If you are group of beginners do not choose too similar wines to make tasting easier and more rewarding (if you don’t find any differences it can be a bit boring). You can for example take 2-3 whites and 2-3 reds to compare – then you have possibility to find differences in each type but you don’t have to try too hard.
To learn the basics take different wines for example take try and fruity semidry Riesling and oaky dry Chardonnay for whites – you should be able to taste differences and also to recognize some basic characteristic of wine. It might be a good idea to first try to evaluate, taste and discuss (learn more about tasting technique here) and then check what professionals have said or wrote about them. When you know what to look for it’s usually easier to find and at the same time you learn what you can find from the wine.
When you become more advanced taster try different themes to learn more and to find your favorites:
A) One type of wine (sparklings, whites, reds…)
– Next step from beginner is to recognice differences in multiple wines of same type. You can for example try blind tasting for six different reds. Try to recognize color, aroma, taste and finish. Maybe you can even tell where the wine is from or what kind of grapes it’s made of?
B) Wines from different areas of same country
– Learn characteristics of wine from that country. Especially interesting if you plan to do a wine travel – this kind of tasting helps you find your favorite areas, wineries, grape types, etc. from that specific country
C) Varietal tasting (choose one grape variety and compare wines from different areas / countries)
– Learn differences between those areas, differences in soil, weather and winemaking process influence the wine
D) For real pros: One grape type + one area
– Compare products from different wineries or even different vintages of the same wine. When you’re able to succeed at this step you have (in my opinion at least) mastered wine!
I hope that my post gave you new ideas. 🙂 Enjoy summertime and good wine. Have fun with friends and get excited about wine. It should be fun and social even if you try to master your knowledge!