In Western Australia, October marks the peak of spring. The days are growing longer, the mornings brighter and the sun is finally starting to shine. With all of these subtle springtime shifts, our social calendars start to fill up with backyard barbeques and alfresco aperitifs. Spice up your spring by hosting a sparkling wine soirée, all in the comfort of your own home.
Promising the perfect blend of refinement and revelry, indulge in the effervescent charms of méthode traditionnelle through an engaging wine tasting with family and friends. From selecting the sparklings to guiding your guests through the experience, let’s explore the finer points of creating an unforgettable evening that combines education with the sheer joy of celebration.
Step 1: Curate the Lineup
Curating an amazing lineup of méthode traditionnelle wines has never been easier. With Howard Park’s Jeté four-pack featuring the Petit Jeté, Jeté Premier Brut, Jeté Rosé and Jeté En Pointe, delve into a wide array of spectacular sparklings. Each bottle is a tantalising testament to the craftsmanship and dedication at the heart of Howard Park, offering a unique journey through the varieties, flavours and aromas of sparkling. Explore the differences in dosage, disgorgement and time on lees. The Jeté four-pack ensures a diverse and delightful tasting experience showcasing the superb versatility of sparkling. Shop the Jeté four-pack.
Step 2: Set the Stage
Select a charming venue for your soirée, whether it’s your elegant dining room, a picturesque garden, or a cozy rooftop terrace. Create an ambience that resonates with the spirit of discovery and celebration. Good lighting, white or neutral table settings, and soothing background music will help to set the scene for an evening of exploration.
Step 3: Tasting Notes
There is no need to worry about preparing your own tasting notes or information sheets. Head to the end of this blog post to download and print tasting notes for each of the Jeté wines. These will provide your guests with a roadmap to the aromas and flavours they’ll encounter along the way. They describe the appearance, bouquet, palate, and finish of each wine, allowing your guests to fully immerse themselves in the sensory experience. Provide writing utensils and a notebook for each of your guests to jot down their own impressions.
Step 4: Get your glassware
For glassware, opt for the curvaceous tulip flute glasses to preserve the wine’s effervescence and showcase its aromatic nuances. Don’t have the appropriate glassware? Not a problem, you can pick some up from our Margaret River Cellar Door, where we have beautiful sparkling glasses available for purchase.
Step 5: Food Pairing Magic
Every sparkling soiree needs some sustenance, but don’t feel the need to go over the top with the snacks. While wine tasting it is often best to keep the food simple so as not to overpower the wine, even just some plain crackers will do. Then after the tasting you can delve deeper into the realm of food and sparkling wine pairing.
Craft an array of delicious appetizers to complement sparkling’s lively, fresh and complex profile. Delicate cheeses, smoked salmon, bruschetta and oysters make for splendid accompaniments to these wines. Experiment with the interplay of flavours, noting how certain pairings enhance the wines’ characteristics more than others. For an in-depth exploration of food pairing with the Jeté range by Chef Evan Hayter see our blog, Beside the Bubble: Pairing Jeté Sparkling Wine With Food.
Step 6: Be ready to serve
Before your guests arrive make sure you have everything you need for serving the wines as well as keeping them cold and fresh throughout the evening. The ideal temperature for serving sparkling wine is between 6-8 degrees Celsius. If you do not have a fridge close to your tasting area, opt for ice buckets instead, just be sure to buy plenty of ice.
Keep the méthode traditionnelle wines effervescing for hours with a specialized sparkling wine stopper that will lock in freshness as well as vivacious bubbles for the entire event. Another nice touch, and one we’d recommend doing, is using small paper bags, tissue paper or aluminum foil to cover the bottles so your guests can not see what wine you are pouring. This ensures that they will approach each wine with fresh eyes, free from any preconceptions.
Step 7: The Tasting Experience
Guide your guests through the tasting with finesse. Begin with a toast to kick things off then dive straight into introducing the wines. Depending on the type of tasting and level of expertise of your group, you can alter the format. For a more advanced group and more serious session, opt for a brief introduction then pour all four wines at once allowing 10 to 20 minutes for individual assessment. Then come back together for a discussion of the four wines. Only after everyone has shared their thoughts, continue on to the next step.
For a more informal tasting, feel free to provide a longer introduction to the style of méthode traditionnelle, giving more context to the wines to come. Then go wine by wine, pour, taste and discuss, giving all guests the opportunity to share their thoughts by creating a welcoming and open environment where all feel confident to contribute. Encourage your guests to observe the wine’s appearance, access its aromas, savour its flavours and appreciate the finish. Engage in conversations about each wine, allowing your friends to share their impressions and personal preferences.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers!
Step 8: Unveiling the Jeté Range
Now for the big reveal. Remove whatever you may have used to hide the wine and share each bottle with your fellow enthusiasts. As you progress through the lineup, you can introduce each distinct wine from the Jeté range, sharing information about the winemaking, the grape varieties used and the history behind each bottle. This narrative adds layers of intrigue to the tasting, making it both educational and entertaining.
Hosting a méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine tasting is not just about enjoying exceptional wines, it’s about sharing an enriching experience with friends and elevating your moments. As you guide your guests through the intricacies of each bottle, you’re creating memories that will linger long after the last sip.
So, gather your friends, open some bottles, and embark on a journey of flavours, aromas and effervescence that celebrates the art of sparkling!
Downloadable Tasting Notes:
Downloadable Jeté 4-Pack Scorecard: