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hosting a wine tasting at my house

I'd like to have a small party that includes wine tasting. I'll make the food, but does anybody know of wine reps or stores that would do a tasting for free?

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  1. You might try Cambridge Wine & Spirits in Fresh Pond. Their wine selection is great and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.

    1. For free? That seems unlikely at a wine store. I actually found prices for many shops last year surprisingly high on the order of $75 /hour.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MaggieMuffin

        $75-$100 an hour is the going rate for a wine professional to come to your home and do a tasting. Usually includes them putting the tasting together, picking up the wine, (that you bought) putting together a tasting sheet and discussing each wine for your guests. You might look into finding a brand manager for a specific winery or import portfolio they may be willing to do it either cheaper or for free as a way to promote their line. Good luck and have a great tasting.

        1. re: bubbles4me

          I can't imagine a brand manager doing it for free, unless you bought 5 or 6 cases from him for the party, and even then, since you're not a wholesale account that he can 'grow', I can't imagine he'd be interested. I know that's how it works for food demos.

          1. re: galleygirl

            I only mentioned a brand manager because I had a friend that was working for a new unknown winery from New Zealand and in an effort to get the name out there he did a few in home events letting the guests know where to buy the wines in their area. Figured it was worth a shot for the poster.

      2. There was an articly in the latest Food & Wine magazine about having wine tastings in your own home. They are far from free. The fees mentioned were actually exhorbitant - but they were naming the tops in LA and NYC. I am sure if you visit local wine purveyors they could tell you if they have such a service or steer you in the right direction for you budget (but definitely not for free).

        1. you could also ask a restaurant sommelier that you know, but they won't do it for free either.

          you do realize you're asking somebody to work?

          1. This is an interesting option....www.myttv.com

            Legit co, I had explored becoming a wine consultant at one time, works almost like a Tupperward kind of party.....

            I believe the Wine Gallery (rt 9) does them, I know for a fact Andover Liquors does in Andover, but again, they'll be hoping your guests will purchase through them. They do a nice job tho.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kparke30

              It certainly looks legit.

              I don't know how much I would enjoy an event of this sort though - especially not if it is posed by the host as a social event. If I knew what I was attending was a 'tupperware' type party maybe.

              Think of it - these events must reek of profit motive. What's in it for the company and the 'consultant' without relatively substantial sales? No, that doesn't mean they are going to get them, but it does mean they are going to work very hard to get them.

              I am sure the company will explain that they are not in business to do social events. They will want you to invite people who are interested in purchasing the '"finest wines in the world" that you never heard of.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                While I agree to a certain extent, I will say, every wine tasting or wine dinner I've ever attended has that same motive, otherwise, why bother? If it's sponsored in any way, of course they'll be hoping you'll purchase. The only way around that would be if you did know something about wine, to pick up a few cases & host your own party, for your own reasons.

                I guess the decision would lie in whether they want to learn something/slash be sold something vs. simply uncorking a few bottles & hangin' with friends.

                1. re: kparke30

                  "pick up a few cases" Hey, these guys get away with supplying 5 bottles... No, there's no need to pick up a few cases to host a wine tasting party.

                  "every wine tasting or wine dinner I've ever attended has that same motive"

                  That's certainly not my history. further, I just have to think these events would be rather different.

                  I have attended sales tastings, but none have been 'captive' events. I have to think it is a bit different when the seller loads up their goods and comes to your location with a selection of 5 wines (either white or red) i and a box of glasses. When I leave a tasting at a winery or retailer, they are not done for the day, they are waiting for the next customer.

                  As to how much one would actually learn or how much consultants actually know ... I am not sure. Plainly these events are not targetting wine aficianados.

                  This outfit really does appear to be the Amway of wine retailing. To quote from their site "Many Consultants book their first Tasting Events with family, friends and neighbors"

                  I wonder how much it costs to buy one's consultant job from them? ('cause they are not supplying anyone withe several cases of wine to give away for free)

                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    if it's a party at my house.....we'll need a few cases of the good stuff I buy myself......haha....clearly, you have a stronger opinion on the subject than I......I was only trying to help the poster out, objective here is not to promote or debate your opinion of this subject, just trying to offer ideas to someone who asked for them.

                    Cheers!

            2. I don't think you'll find that for free- what's in it for a professional to come to your house and do that for free?. However, if you are interested in paid options, here's one: http://ourglasswineco.com/OurServices... I haven't done in, have no idea how much it would cost, but I like the store and most of their staff.

              1. You could always do a wine potluck - all bottles blinded - make up score cards, that kind of thing -

                1. Not for free, though Best Cellars (Brookline or Boylston St) offers theme-based (Italian reds, non-vintage sparklers, etc.) wine tastings in your home, that you can book at a reasonable price.