How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting

Looking for an affordable way to entertain your adult family and friends that’s not only low-stress but also a ton of fun? I have the perfect adult party theme idea to deliver just that! Learn how to host a budget-friendly wine tasting party and be known as the rockstar amongst your family and friends.

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme

Funny story. This whole concept of How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting Party stemmed from a coupon we received in the mail last week. Yes, a simple coupon!

I’m sure you receive what we like to refer to in our house as “junk mail” pretty much every day. You know what I’m referring to. They are those flyers, postcards, and coupons that get a quick flip through before finding their way into the garbage can.

It’s our routine for Zach to check the mail in the afternoon when he gets home from school and then I briefly take a peek before leaving it on the counter for Patrick to look at when he gets home from work. Normally, I just throw the junk mail away but something about the flyer filled with a bunch of wines made me decide to leave it for Patrick to peruse later that evening when he got home.

Good thing I did because not only was he just as intrigued as I was by the selection of wine in the flyer, but he mentioned that he would like to go and see what it was all about on his next day off. There was a $10 off of $40 coupon on the back of the flyer that was just screaming to be used. We just couldn’t let it go to waste…

So for about a week, I anxiously awaited Patrick’s day off. All the while, my mind was working double-time trying to figure out some way to incorporate it all into the blog. You all know I’m that kind of gal… always thinking about my Lake Life State of Mind community! I mean, how could I enjoy all that wine and leave you out to dry? It’s just not in my nature!

With a little thought, I was able to come up with two pretty awesome ideas to share with you about our experience visiting Total Wine & More. This amazing post I’m sharing today is one of my brilliant ideas but I have another one scheduled for the near future so make sure to be on the lookout for it!

When yesterday finally arrived, I was beyond eager to share my ideas with Patrick. Although he wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as I was, he knows better after being with me for almost 19 years that there’s no point in fighting me on it. Unfortunate for him, or fortunate for me, I somehow figure out a way to get what I want. Poor Patrick!

Before heading out to Total Wine & More, Patrick reached out to two of his friends who were also off on Wednesday and invited them over for an impromptu wine tasting party. Both instantly said yes so my plan was a go.

That’s what I love about our friends, by the way. We can call them the day of an event, and when offered wine, they come running!

So within a day’s time, I pulled off a budget-friendly wine tasting party with literally no previous planning. This is totally against the grain for my personality but I went with it anyway and it was a major success. It really was so easy and simple that I had no problems putting it all together on the fly.

Are you ready to try it for yourself?

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting Party

Step 1: Invite your friends

As I mentioned above, I literally had Patrick reach out to his buddies the morning of the wine tasting to invite them over. Fortunately for us, they were available and eager to participate in another one of my crazy ideas!

You know your friends and their situations best. If you think you need to give a little more notice than I did, feel free to. Honestly, the planner in me would do that on a normal basis. Not sure what got into me this time. I guess I was too excited to wait. Wine does that to me!

When inviting your guests, ask them to bring a bottle of either red, white or rosé wine. Here’s the catch. The wine must be less than $10 a bottle. That’s where the budget comes in. The wine tasting will consist of rating wines costing less than $10 a bottle!

*Note: For my wine tasting, we had a selection of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and sparkling Rosé to rate. These are the three categories I chose for my party but what you decide to do is completely up to you. You can be more generic and do a mixture of any white or red wine or maybe do chardonnay and cabernet. The possibilities are endless!

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party ThemeStep 2: Buy your wine

Patrick and I put our $10 off of $40 coupon for Total Wine & More to good use in hunt of the best cheap wines. I feel I need to mention for the record that Total Wine & More was AMAZING. You can find a wine at every price level plus a variety of spirits, mixers, and even bar snacks to choose from.

Like I mentioned above, I wanted to rate a white, red and rosé wine for the tasting. I recommend having a minimum of three wines per category to rate. We had 4 of the red and white and then 3 of the rosé.

Don’t forget that you asked your friends to bring a bottle of wine with them. Their bottles should be included in the count towards your total. Again, this is supposed to be a budget-friendly event so don’t overspend!

Step 3: Go grocery shopping for snacks and supplies

With the consumption of all that wine, you’ll definitely want food at your wine tasting party! I went a little overboard, like I often do, and cooked a full-blown meal for everyone. Honestly, it was a waste. Most of the food was left untouched because we were too busy rating all the wine. My bad…

What food was touched? The dips and finger food I made. They were easy to pick up and nosh on while still participating in the wine tasting.

My Wine Party Tasting Food Ideas:

I used these tiny styrofoam cups to pour the wine samples in. I had some left over from my Chili Cook-Off party so I figured I might as well use them. I found them at Publix which is our local grocery store. 

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme

You can skip the sample cups altogether and just serve the samples in wine glasses. Place a bowl or bucket in the center of the table so your guests can pour out any extra wine they didn’t finish from their sample before moving onto the next one.

Step 4: Rate your wine

Grab a pen or pencil for each one of your guests. Using the rating sheet I provided (fill out the form at the bottom of the page to print), have your guests rate each wine from a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest score possible. Guests can write anything they liked or disliked about the wine in the space provided. After each category, guests can put down their favorite wine from that grouping.

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme

When all the wine tasting is complete, collect everyone’s papers and record each person’s favorite from each category on the sheet provided. The wine with the most votes from each category is the winner!

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party ThemeStep 5: Announce the winners and celebrate!

Now that you have the winners from each category in your hand, announce them to your guests and celebrate! Grab yourself a full glass of your favorite wine, a plate full of appetizers and laugh the rest of the evening away. You deserve it after all that hard work…Wink! Wink!

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme

Now it’s your turn. I’ve taught you how to host a budget-friendly wine tasting party so you have no excuse but to throw one of your very own. I know your friends and family will love you for it. We’ve already made plans for another!


Want to remember this? Post, How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting, to your favorite Pinterest board!

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Wine Tasting | Fun Adult Party Theme


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