JULIAN HITNER TORONTO WINE CONSULTANT

"For love of everything that is wine"

THE SUCCESSFUL WINE HOST

PLANNING A WINE TASTING?

I CAN HELP

Putting together a wine tasting is by no means straightforward. It requires at least a familiar knowledge of wine, plus a comfortable background in wine and food pairings. This is where I come in (it also makes up for my lame website).




TYPES OF WINE TASTINGS

I offer many different types of wine tastings, including informal tastings for friends and family, or formal tastings for businesses.


HERE IS WHAT I OFFER:
  • Formal (or informal) dining room settings, where wines are presented at a comfortable, elegant pace, just the same way as sommeliers taste.
  • Background information on different wines presented, including place of origin, grape selection, winegrowing techniques, and prices.
  • Interactive discussion on the style of the wines (i.e. appearance, aromas, sense in the mouth, and finish).
  • Corporate wine tastings: If you are planning a corporate wine tasting, I can supervise all catering and procurement of any necessary large-scale rental supplies.

TYPES OF WINES PRESENTED

What wines to choose? Part of my job is to help select the best wines for all types of tastings.

From personal experience, the best tastings are those where a sort-of theme is undertaken, where wines from a certain country or region are featured (ex. France), of those that contain the same grape (ex. Cabernet Sauvignon).

HERE IS WHAT I OFFER:

  • To take charge of procuring the desired wines (in proper amounts) within a reasonable time prior to the tasting.
  • To establish (at the request of the host) a desired theme for the tasting (ex. Pinot Noir wines of the world) --- The best part about wine tastings is that there are, quite literally, hundreds of ways one can go about establishing some sort-of theme under which to present one's wines.
  • To procure (or simply to suggest, if prefered) appropriate fine food items (in proper amounts) to accompany the wines.
  • To provide 'tasting sheets' (i.e. helpful information) to participants as a way of enhancing their wine-tasting experience; all tasting sheets are custom-written to the requested specifications of the client.

HOW ARE THE WINES PRESENTED?

For most tastings that I have conducted, I have often observed that guests simply adore the prospect of guessing which wines they are tasting – in other words, tasting wines blind, not dissimilar to the way professional wine critics evaluate what they taste in as impartial a manner as possible (many Toronto wine tastings are conducted in such a fashion).

It is near the end of the tasting, when guests have had an opportunity to venture a guess as to which wines they had been tasting, that I normally reveal the identities of the wines. By this time, everyone has usually had a terrific time testing their own knowledge of wine (however limited or advanced it might be, depending on the person), while enjoying the company of friends, family, and colleagues, as well as partaking in the enjoyment of fine food and, perhaps, lovely soft music.

Does this sound nice to you? For me, it doesn't get more fun than hosting a wine tasting!

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD ONE PLAN A WINE TASTING?

For the most part, the amount of time a wine tasting ought to be planned ahead depends on: (1) the type of wines (and food) to be presented --- the rarer the wines, the longer it generally takes to obtain them; (2) the number of people expected in attendance; and (3) the availability of a wine consultant (if requested) for attendance.

As a wine consultant, I normally like to have a week's notice in order to fully prepare for any tasting, as it allows me time to procure the wines (and the food, if desired), to establish some sort-of theme for the tasting, and to make tasting notes for the guests.

ANY QUESTIONS?

Email me at julianhitner@hitnerwine.com

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