Plan a Wine Tasting at an Outside Venue

how to plan a wine tasting at an outside venue

Yesterday was the execution of a corporate wine tasting event that a co-worker and I have been planning for weeks.  Now, I’ve done posts before on how to host your own wine tasting event, but this is a little different – this is how to find someone to host a wine tasting event.  Lucky for Jenn and I, we live in a city full of wine bars, so there were lots of options.  The trick is figuring out where to go from there.

7 Steps to Coordinate a Wine Tasting at a Restaurant

1. Identify Your Key Parameters
Availability of the space
Cost per person
Level of instruction requested
Size of the space
Parking availability

2. Pick Up the Phone and Start Asking Questions
What types of food are offerered?
How many wines?
Is there anything unique about your wines?
Do you host classes or is there someone who can provide some instruction?
What will the seating situation look like?

3. Calculate Your Cost Per Person
Wine + Food + Venue + Tax + Tip = Total
Don’t forget to ask the venue for help in choosing the proper amount of food and wine.  Our original quote was for 3 oz. samples of wine.  We were going to be tasting 5 different wines.  That is 15 oz. of wine – we would have had a very happy room of people.  The bartender suggested lowering it to 2 oz. samples of wine – which was both cheaper and much more manageable.  They also recommended that we only get one dessert tray and one fruit/cheese tray, which worked out perfectly.

4. Calculate Your Guest’s Cost Per Person
Decide if you want your guests to cover the entire cost, or if there is going to be somebody sponsoring the event to help subsidize this.

5. Plan an Itinerary for the Evening
How much will be devoted to mingling?
How much will be devoted to instruction?
Will there be introductions done by anybody?
Will there be any games played?
What about icebreakers?

6. Create and Send Invitations
The most important piece of advice I have on this one is keep track of your guest list.  Make sure you know if you are going over budget and/or over capacity or you’re going to be overwhelmed.

7. The Day Of the Event
Consider leaving a gift at the table for each person who has attended.
Make sure there is a table for nametags at the door.
Consider bringing a few prizes along to do a raffle during the event.
Make sure you know who’s paying.
Don’t forget to tip the servers.

Let me know how your wine tasting goes! I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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