Easy Steps on How to Host Your Own Wine Tasting Party

Click image for a larger version!The common reason why tasting areas are included in the construction of many wine cellars is that collectors want to share their collection with their family and friends. If you love wine and you plan to invite guests to experience your vinos with you, this article is an awesome guide on how to host a wine tasting party. 

Why Host Your Own Wine Tasting Event?

Whether you’re a novice or an expert collector, you know that gathering vinos for a collection does not happen overnight. Most collectors have in their cellars wines that have been brought from various regions. There’s no question why you treat each of the bottles in your wine room like a prized jewel. But, what use does a well-loved collection of wines have if you can’t have friends and family experience them with you? Like all of the beautiful things in life, wines are best enjoyed when shared with your loved ones. This is why you need to know how to host your own wine tasting party.

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Although you and your fellow wine worshippers could attend a commercial wine tasting event, a tasting party that you yourself put up is way more comfortable. You and your friends won’t have to feel intimidated by a sommelier who watches your every move and criticizes your pronunciations.

Click image for a larger version!So, how do you host your own tasting event? Here are the steps:

1. Choose a Concept

All parties need a theme! Think of a concept for your tasting event. You can be as creative as you want – the sky’s the limit! An easy guide to choosing a theme is by finding a common denominator between the wines that you plan to serve. This could mean same grape variety, region, or vintage. Examples of wine tasting themes are “Wines from around the World!”, “All French, All the Time”, and “Old World vs. New World.”

a. Vertical Wine Tasting Themes

Wine tastings that compare different vintages of wine from the same winery are called vertical wine tastings. The variable to compare each wine with is weather, since all of the featured vinos are from the same vineyards. In this kind of tasting event, you and your fellow tasters can appreciate better how the weather of a certain year affects wine.

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b. Horizontal Wine Tasting Themes

This kind of tasting compares wines from the same region and year, but from various winemakers. You and your fellow tasters can evaluate each winery on who did well in a particular year. Horizontal wine tastings are usually held when a new vintage is produced.

Click image for a larger version!2. Set your Budget

When planning for a wine tasting event, it’s common for the host to ask, “How the heck do I pay for this?” Although wine tasting parties sound like fancy gatherings, you don’t need to spend too much money in setting one up. There is a plethora of ways to keep the expenses within a practical budget.

Click image for a larger version!You can keep costs low by serving wines that vary in price. This is also a good way to disprove the myth that only expensive wines are quality wines. In a blind tasting, when wine labels are covered and fellow tasters do not know what wines are being served, you’ll be surprised that guests can equally enjoy a $10 Spanish red and a $300 Bordeaux.

Another way to keep the expenses at a minimum is to split the costs of the wines among the invited guests. Most of the time, if the fellow tasters you’re inviting are your closest friends and they’re avid wine lovers, they’ll be more than willing to share the expenses with you!

Click image for a larger version!3. Select Your Featured Wines!

Because you’re proud of your wine collection, it’s tempting to serve all of your prized vintages during your tasting event. Experts, however, recommend serving only five to six bottles. The main purpose of a tasting party is to appreciate the featured wines. If there are more than six wines being served, your guests will lose focus.

4. Prepare Wine Tasting Rudiments

It is imperative to prepare the bare necessities that you and your guests will be using during your wine tasting party. Number one priority is to have water readily available. You need to keep your fellow tasters hydrated. It is the dehydrating effects of the alcohol in wine that gives us that hungover feeling the morning after. If you want your friends and family to attend your future tasting events, you want to make sure they don’t suffer from a nagging headache the morning after your party!

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Seasoned wine tasters take only sips of wine and spit them, in order to keep themselves sober throughout the event. If they become tipsy, they might not be able to give sound observations about each wine served. This is why it is necessary to prepare spittoons and dump buckets during your gathering.

Click image for a larger version!Make sure that you have the appropriate glassware available during your wine tasting event. Although large crystal wine glasses would be awesome, having small, regular glasses will do just fine! Moreover, small glasses are not only more affordable, but they’re also easier to clean!

You don’t need to clean the glasses for each wine. Have each of your guests hold on to one glass only. After every wine, have them swirl a small amount of water in their glasses in preparation for the next serving. Do not worry about new wine mixing with the last drop of the previous wine, provided that the new wine is heavier than the one before it. It is highly recommended that you serve your wines from lightest to heaviest and driest to sweetest.

Click image for a larger version!There is no need to serve food during a wine tasting event, but if you decide to do so, it would be a good asset to your party. A variety of munchies that loosely pair with the wines being served are ideal for tasting parties. Consider also serving fruits, cheese, crackers, and chocolates.

Offer your guests pieces of paper and pens, so that they can take note of their observations for every wine they try. After all of the featured wines have been served, provide time for your tasters to share their notes with everyone.

Most states in the US consider three glasses of wine per hour for men, or two for women, as at or above the legal limit. During your tasting event, keep your pours to three ounces or less. The best tasting parties are those that are kept intelligent and engaging. This is why you want to keep your guests sober, so that they can participate properly during discussions.

Want to host a wine tasting party inside your custom cellar? Let us help you design the tasting area! Call us today by clicking here!

Custom Design Features of a California Home Wine Cellar

California Custom Wine Cellar Installation Project

California Custom Wine Cellar Installation Project 

Since there are many considerations in building a wine cellar, you must work with an experienced builder. At Vintage Cellars, their design team can cater to all of your construction needs whatever your budget and requirements are. Learn how they completed a wine cellar extension in California.

Important Considerations in Building a Wine Cellar Extension

A homeowner wanted to double the size of their existing residential wine cellar. Vintage Cellars constructed the original wine room in 2008.

In 2013, they were asked by the client to start the extension project. There were important factors that they had to consider to meet all for the storage and aesthetics requirements.

Architectural Details of the Wine Cellar Exterior

The owner did not want to lose the view of the ocean from the different rooms. So, Vintage Cellars made sure that everything was in place and that the physical appearance of the house would not be affected by the architectural changes needed for the wine room’s extension.

The two condensers, which were placed outside this California home cellar, were unnoticeable. Vintage Cellars installed the ventilation grills for the hot air exhaust inside the condensing unit. They constructed the grills to match the existing physical structure of the home.

The French drain, which was placed in a planter on one side, allowed the condensate and line sets to be hidden inside.

Important Elements in Wine Cellar Construction

Attractive Sapele Mahogany Wooden Wine Racks

Attractive Sapele Mahogany Wooden Wine Racks

The main reason for investing in a climate-controlled wine storage area is to preserve the quality of the wine for many years to come.

As one of the most trusted builders in California, Vintage Cellars makes sure that every home wine cellar design they create will be the safest place for their client’s collection.

Proper Insulation and Installation of the Vapor Barrier

Wine can age gracefully if stored in a cellar that was built by a knowledgeable builder like Vintage Cellars.

They properly install every element in the construction of the wine cellar to ensure that it can protect wine from being damaged by external factors. Proper insulation and installation of the vapor barrier play a significant role in the proper maturation of wine.

Before the installation of the wine cooling system, the walls, ceiling, door, and flooring must be insulated correctly to prevent variable humidity levels. Poor or no insulation will deteriorate wine easily, resulting in a waste of investment.

Without proper insulation, there will be a high risk of mold and mildew growth, which can cause warping of your wall studs. It can also damage the quality of the wine and the labels.

Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

On this home wine cellar installation project in California, Vintage Cellars used 5 ½ inches of closed-cell polyicynene vapor barrier to insulate the walls. Closed-cell spray foam can be used both as insulation and vapor barrier.

The R-value was 7.7 per inch, which was high enough for the thickness of the wine room. This type of insulation can save you more money than other insulation options because of its better insulating properties. It also exceeds the regulations for fire rating in California.

The wallboard material used on the walls can be textured or painted. Recessed and dense shield airtight sealed cans were placed on all of the walls.

High-Quality and Well-Sealed Wine Room Door for a Home Wine Cellar in California

Wine Cellar Door California  Installation

Wine Cellar Door California Installation

Every wine cellar door must be made from an exterior grade material and is 1 3/4” thick so that it can withstand the humid conditions in a refrigerated wine cellar. An entryway constructed from a low-grade material is more likely to warp.

Additionally, it must also be equipped with sealing components, which will keep the cool air from escaping and the warm air from entering through the gaps around the door.

Weather stripping and an automatic door bottom can help create an airtight seal in the wine room.

Thermally insulated glass panels were used for the door of this recently extended wine cellar, to prevent UV rays from damaging the wines.

New Racking Sections for Additional Storage Space and Functionality

Custom Wine Rack Display California Installation Project

Custom Wine Rack Display California Installation Project

Since the goal of Vintage Cellars was to double the size of the existing wine cellar, they opened a couple of spaces on the first wall to provide a wide storage space for more bottles. They added attractive coved trays for the client’s large format bottles.

They incorporated the label-forward wine rack display in the second wall. The labels are facing out, allowing the owner to browse specific wines with ease.

This area can accommodate both 750ml and magnum bottles at the top and bottom sections.

A space for the client’s mini car collection, decanters, and other wine accouterment was created in the middle of the racking. A back mirror and lighting fixtures were added to achieve an eye-catching display.

For the third wall, upon entering the wine cellar, Vintage Cellars added new single column wine racks and custom cabinets with scalloped neck supports. They also provided a space where the owner can stack all of his wine boxes.

The last two walls in the wine room were designed to accommodate 98 bottles in large rack openings, 26 bottles in custom cabinets with scalloped neck supports, 32 bottles in coved trays, and 288 bottles in individual wine racks.

Additional Rolling Wine Cellar Ladder

California Home Wine Cellar Extension ProjectDuring the first installation of this wine room, they added a hook ladder. It can be removed from the railing to transfer from one wall to another.

However, Vintage Cellars thought that it would be difficult to move around the different areas of the cellar because the ladder was very tall. What they did was to add another hook ladder for convenience in accessing all of the wines in the room.

Work with an Expert Designer on Your Next Project

If you are looking for a professional builder who can design and install your dream wine cellar in your California home, Vintage Cellars can help you. Their innovative solutions will provide your prized collection a safe and elegant wine storage place. Contact them today at +1-800-876-8789 or request a custom wine cellar design for FREE!

Another Small Room was Converted Into a Beautiful Home Wine Cellar in California

Custom Wine Cellar Under the Stairs California

Elegant Custom Home Wine Cellar by California Master Builders

One of the dilemmas faced by homeowners is finding a location to store their wine collection. Most of them think that a large room is required for their project. In California, a master builder created a wine cellar design that suited the shape and size of their client’s space under the stairs.

Your Wine Cellar Can be Built in a Small and Irregular Shaped Room with the Help of an Expert

Storing your wines in an area with poor conditions will harm your collection. Wine deteriorates easily when exposed to too much heat.

It requires stable temperatures and variable humidity levels to preserve its bouquet. To achieve this, investing in a climate-controlled wine cellar is recommended.

Custom Wine Cellar Under the Stairs Vancouver BCOne of the important steps to make in wine cellar construction is to identify the space where you want to store your collection.

Keep in mind that you don’t need a big room for your wine cellar. You can build it in a walk-in closet, garage, or even under your staircase.

You have to find a professional builder who is willing to assist you throughout the planning stage, construction stage, up to and after the completion of your wine room. They must be able to provide you with an innovative solution that will meet your aesthetic, functional, and financial requirements.

Wine Cellar Installation Project Under the Stairs

In California, Blue Grouse Wine Cellars was contacted by a homeowner who wanted to transform an unused space under the stairs into an elegant wine room. As one of the most trusted builders, they always make sure that all of the specific needs of their clients are met.

Designing and Building the Wine Room

California Custom Wine Cellar Under the Stairs

3D Drawing Custom Wine Cellar California

At Blue Grouse Wine Cellars, they want every wine cellar to be visually appealing and safe. After a careful assessment of the client’s needs, they created 3-dimensional drawings.

The basic design package, which is free, includes the room’s dimension, various elevations of the racking, and bottle capacities.

The space is located in the main living area. It has a depth of 4 feet, and length of 12.5 feet. The sloping ceiling of the room posed a big challenge to the builder. However, this did not stop them from building a stellar residential wine cellar under the stairs.

The client asked Blue Grouse Wine Cellars to close all sides of the room and use wood for the wine racks. The wine refrigeration system was chosen carefully to ensure that the optimum conditions were met. A safe lighting system was installed to illuminate the wine display safely and beautifully.

Room Preparation Before the Wine Cellar Construction

How the room was prepared prior to construction plays a significant role in keeping the wine safe from harmful external factors. Heat is the number one enemy of wine. Thus, a stable temperature is required in wine storage spaces.

Insulation of the Walls, Ceiling, and Door

California Wine Cellar Insulation

California Wine Cellar Insulation

The walls, ceiling, and the door of a wine cellar must be well-insulated in order to prevent extreme changes in temperatures.

Room insulation will help achieve the perfect environment needed by wine to preserve its quality. Temperature fluctuations can alter the wine’s chemical properties, resulting in off-flavors and aroma.

A wine cellar with poor insulation or no insulation at all will force your wine cooling system to work harder.

When this happens, you will have higher energy consumption. Well-insulated wine cellars can help keep your electric bills low and prevent breakdowns of your refrigeration unit.

For this custom wine cellar built under the stairs in a California home, Blue Grouse Wine Cellars had to bring down the walls of the room to install the insulation and vapor barrier. After the demolition, they installed a new type of drywall, which was intended for climate-controlled wine rooms.

Sleek Wine Rack System for a Small Space

With many materials to choose from, it can be difficult to choose one that best suits the theme of your home and your aesthetic needs. With the help of Blue Grouse Wine Cellars, an experienced builder, you can store your collection in high quality and beautiful wine racks. They always want to create stellar wine displays for their clients.

On this project, they used a combination of racking styles. They utilized the back wall for the entire racking. The room’s height was approximately 6 feet. They were able to create a wine rack design that would accommodate more or less 360 bottles.

Sophisticated Wine Rack Features

California Under Stairs Wine Cellar Showing Sloping Ceiling with Pot Lights

Under Stairs Wine Cellar Showing the Wooden Wine Racks

Blue Grouse Wine Cellars added rack openings at the top section to accommodate 750ml bottles individually. They also included a high reveal display which was divided into three sections; two of which displayed standard bottles, while the third was intended for magnum bottles.

This row displays the bottles at an angle to prevent the cork from drying out. This will prevent the cork from losing its sealing ability and elasticity.

Dry cork shrinks and becomes brittle, allowing an unwanted amount of oxygen to mix with the wine. Oxidation happens, resulting in wine spoilage.

The lower section of the racking consists of diamond bins, which maximizes the capacity of the small wine cellar. With the diamond bins, homeowners who buy wines in bulk can organize their fine wines according to variety and style. The divider in each diamond bin can be removed to provide space for wooden cases.

Racking Material for a Classic Wine Cellar in California

Custom Wine Cellar Under the Stairs California

Front View of Under Stairs Custom Wine Cellar California

Wood has always been a popular choice in wine rack construction. It exudes warmth and timeless beauty. Wooden wine racks have the ability to blend well with both traditional and contemporary spaces.

Additionally, they can be customized for a unique wine display. Knotty Alder was used in this custom wine cellar project in California.

It has tight knots, straight grain patterns, and an even texture that added character to the wine racks. An Early American stain was applied for a more polished look.

Wall, Door, and Wine Cooling System

Custom Wine Cellar Under the Stairs California Builders

Custom Wine Cellar California with Glass Door and Walls Framed in Wood

The owner wanted to see his wine collection from outside of the cellar. Blue Grouse Wine Cellars decided to use glass framed with wood.

The glass panels were insulated to prevent the UV rays from damaging the wines. The wall and door were insulated and sealed to help regulate the storage conditions in the room.

For the cooling system, a KoolR Magnum unit was installed. It was placed at the top of the racking, through the back of the cellar. KoolR Magnum units are ideal for small wine rooms.

Turn Your Space into a Functional Wine Room

Planning to build a wine cellar in your California home? Blue Grouse Wine Cellars can help you! Contact them today at +1-888-400-2675!

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