Sips and Dips: A Spring Wine Tasting Party

IMG_0285 Dips Intro CMYKA spring wine tasting party is the perfect opportunity to bring fresh flavour and bright colour to the table.  Served alongside colourful dipping sauces, these skewered appetizers can easily be made in advance and reheated, making entertaining a snap.  Serve them all at once with a flight of wines to match.

Vegetable Pakora with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
Occasions Recommends:
Anselmi San Vincenzo
Blomidon Cremant

Thai Shrimp Cocktail with Mango Sauce
Occasions Recommends:
Emeri Crisp White
Apothic White

Orange Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Avocado Cream
Occasions Recommends:
Les Jamelles Special Selection Chardonnay
Combe St. Jean Chardonnay

Korean Pork Meatballs
Occasions Recommends:
Masi Frescaprina Bardolino Classico

Sea Glass Pinot Noir

Parmesan Meatballs with Quick Marinara
Occasions Recommends:
Albola Chianti
Masi Campofiorin

Hosting a Home Wine Tasting
Jennifer Katona, NSLC’s Manager of Product Experience

A great idea to bring your wine-loving friends together for a casual gathering is to host a wine tasting at home. With a bit of planning, creativity and yearning to travel via your palate, your wine tasting party will easily create a lasting impression and a chance to expand your wine appreciation.


Predetermine guest list/number of wines:

A bottle can easily allow up to 12 people tasting at 2 oz. per person. A suggested number of wines to taste is 4 to 6.

Share the Expense:
It is OK to ask each guest to bring a wine to contribute to the tasting once you establish a theme, or, if you want to buy all the wine, figure out the per-person cost in advance and share with the invitation.

A Point Person:
it’s easy to get off track with convivial chatter. To keep everyone attentive, appoint either yourself or a friendly enthusiast to guide the tasting. Structure the flight from whites to reds and lightest to fullest wine. The Wine Discovery Guide can help you determine this by using the intensity scale.


This is where your imagination really comes out to play. You can select a country or region, a specific grape grown … or, it’s a great opportunity to check out NSLC’s Wine Discovery Guide. There are six different taste profiles, along with food pairing ideas right at the shelf in our stores, or online. Select one from each taste profile. Visit to learn more. Cover the glassware: If you have enough wine glasses, it’s nice to compare and contrast the different wines side by side. Refresh guests on the simple 5 “S”s of wine tasting: Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Savour, Swallow or Spit (have plastic cups at each place setting or a few small buckets on the table for guest to spit the wines). Offer a snack: As simple as a few different cheeses, or get more decadent with regionally inspired recipes. As a bare minimum, it is always beneficial to have bread or crackers to neutralize the palate as you taste different wines. DON’T: Let your friends worry about a safe ride home! Arrange a designated driver and have the local taxi number easily at hand to call when guests are ready to leave.

Breaking Bread 

Wine tastings can be as social as they are educational. Be sure when hosting a wine tasting to serve bread or crackers as a palate cleanser.

Carr’s Table Water Crackers:

For more than 150 years, Carr’s has been in the business of making crackers. Their iconic Table Water Crackers have few ingredients and very little flavour. For serious wine tastings, less flavour, in your palate cleanser, is better.

Toasted Baguette:

If you want to off something more substantive for your palate cleanser, then toasted baguette is the right choice.
Leslee Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps:

Super serious wine aficionados may argue these delicious crackers, which come in flavours such Cranberry Hazelnut and Rosemary Raisin Pecan, are too strong in flavour for a wine tasting. If you are not feeling too serious, they could be the right choice.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0