How to Choose the Right Food for a Wine Tasting Party



Last Updated: Aug 27, 2021

If you’re looking for a fun way to gather with friends, a wine-tasting party is a great idea. This is a wonderful way to enjoy a small and classy get-together without having to worry about being snobby. While you’ll want to choose some excellent wines, planning your menu is just as important.

Choosing the perfect foods will complement the flavors of the wine and make the entire evening more enjoyable. However, the wrong choices can have the opposite effect. To make sure your party is a hit, take a look at these essential tips for planning a wine-tasting party menu.

Choosing food for a wine-tasting party

When planning your wine-tasting party menu, it’s important not to choose anything too spicy or has many intense flavors. Otherwise, it will overwhelm your palate and make it difficult to enjoy the delicate nuances of each type of wine.

If you’re planning to taste wines from one country or region, you’ll also want to choose foods from there. Otherwise, you can feel free to design your menu as you please.

The perfect wine party tasting menu

There are many choices when it comes to choosing food for a wine-tasting party. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

1. Fresh fruit

Bowl of fruit salad

A classic choice for any wine-tasting party menu, fresh fruit like grapes, strawberries, and pineapple can all help bring out the flavor of the wine. Red wine pairs well with berries and grapes, while whites are better with lighter fruit like melon and pineapple.

2. Dried fruit

It’s also a great idea to add some dried fruit to your menu. Some of the best options are dried apricots, mango, and raisins.

3. Cheese

You can’t have a wine tasting without at least some cheese! There are so many different options, so try to choose a variety. It’s best to include some hard cheese, like Parmesan, medium cheese, like Swiss or mild cheddar, and some soft cheeses like Camembert and Brie.

4. Chocolate

If you’re serving a full-bodied wine, choose dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao. You can also serve milk chocolate with medium-bodied wines and white chocolate with your Rosés and Sauvignon Blanc.

5. Pâté

Three types of Pâté on a plate.

Pâté is another popular option for a classic wine-tasting menu. It goes well with a variety of red wines and even some Rosé varietals.

6. Cured meats

A variety of cured meats is always a hit. The most popular options are prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, pancetta, Spanish chorizo, and pastrami.

7. Olives

Olives are the perfect finger food, but you’ll want to choose the right ones when pairing with wine. Kalamata olives are great with rich wines, while Castelvetrano olives are better with lighter wines. You may want to get a variety to be safe.

8. Nuts

If you want to please everyone, choose different nuts for your wine tasting party menu. Walnuts go great with Pinot Noir, pecans are best with a Riesling, and almonds are excellent with Champagne or Chardonnay.

9. Bread

It’s important to cleanse your palate between wines, and eating a piece of fresh-baked bread is the perfect way to do this! Small slices of bread will also pair well with your cheese platter.

10. Olive oil dip

Fresh bread with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.

A blend of herbs and spices mixed in olive oil is the perfect dip for your bread. It’s tasty and simple without being overpowering.

11. Crackers

Eating crackers is another excellent way to refresh your palate between sips. Choose a bland type, like water crackers, as this will absorb any lingering flavors.

12. Popcorn

Plain or air-popped popcorn is another great wine-tasting snack. Just make sure you don’t add butter or salt, and it will go well with just about anything. If you want a bit of salt, pair it with a fruiter wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc.

13. Pretzels

When serving delicately flavored wines, like a light, fruity Pinot Grigio, pretzels pair perfectly. Since they’re not super flavorful, they help bring out the flavor of the wine.

14. Pita

Light, soft pita bread pairs well with Chardonnay or an Argentinian Malbec. It’s also perfect for adding to a charcuterie board or pairing with an olive tapenade.

15. Hummus

Hummus paired with white wine and pia breads and served on a blue striped cotton placement

Nothing goes with pita bread quite like a delicious side of hummus. It’s smooth and creamy, making it the perfect complement to a creamy white wine that has undergone malolactic fermentation.

16. Caprese sticks

To make delicious Caprese sticks, use a small wooden skewer to serve fresh mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and a piece of fresh basil. To finish it off, drizzle it with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Choosing the right wines

There’s no right or wrong way to choose the wines for your tasting. Some people like to choose a certain theme – like serving all reds or all white, or serving all wines from a certain area. If you want to keep things simple, consider choosing two bottles from each of the following categories:

1. White wine

There are so many different types of white wine to choose from; you’re sure to find something that will please everyone. For a nice variety that most people will enjoy, choose from an Oaked Chardonnay, Unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Dry Riesling. For sweeter palates, add in a Sweet Riesling, Moscato, or Gewurztraminer.

2. Red wine

Some of the most versatile and best tasting red wines include a Pinot Noir, Grenache, Zinfandel, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and a Carménère.

3. Champagne / sparkling wine

It’s always fun to add at least one Champagne or sparkling wine to your tasting menu. If you’re looking for something dry, choose a brut or extra brut. For a touch of sweetness, choose a demi-sec or extra dry variety.

4. Dessert wine

Finally, finish off your evening with a bottle or two of dessert wine. These wines are usually quite sweet. Some options include port, sherry, ice wine, and late-harvest wines.

Start shopping for your wine party!

Creating the perfect wine tasting party menu requires a bit of planning. The good news is, you won’t have to spend a lot of time shopping! Instead, visit and create your grocery list, or use the app. Your Instacart shopper will pick up all the food for your wine tasting party. Even better, Instacart offers alcohol delivery, so you won’t even have to shop for your wines! Check it out today.



Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America, partnering with more than 700 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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