As a wine enthusiast, you might be wondering how you can get your not-so-enthused friends excited about it. Wine can be complex, and like anything, it’s hard to get interested if you don’t understand it.
Teaching your friends about wine doesn’t have to be boring – for them or you.
Wine Is an Acquired Taste
As the saying goes, “wine is an acquired taste.” Tasting wine for the first time isn’t always the most delightful experience, especially if you’re tasting a more complex drop.
It can take time to become attuned to wine’s subtleties and sheer beauty. But don’t let that deter you from getting your friends involved.
Wine can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
How To Teach Your Friends About Wine
Wine is meant to be paired and brings people together, whether for a charcuterie board, a dinner party, sailing on a yacht, or a board game night.
The last thing we want to do when we’re enjoying a night with our friends is to be schooled. So here are five ways you can go about teaching your friends about wine without it being boring:
- Degustation dinners
- Hosting wine and cheese appreciation (WACA) nights
- Gift friends a book on wine
- Give friends a wine tasting
- Book a sommelier for your birthday party
Degustations dinners are fantastic for wine newbies. A degustation menu usually consists of eight to 20 courses, beginning with appetizers and ending with desserts. Each course is a creative curation of flavors paired with an appropriate glass of wine.
Many finer restaurants offer a degustation menu, which can be an impressive experience. Or you can create your own degustation menu at home, choosing the appropriate wines to pair, and getting your friends to each bring a bottle of wine you’ve chosen.
The good thing about DIY degustations is that you can tailor the food to your friends’ palates and choose the wines you’re more familiar with. So when everyone is eating and sipping their wine, you can talk them through each course.
Hosting Wine and Cheese Appreciation (WACA) Nights
If you’re not much of a cook or just love cheese (who doesn’t?), a WACA night is the perfect experience to teach your friends about wine. You can choose the cheeses and wines like a degustation and get friends to bring a bottle or a cheese each.
Turn WACA into a healthy competition where everyone has a small taste of each wine and cheese and takes notes on each one. You then put the bottles into paper bags and hide the cheeses so your friends can’t see them. Then they do another blind tasting and have to guess the wines and cheeses.
The winner gets a bottle of wine and some cheese.
WACA nights are great when done regularly. And alternating hosts among your friends also increases the likelihood of them showing more interest when they are the hosts.
Another little tip is to choose all the same cheese and wine varieties, such as all cheddars and Pinot Grigio, so it’s harder for your friends to guess. They have to taste everything and think about the flavors, which is a brilliant way to teach your friends about wine without it being boring.
Gift Friends a Book
There are some fantastic books out there that explain all about wine. But to ensure your friends will read the book, it’s good to choose one that resonates with your friends’ personalities.
Depending on the friend you’re gifting, you can choose something simple with diagrams and pictures, like Wine Folly. A wine-tasting course like this one. Or you can get friends a bestseller, like Cork Dork.
With the variety of wine books available today, it’s easier than ever to teach your friends about wine.
Give Friends a Wine Tasting
Got a friend who’s not into reading? Try a wine tasting instead. Wine tastings are an inexpensive and educational experience, perfect for couples or small groups.
One of the best regions for wine tasting is the Temecula Valley, just 90 minutes south of Anaheim, California. Here, you’ll find our Sweet Oaks premier tasting room and tours, where we provide an intimate and exclusive experience. A wine tasting and tour are arguably one of the easiest and best ways to teach your friends about wine, and it gives you a day out with your friends, so it’s not just about learning.
Book a Sommelier for Your Dinner Party
Hire a sommelier for a couple of hours to amp up a dinner party. They are formally trained in all things wine and can educate you and your friends in a comfortable environment. This way, you have an expert there to continue teaching your friends about wine.
You can also hire a sommelier to host your WACA night so all of your friends can join in the festivities.
There’s a Different Wine for Everyone
There’s nothing like sharing a bottle of wine over a good conversation. Wine brings people together and is suitable in almost any setting. There are many variations of wines available, from Pinots, Sauvignons, and Merlots. There’s something for every tastebud. Teaching your friends about wine has never been easier.
For your newbie friends, start with sweet wines, like Moscato and sweet Rosé. So, to develop the palate for wine, starting on something sweet and light, like our best-selling Brosé, is an excellent pathway to appreciating more complex wine down the road.
A charcuterie board and our light-bodied Chardonnay are some great food and wine pairings—seafood dinner with our stunning Pinot Grigio. Or, for steak lovers, try our delicious Zinfandel with your next lovingly seared filet.
Whether you’re just starting your wine journey or a seasoned wine connoisseur, we welcome you to try our range of Sweet Oaks wines by visiting our website, scheduling a tasting, or joining one of our Wine Clubs and choosing between three, six, or 12-bottle memberships.