Uncorking joy with friends

Taste for Yourselves – DIY Tasting at Home

Tasting mat with 2 filled different white wine glasses and two filled different red wine glasses of the RIEDEL Veloce series in the background 2 different white wine bottles and two different red wine bottles

Education, time with friends, wine - a RIEDEL Wine Glass Experience has it all. Sometimes, however, life prevents you from attending a professional in-person tasting. So what can be done on such occasions?

With a small selection of wines, a few friends to use as your audience, and some RIEDEL Tasting Sets, you can transform your living room into your personal tasting room for the ultimate stay-at-home wine glass experience. Join us as we walk you through how to deliver a DIY wine glass tasting to remember.

Selecting your glassware

Hosting your DIY wine glass tasting

We recommend using RIEDEL Grape Specific Glassware to get the most out of any wine. Different wine varieties have different characteristics and flavor profiles, and the size and shape of the vessel you use – whether that's a RIEDEL glass or plastic cup - will alter how you perceive the wine. RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific wine glasses are designed with this in mind and are precision-engineered to bring out the best from specific wine varietals. We recommend reading our blog on Grape Varietal Specific glasses to learn more about this.

To make getting a variety of Grape Varietal Specific wine glasses for your DIY wine glass tasting as easy as possible, we have our RIEDEL Tasting Sets. Each RIEDEL Tasting Set offers a selection of Grape Varietal Specific wine glasses from a particular collection, plus tasting mats, ensuring you have everything you need for your tasting. Have a look below at some of our Grape Varietal Specific collections from which we offer RIEDEL Tasting Sets.

Once you've chosen your RIEDEL Tasting Set, all that's left is to purchase wine that matches one of the glasses included in your set!

Wine glass tastings vs wine tastings

Let's begin by covering how a wine glass tasting differs from a regular wine tasting:

In wine tastings, you typically taste a selection of wines from one glass and focus primarily on their qualities. You pour the wines into the glass you're using, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor them to examine them and learn about their respective backgrounds and characteristics.

Wine glass tastings use multiple glasses and shift the focus toward how the size and shape of your glassware impact the characteristics of your wine. You take one wine and try it in multiple different glasses, noting how each glass causes the wine to express itself differently.

Setting up

Once you've got your RIEDEL Tasting Set and wine of choice for the evening, it's time to set up. Here's how we advise getting your table ready for your home tasting:
  • Open your RIEDEL Tasting Set, take out the tasting mat, and place it on your table. This piece of paper details the glasses included in your set and will allow you to focus and experience your wine as intended.
  • Take each glass out of your tasting set and place it where it belongs on your tasting mat. Each glass has its grape variety engraved on it, making it easy to match it with its spot on the tasting mat. Ensure you wash each glass before the next step.
  • Open your wine and pour, equally filling each glass from your tasting set—approximately half a bottle per person is a good rule of thumb. Ensure your wine is at the correct temperature, as this will affect how you experience it. Our blog on the ideal temperature for serving wine elaborates further on this detail.
Tasting mat with 2 different white wine glasses and two different red wine glasses of the RIEDEL Veloce series all filled with red wine in the background 2 different white wine bottles and two different red wine bottles

The tasting process

Your wine glass tasting is all setup and ready to go. Now for the stages of performing the tasting.

Prepare your glasses, swirling the wine, ensuring the inside walls are covered with the aroma of your wine.

Smell the wine in each glass. Move from left to right and back again, noticing the difference that the shape of the glass makes to how the wine communicates its aromas. In the correct glass, your wine should shine, while in other glasses, its aromas will either be too open or closed up. Take your time and keep going back and forth between the glasses, taking note of any differences you notice between each glass.

Take small sips of your wine from each glass. Notice how the wine flows differently from each glass due to the difference in glass shape, resulting in the wine's viscosity, texture, and taste varying from glass to glass. After each sip, you can either swallow your wine or spit it out into a plastic cup. Finally, consider which glass was the perfect match for the wine you're drinking - was it the correct varietal-specific glass?

You can carry out your home wine glass tasting using just one wine, but if you wish to try another wine, you can! Simply rinse each glass thoroughly with water before starting the tasting process over with your new wine.

Tasting mat with 2 different white wine glasses and two different red wine glasses of the RIEDEL Veloce series all empty, two different white wine bottles and two different red wine bottles from above (bird's eye view)

Bonus tip

add some extra fun with games

The above steps should thoroughly prepare you for a fun DIY wine glass tasting with friends, but if you want to add a little twist to proceedings, here are a few ways you can make the experience even more fun:
  1. Make it a blind wine glass tasting: Cover the wine labels before you examine the wine from each glass so your guests don't know which glass is supposed to be the most suitable one until after they've given their verdicts. This works particularly well with our RIEDEL Key to Wine Tasting Set, which features three different RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific red wine tumblers.
  2. Add some food: Match wines with different snacks and discuss the pairings during the wine glass tasting. We often include a square of Lindt chocolate at our RIEDEL Wine Glass Experiences!
  3. Introduce some trivia: Note some fun facts about the wines and wine glasses you're using and quiz your guests during the tasting to test their know-how.