palatable was a Spanish wine, a 2016 Visigodo Rueda Verdejo from Lidl. It turned out to also be the most expensive wine on the list but still only cost £4.99.

Aldi 2016 Visigodo Rueda Verdejo

It was such a fun activity which of course you could adapt using red wines or even sparkling wines maybe as a New Years Eve special event?

We continued our evening with a lovely chicken curry with rice and sprouting broccoli, apple cake and cream and of course- more wine!

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