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How to Host a Wine Tasting at Home

At Rio Vista Wines, we enjoy sipping regularly at our Cabin and River tasting rooms, but we also know that getting out to wine taste isn’t always easy with life and schedules. It can also be a fun change to be in the comfort of your own home, sipping the night away with your favorite people.

A Variety of Varietals

It’s more fun to wine taste when there are a wide variety of wines to compare. Start with some easy-drinking whites that you know the group will love, tasting from driest to sweetest, and then make the shift towards rose/lighter reds. End your tasting with full-bodied reds and dessert wines. Our Viognier and Wacky White are a great place to start! These will get your palate active and salivating for all the delicious wines ahead. Next, try a lighter red like our Barbera or Pinot Noir. Introducing a red that is light-bodied will help prepare your palate for bolder “finale” wines like Malbec and Syrah.

Have Some Light Snacks Prepared

Having the right snacks nearby is not only delicious, but also necessary for optimal wine tasting. A neutral snack like oyster crackers or Saltines will help reset your palate in between wines, and concentrated flavors like dried fruit, strong cheeses and chocolate can help enhance some of the wine flavors. Try different combinations to find your favorite pairing.

Shake Things Up


For a fun twist on the tasting, try having someone else pour the wines without telling you which one is which. Make notes on flavor, body and scent, and see if you can guess the varietal. This will give you the ability to discover for yourself, without biases, which grape varietal is your favorite of the evening. You may be surprised which ones you prefer based on flavor alone!


For those of you who have been collecting our wines for some time, we highly recommend trying a vertical tasting, where you try the same varietals from the same winery, starting with the newest vintage and working your way up to the oldest to see how they age over time. This is a great way to let you know when it’s time to open up those cases you’ve been saving.

Visit Rio Vista Wines to get the bottles you need for tasting at home. Gather your favorite people, pick up some snacks and kick up your feet for awhile for an unforgettable tasting experience in your very own comfort zone.