Should you host a French wine tasting? Mais oui, but of course! It’s a great way for friends to share time together and learn something new—and it’s easier than you think.
One other reason? In France, wine and food are made for each other. Pour a glass of wine with friends and food always appears. The pairings are typically uncomplicated and the mood is relaxed. Imagine casual bistros, outdoor cafés, and pique-niques on the lawn…you get the idea. Stream some French music and the vibe is set.
In a casual tasting like we have in mind, you can loosen the usual wine tasting rules a bit. Make it less like speed dating where you’re jotting notes and quickly moving from one wine to the next and instead allow time to explore the very enjoyable (and affordable) French wines we’re bringing in to your Heinen’s. We suggest pairing them with some small plates. Focus on swirling, smelling and tasting each offering and then savor the interplay between the food and wine. Seat guests at the same table so everyone’s close to the conversation and comparisons.
We’ve put together a chart of the five new wines in our French selection along with tasting notes and small plate suggestions. They’re listed in the order to be tasted; a two-ounce pour is ample. Eight is a good guest count (maximum ten) if you’re opening one bottle of each wine. Don’t forget to include yourself! Have water at the table and an empty pitcher for discarding any unfinished wine.
We recommend using regular wine glasses (not plastic) so the wine can be swirled and sniffed fully. Have at least one glass for the white wines and one for the red. Yes, you could use separate glasses for each wine, but that’s a lot of dishwashing at the end of the night. Short on wine glasses? Tell your guest it’s a BYOG (bring your own glass) event. It’s a treat to see what everyone brings!
One last suggestion? Guests today are always asking what they can bring. This event has group effort written all over it. Assign a wine or a small plate option and then relax into a very nice time. Precious few things top an evening with good wine, good food and good friends.
|Wine||Grape||Price||Tasting Notes||Small Plate Suggestions|
|2015 Chateau Garriga Blanc from Bordeaux||Sauvignon Blanc||$9.99||Slightly sparkled and well balanced with a touch of acidity that lends a lot of freshness. (serve chilled)||Heinen’s chilled shrimp with lemon dill sauce or crab cakes served with the same.|
|2014 Etienne Rodier Pouilly Fuisse from Burgundy||Chardonnay||$19.99||Aromas and flavors of toasted nuts and citrus grace this harmonious, medium-bodied wine. Easy to love. (serve chilled)||Baguette slices topped with chèvre and/or thinly sliced store-roasted rotisserie chicken.|
|2015 Chateau Drillon Rouge from Bordeaux||60% Merlot-40% Cabernet Sauvignon||$9.99||Complex ripe red fruits aromas with some spicy notes. Nice sweetness on the palate, with nice tannins. This is a delectable wine.||Macaroni and cheese (especially topped with bacon).
|2014 Chateau Bellevue Canteranne Haute-Medoc, Bordeaux||Cabernet Sauvignon -Merlot blend||$14.99||Ruby red pour with an earthy nose. Lush tannins dominate the fruity notes of raspberry, blackberry, dried herbs and spices. Afternotes of vanilla and cedar linger on the palate.||Petite servings of our beef stew over mashed potatoes.|
|2011 Chateau Divon St. George -St. Emilion, Bordeaux||80% Merlot – 15% Cabernet Sauvignon – 5% Cabernet Franc||$14.99||The nose delivers intense aromas of red fruit and blackcurrant, combined with elegant oak.||Two Brothers Roast Beef sliders with softened brie; brie or camembert with baguette slices.|