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What’s a Little Wine Among Friends?

Feeling a little wistful about summer coming to an end? Don’t whine about it–*wine* about it! Our Wine Among Friends party will help you make the most of those remaining warm summer nights. Gather your girlfriends for a kind-hearted toast, and discover which wines you enjoy the most! This user-friendly wine tasting can be customized to the tastes and sophistication of your group. No need to feel intimidated; everybody can be a winer!


Capitalize on the season and hold your wine-tasting party outdoors on your deck or patio. String up some twinkle lights or patio lanterns for a festive air…not much more is needed. You can, of course, hold this party any time of year indoors, just make sure you have enough tables and space for guests to move around.


The wine theme is very popular, so pre-printed invitations abound at party stores or even Target. Evite also has a nice selection of wine/grape-themed invites if you prefer to email your invites. For something a little more creative, why not try sending an invitation in a small plastic wine bottle. Just roll the invitation up, secure with a rubber band or ribbon and pop inside the bottle. Add a little pink sand, star confetti and a cork. The bottles are relatively inexpensive from (more precise link to come soon) And, best of all, they are mailable through the United States Postal Services if you tape over the cork and add a mailing label.

Here’s some sample invitation wording:

Please join me

To taste the simple delight

of wine and cheese

on a starry night. 

Design Your Wine Tasting

The most important decision you’ll need to make is which kind of wine tasting would be most enjoyable to you and your guests. Are you beginners, or seasoned wine connoiseurs? Below are a few ways to set up your tasting and discover the similarities and differences of the selected wines.

Don’t worry! If you feel intimidated about choosing wines for your soiree, visit your local wine merchant and ask for help. They are usually more than willing to guide you in the right direction. Your local wine merchant or liquor store may also be willing to provide a sommelier to guide your guests through the tasting and teach them about wine in general. We found one locally for $40/hour.

For the Beginning Winer: Varietal Tasting

A varietal tasting brings together wines of different grape varieties. This allows you to sample wines you haven’t been exposed to before–a Shiraz, perhaps, or a Gewurztraminer. You may find your girlfriends more willing to try something new in this setting than they would be to buy an unfamiliar bottle and bring it home.

For the Occasional Winer: General Tasting

A general tasting is sort of like a potluck.  Each of your guests can bring a bottle to share–either a favorite wine or one that has special meaning. It can be fun to see which wines make an appearance. During the tasting, place all the bottles in paper bags (use leg warmers or girly knee socks for greater "cute" factor) and assign each one a number. This helps to ensure that guests are not influenced by a cute label or famous name. Each guest ranks the wine. The person who brought the highest-ranking or best liked-wine wins a prize (perhaps a wine stopper or a set of wine charms).

For the Frequent Winer: Regional Tasting

A regional tasting brings together wines from different regions to be tasted and compared. For example, a Napa Valley Merlot vs. an Oregon Merlot.

For the Advanced Winer: Horizontal Tasting

A horizontal tasting includes wines that come from the same vintage year. For example, all wines from 1996 Napa Valley. You may decide to have one or two grape varieties. This is a great way to compare wineries.

For the Savvy Winer: Vertical Tasting

A vertical tasting includes wine from different vintage years, but all the wine comes from the same winery. This type of tasting lets you contrast the differences in taste over several years. You will then know which year you prefer from a particular winery. For example, compare three bottles of Oregon Merlot from the same winery, but three different vintage years.

 For the Ultimate Winer: Blind Tasting

A blind tasting includes multiple cloaked bottles of wine of various varieties. Each guest tastes and guesses what type of wine it is. For the person with the most correct guesses, award a prize. The Girlfriend Goblet at is a great prize idea. 

More Wine Tasting Tips

  • Provide pen and paper so your girlfriends can rate the wines and compare notes about each.
  • Ask your guests to each bring their own wine glass to reduce clean-up.
  • Plan on one bottle of wine per four guests. Fill each glass 1/3 full.
  • Provide unsalted crackers or fresh bread between tastings to cleanse palates.
  • Provide pitchers of water and buckets so guests can rinse and empty their glasses between wines.
  • Have a wine charm available for each guests to prevent the "is this my glass?" dilemma. 
  • Taste wines in this general order: Dry before sweet, light before heavy, simple before complex.
  • Serve appetizers after the tasting so your guests can truly appreciate the full flavor of the wine.


If you want to serve food, talk to the wine merchant when buying your wine. He or she can suggest the right pairing of food and wine. To simplify your tasting, you may want to just stick with cheese and chocolate as pairings.  

Party Favors 

For an inexpensive favor, laminate recipes that pair well with the wines you tasted, and clip together with a cute wine charm. Look at winery websites for recipes or again, draw on your local wine seller.

Some Girly Fun

Here’s an extra activity that will add some giggles to your gathering: Distribute our just-for-fun quiz, "Which Wine Are You?" You’ll find the text on our Party Extras page.

Don’t forget to open or close the evening with a special toast to your girlfriends. Here’s the one we came up with; feel free to borrow it. Have a great time and let us know how your "Wine Among Friends" party goes!

 A Toast to our Girlfriends

Here’s to our girlfriends

They keep us strong

They make us laugh the whole night long

They give us shoulders to cry on

And shoes to try on

They see our true selves

Even when we look like hell

So raise a glass to our female friends

May the fun we share never end!



  1. [...] western suburbs. It reminded us to tell you that now is a GREAT time of year to have a Wine Among Friends party. Tina hosted one of these two years ago and it was a fabulous success. Click the link for all [...]

    Pingback by Girlfriend Celebrations - Women, Friendship, Fun Party Ideas, Girls Night Ideas — September 28, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  2. [...] by the way, what wine pairs well with s’mores—anyone know? Having a Wine Among Friends party is another way to explore taste with your girlfriends in the summer. We still have fond memories of [...]

    Pingback by Summer + Food = Great Girls Nights! | Girlfriend Celebrations — July 6, 2009 @ 10:18 am

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