Food & Drink, Free Printables, Parties & Entertaining

A DIY Wine Tasting Party & Free Printable!

Wine tasting has been a staple “sport” for me and my 3 bffs in Richmond for as long as we’ve been friends.

So when Reba talked about her upcoming 30th birthday, she mentioned that she really wanted to gather all her friends and climb aboard a bus for a big, mobile party through Virginia’s wine country.  But as we planned her surprise 30th, we weren’t able to get the key people’s schedules to line up right to make a weekend afternoon wine tasting road trip work.

Wine Pouring Action

In a last-minute moment of brainstorming, I realized that if we couldn’t take Rebecca to wine country, we could bring a wine tasting to her ! The party turned out great, even though we put the theme together in just a few days.

Here’s how we did it:

Wine Tasting DIY Glass Name Tags

Sure, you can buy fancy wine glass markers, or you can grab some scissors and paper and make your own!

  • I traced a bunch of circles onto the most wine-colored cardstock I had.
  • Then I cut out the circles so that I had a bunch of paper discs.
  • Next, I drew a small circle in the middle of the paper disc.
  • Then I cut halfway into the paper disc, then cut out the small circle from the center. That way the disc could be slipped onto the stem of the glass.
  • Finally, I cut around the edge of the paper discs with decorative scrapbooking scissors (but this step isn’t necessary).

We asked several friends to bring their stashes of  souvenir wine tasting glasses to the party.  (Rather than use “good” glasses.)  We slipped the paper discs onto the stems of the glasses.  At the party, guests were able to write their names on the discs to mark their territory.

DIY Wine Tasting Notes Sheet

If you’re doing a real wine tasting party, you’ve gotta have a sheet on which to take notes!  I put this together using PowerPoint, then printed a bunch of copies in color.  These were a huge hit!

And becuase I love you guys, I thought – why not make it a free printable in case you want to use it for a party?  You can download your free printable Wine Tasting Notes sheet right here.

In hindsight, I just wish I’d thought to buy a set of those tiny pencils, then wrapped them in some pretty pink Japanese Washi Tape for an extra special touch.

For the decor, we kept things pretty simple, and stuck to pops of magenta & white for a “wine colors” theme.  Clean, empty wine bottles served as vases for magenta and white fabric flowers – on clearance at Michael’s for about $1 each.  I brought my canvas drop cloth tablecloth to cover the dining table – as a protective measure.  When you mix people and wine for a tasting party, there’s bound to be spillage.

We had an incredible assortment of food at this shindig.  Some people brought wine-tasting like foods, such as the salmon canapes or the cheeses.  Others brought some tasty southern staples, like deviled eggs.   It was untraditional, but awesome.

Smoked Salmon Canapes Wine Tasting




Reba is typically the cupcake-maker of our group, but because it was a surprise for her, I make the cupcakes.  The grape cluster design was pretty easy to do with a simple round icing tip and a leaf tip.


Once the birthday girl arrived and things settled down, we all circled the table for the wine tasting.  If you’re going to do this right, one person needs to be the wine server.  That person was me!

I learned that it was helpful to:

  • Have a dish towel on hand for any drips, and to wipe the condensation off the bottles
  • Open the bottles ahead of time, to keep things moving smoothly and quickly
  • Not take things too seriously – it’s a party, not a snob gathering, after all 🙂

All in all, it was a great party – everyone seemed to love the theme, and it didn’t required much work to put together, especially because with this kind of event you can get everyone to chip in a little.   Think you want to try it?

Here are my tips for throwing a great wine tasting party:

  • Ask each guest to bring one bottle of wine and one appetizer
  • If you have a group of more than 8 people, ask each person to bring two bottles of the same wine – so you don’t run out.  (Because after the tasting people like to have a glass of their favorite)
  • Have a waterproof ice bucket near the serving area so you can keep the white wines chilled before and during the tasting session
  • Make a fun wine tasting notes sheet – or download mine:

Free Wine Tasting Notes Printable!

Finally, it wouldn’t be a post about some of my favorite ladies without a group photo.   🙂  Along with Melissa in Boston, they’re my very best friends – and my biggest cheerleaders.  <3  them!


Sharing at:

A Beach Cottage

Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Amaze Me Tuesday at Bella Before & After

Craft & Tell at Cherished Bliss

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  • Reply Jenn @ Peas and Crayons at 3:36 pm

    um… can I move to VA and be part of this group? =) LOVE the DIY wine glass markers and the cupcake design is ab fab my friend! <3 mwah! you should totally throw me a housewarming party 😉 bahaha! add that to your 100000001 things to do will ya? 

  • Reply Jennifer McCormick at 5:20 pm

    This is so fun! What a great way to celebrate a 30th … and your cupcakes are beautiful. I’ve tried that … it’s sooooo not easy 🙂

  • Reply Liz at 7:04 pm

    Agreed, your cupcakes are super cute!
    I’ve so gotten into wine tasting since moving to California, it’s one of my favorite ‘sports’ too!

  • Reply Liz at 7:04 pm

    Agreed, your cupcakes are super cute!
    I’ve so gotten into wine tasting since moving to California, it’s one of my favorite ‘sports’ too!

  • Reply Julia at 7:29 pm

    What a great idea! I am digging the printable and your insanely cute blue dress. I can’t wait to cook up my own occasion modeled on this one. My BFF has a bday in October… maybe?

  • Reply Ashley Cherishedbliss at 12:58 am

    Wish I was at that party! Looks like tons of fun, and everything looks awesome! Thanks for linking up to Craft and Tell!

  • Reply Ashley @ Design Build Love at 11:37 pm

    party looks like a total blast!!! 🙂  Good drinks + good friends = good time!

  • Reply abeachcottage at 1:07 pm

    Looks like the birthday gal enjoyed her party. Love the wine glass markers, very creative and the cupcakes looked delish too! Thanks for linking to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  • Reply T.J. at 6:41 am

    ooh this is great thanks so much! We are throwing a bachelorette party for my girlfriend and it will be a wine tasting theme.

  • Reply WONDERMOM WANNABE Wine and Cheese Pairing | at 9:19 am

    […] guests to record their experience.  The inexpensive option is to give each guests like these from The Borrowed Abode.  Or, for a little more, you can give actual wine journals so your guests can continue to track […]

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