How to throw a wine pairing party

Celebrate with friends, vino and food!

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Invite friends over and host a wine pairing party with your favorite wines and treats. From full-bodied reds to refreshing whites, your guests will love sipping vino with savory appetizers, artisanal cheeses and luxurious chocolates. We’re sharing tips for entertaining in style while throwing a wine pairing party!

The invitation

Greet guests in style by sending out a simple invitation to let them know what the night has in store. If you plan to ask guests to bring a bottle of wine to share (an economical alternative to providing all the wine yourself), be sure to provide each guest with a specific varietal (for example, merlot or chardonnay) so you don’t end up with all the same type of wine. 


  • Provide plenty of water for a night of wine, so be sure to extra glasses or bottles of water on hand. 
  • For guests who just want to taste the wine, set out a wine bucket so they can empty their glass.
  • Provide labels so guests can easily identify foods and wines. Try these crafty wine cork placecards that work equally well as labels.
  • Music and lighting will set the ambiance in your house so be sure to turn on some light tunes and dim the lights for the evening.
  • When it comes to serving food, variety is key! Especially if you have guests bringing wine to share, the trick is picking up a variety of cheeses, chocolates and mini appetizers for guests to enjoy.

The pairings

The key to a wine pairing party is matching carefully so flavors complement each other rather than compete. Provide a few savory appetizers, cheese, and chocolates.

Keep this easy pairing chart in mind to help match flavors

  • Chardonnay: Hot brie with toasted almonds, crudités, oysters, mini quiche tarts
  • Riesling: Lindt Excellence a Touch of Vanilla, asparagus, cold meats, pasta salad
  • Pinot gris, sauvignon blanc: Antipasto,  vegetables, pasta salad, milk chocolates
  • Sparkling wines: Nuts, olives, seafood (scallops, shrimp, etc.)
  • Cabernet sauvignon: Lindt’s Excellence 85% Cocoa, blue cheese, gouda
  • Merlot: Semi-hard cheeses, marinated vegetables
  • Syrah: Tapenade, dark chocolate, olives, dried cherries

Keep it fun

Avoid a stuffy atmosphere by keeping the wine pairing party light and fun! Play a wine trivia game and give the winner a wine-themed gift basket. You can make your own wine trivia game or find a printable one online.

Hit the smartphones for some fun wine apps that will provide you and your guests with lots of tips and information about the wines you’re sipping. We suggest Pair It!, Hello Vino and Wine To Match.

For a sweet ending, send guests home with a box of Lindt truffles to thank them for enjoying the evening with you! Remember, at the end of the night, there are no hard and fast rules about wine pairing. Enjoy experimenting with flavors and hosting friends for an evening of fun!