The reviews are in on the My Wines Direct Home Tasting Party Kit, and the critics agree...hosting your own wine party can be fun and easy! The group over at WineMavens.com sampled our Tasting Party Kit and here's what they had to say:
"Lots of legs"
"Smells like vodka"
"I don't really know why I like it but I do."
You'd think my friend Meredith was describing a blurry night in a hotel room in Vegas. You can just imagine the sunglasses, venti Starbucks and the six of us Sorority sisters ohing and ahing and digging for details at brunch the next day a la Sex and the City. But alas, that will be saved for another write-up my friends. I am in fact quoting from an event much more morning-after friendly (and with many fewer embarrassing pictures) and appropriate for our everyday grape enjoyment: a wine tasting party I threw with a rockin set up designed by My Wines Direct. No miniskirt or VIP pass necessary. You don't even need to know the difference between a merlot and a cab. Well maybe you'd want to, but your party will end with many more memorable comments when your guests aren't the biggest imbibers of the vino.
I decided the most opportune time to test out this new company's services as a wine club and wine shipment service was with my best college girls, as a way to start our evening out on the town in a Nashville-based reunion, one of many yearly get-togethers. They've always known my passion for wine (and more often the drinking of wine) since our college days and were even more impressed I traveled with six bottles across the country...and that my clothes weren't all of a sudden pink. Hey, I might have been the last one to arrive, but at least I brought the booze.
So the quotes above were actually Meredith's notes on her last glass in a red flight, and as I reviewed the recap of our tasting event, Mere was definitely the one who captured the whole event in one scribbled, red-soaked paper placemat. My experience testing out the mywinesdirect.com tasting party was an awesome success, and for some surprising reasons. Not that the wines weren't all enjoyable, although we did have some comments about "terminator tongue" from Jennie, as we discerned later was her very descriptive feeling after a particularly tannic red...anyway, the wines were great but almost lost in the midst of what a blast we were having trying to describe why we did or did not like each white and red in their respective flights.
The set up was a breeze: chill the white, let the red breathe, put down the placemats and order the flights from lightest to heaviest. Cover the bottles and give all the direction necessary. In short that was comprised of "sight, sniff, and swig" for us. Most importantly was the lack of emphasis around technical tasting notes and terms more often used by our highly educated Wine Spectator writers than by a group of girlfriends drinking wine out of martini glasses. (yes, we didn't exactly have 18 glasses on hand...)
All of the below best of the best were written before revealing the wine:
Yellow Roo 05 Chardonnay(bronze medal)
Jennie: goes well with grilled bologne and cheese sandwiches
Erin: clean and light
Meg: woody and fruity, but like the brown M&M, the one you eat first so you can save the best for last...
River View Chardonnay (overall winner- the turtle in the race)
Erin: Great aftertaste and continues to get better
Meredith: Sharp, gets you in the lymph nodes
Nina: pretty good... 15 mins later, this is my favorite- let it warm up
Macon Villages 03 White Burgundy (always a bridesmaid) (sold out)
Meg: smooth and sweet, even out of a water glass. (sorry Meg)
Jennie: Sunshine through the clouds
Nina: fresh: something to drink while sitting in a rocking chair staring at the Tennessee mountains
Bouchon 03 Cabernet Sauvignon (most understandable, numero uno)
Meredith: best by far
Erin: dark and rich, really woodsy
Meg: leaves a great taste in you mouth but you might want to brush your teeth before making out
Mederano 03 Cab-Tempranillo (the swan (remember that show?)- a complete turnaround but still #3 at tasting time) (sold out)
Nina: musty, cloudy, and difficult to discern
Jennie: makes my tongue feel like terminator tongue
Erin: beautiful color, pretty good, definite complexity
Chilcas 03 Cab-Syrah (the Chilean put up a good show- silver medal)
Meredith: don't really know why I like it but I do
Meg: reminds me of communion, you think your getting grape juice from the smell, but you actually get wine (which might be cool, but a bit alarming)
Jennie: rich and refreshing
Overall, the reds were a bigger hit than the whites, all the wines tasted better the next day, and we almost agreed on who had the most outrageous and descriptive comments (Jennie's graphic descriptions of how the wine affected her internal organs, or Mere's quick and to the point preferences? Perhaps Meg's in-depth analysis of before and after eating American cheese was enlightening...but Nina's sight, smell, and taste bullets were worth keeping, and Erin's verbal portraits of characters that would drink each wine were belly-busting...). Most importantly, I think these packs create a great environment to get peeps together and figure out a bit more about what you like. And it works as an appetizer or an entrée to an evening.
The commentary around our tasting - the raves, the not-so-faves, and the very honest (albeit sometime inappropriate) documentation lasted the whole night- through the fried pickles, the cowboy hats and boots, and the electric slide, and even the next morning over breakfast at Waffle House. I mean seriously, if you can't enjoy your wine before a long night of line dancing, you've got the wrong idea my friend.
I'm already a member of a Sonoma winery I love, but I'm totally obsessed with these themes. And besides, this serves a completely different, and more accessible, purpose: reframing every occasion (or day) as a grape-worthy one.