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Wine Tasting Kits and Caboodles

Wine tasting may seem like something that is on special reserve, geared only for those who are expert wine drinkers. Intent on discovering fruits of a winery's labor, these connoisseurs set out to serve as judges and juries of the bottled world, as if deciding the fate of a wine that stands trial, accused of being bad. But, however expert-like wine tasting may seem, it's not just for those who are experts, connoisseurs, or even seasoned drinkers; wine tasting is also for beginners. For those of you who view wine as a stranger, too intimidated to approach it in a bar, wine tasting is a necessary and helpful practice.

Wine tasting serves many purposes. First of all, it gives you the ability to find out what kind of wine you truly enjoy, helping you decide what wine you should order at restaurants and store in the cellar. Wine tasting also exposes you to a variety of types, educating you on how to detect differences. Without it, you may have no chance at ever determining one wine from another, ultimately forcing yourself to order the entire wine list instead of just a specific glass or bottle.

While many cities have wine tasting events, with some cities even offering classes on how to properly taste wine, some people, particularly the wine novice, may prefer to lose their wine tasting virginity in a more private venue, such as their own home. For those of you whom this preference fits, a wine tasting kit is a suitable purchase.

Wine Tasting Kits

Wine tasting kits bring the concept of a large wine tasting venue to the comfort of your home, allowing you to enjoy each sip in your favorite chair, perhaps watching Golden Girls in between vintages, nodding in appreciation of both your wine and Sophia's witty repartee. Because it removes the presence of wine vendors and wine experts from the equation, wine tasting kits provide the ability to taste wine without the fear of doing it incorrectly.

Wine tasting kits can greatly range in price and in what they include. While some come with everything you could possibly need, stopping just short of packaging a vineyard in bubble wrap, others don't include everything, with some not including the wine. Wine tasting kits that may be geared towards teaching people to learn the differences in smell may include aroma strips, where as those geared towards party games may include a wine trivia book. Similarly, some wine tasting kits are geared for a solo taster, while other wine tasting kits come with six or eight glasses, aimed at those who want to share the wine tasting experience with a few close friends.

Wine tasting kits may also not be exactly what they sound like. Some books that discuss wine tasting call themselves wine tasting kits and course outlines that provide a lesson plan on tasting also call themselves wine tasting kits. While these can be just as helpful as the actual wine tasting kit itself, be sure you are purchasing exactly what you seek.

Blind Wine Tasting Kits

Whether it's romance you're sharing with another person, or romance you're sharing with a bottle of wine, love is always blind, with no preconceived notions or stereotypes affecting affection. This idea applies to all sorts of categories of wine, particularly the tasting of it.

Blind wine tasting, while it may sound like a game where you wear a blindfold and pin a wine opener on a bottle of Pinot Noir, is the concept of tasting wine without knowing anything about it — without knowing where it's from, what year it was made, or what it does for fun. Because people often have previously established judgments, knowing certain things about wine can alter opinions. Blind tasting, however, requires the taster to be as objective as possible, making them as honest as possible in the process. This gives you the greatest chance of finding wine that you truly like.

Blind wine tasting kits are essentially the same as wine tasting kits, only you don't know what type of wine you are tasting. These kits typically come with bottles encased in cloth, blocking you from viewing the wine's information. Only after the wine has been tasted and rated should its identity be revealed.

About Jenn Jordan

  • Judith

    Good comments on blind wine tasting. In my opinion it is the best way to experience wine. I purchased a kit, I belong to quite a few tasting groups, of bags for blind wine tasting. You can kind them here: I bought them on


  • Paul Harrison

    Hi saw you postings and throught you might be interested in checking out Virtual Wine

    Virtual Wine events are live webcasts, where you can interact with wine expers and chat with fellow tasters – all from the comfort of your own home! The events are free to view – and great fun. You can pre-order tasting wines from the site before the events.

    Let me know what you think!

  • SWILLparty

    We think that wine tasting party kits are a great way to taste wine with friends, especially in your own home where no one cares if you don’t know a thing about wine. When you taste wines in a blind format, it becomes even more fun because your subjective taste has been removed and replaced with an objective adventure. I know the SWILL Wine Tasting Kit can easily be used to host a single party or to start a social wine tasting club. Social wine tasting clubs are a great way to meet new people.

    In 2003, 12 of our wine-loving friends from Allegany, NY got together to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. Our first SWILL™ (Several Wine Imbibers Liking Libations) wine tasting party was such a huge hit that we quickly realized we had to do this again—and soon! We now have over 160 members and have met people from our own small area that we would never have met any other way.

    Our members take turns hosting and everyone pays a tasting fee, which covers the wine and tasting kit supplies. The tasting fee has provided us with the opportunity to sample some fabulous wines. If you want to learn more about wine in a fun social setting, consider a SWILL Wine Tasting and Club Starter Kit to get things going.


    Eva and Anne