An afterwork wine tasting can be a great way to unwind after a long day's work. It provides colleagues with an opportunity to engage in activities together, share conversations and laughter, and foster stronger bonds. Unlike traditional team-building outings, it's a more relaxed yet effective way to boost team morale. If you're passionate about wine and eager to share that enthusiasm with your colleagues, here's your ultimate guide to hosting a memorable afterwork wine tasting.

Afterwork wine tasting can be a bonding experience for colleagues (Photo: Kelsey Chance/

Choose a Time and Location

Selecting the right time and location is paramount for any successful event. Afterwork gatherings typically take place during the week, avoiding Mondays due to post-weekend adjustment and Fridays when people may have plans. Thursdays are commonly favored, with Wednesdays also being suitable as a mid-week break.

When it comes to the venue, you have options. You can reserve space at a bar or find a venue with enough space for the attendees to comfortably sit or stand, and some tables to put wine bottles and glasses. Alternatively, hosting the tasting at your workplace, in the cafeteria or in a conference room, can be convenient and budget-friendly.

Once you've decided on a time and place, send out invitations to confirm attendance, and encourage colleagues to bring along family members, partners, or friends.

Things to Prepare

If you're hosting the tasting at a bar, preparations may be minimal. However, if you're organizing it at the office, here's a checklist of items you'll need:

Wine glasses: For a proper wine tasting, wine glasses are indispensable. Do not use paper cups for it. Opt for standard wine glasses or eco-friendly acrylic alternatives to avoid concerns about breakage.

Snacks, cold cuts and cheese: Wine and food go together. Prepare some snacks like plain bread sticks, crackers, cold cuts, pickles and cheese to pair with the wines and help cleanse the palate between tastings.

Spittoon: Most people probably won’t be spitting during an afterwork wine tasting. It’s a casual event. However, in case some individuals have a low alcohol tolerance or need to drive afterward, it's prudent to prepare some spittoons or paper cups for them to spit out the wine. After all, the goal is not to get drunk but to enjoy a fun and engaging experience.

Ice Bucket for Sparkling Wines and Whites: If you plan to include sparkling wine or white wine in the tasting, it’s essential to have ice buckets to maintain the wines at an optimal temperature.

Water and Soft Drinks: Alcohol dehydrates our bodies, so it's crucial to stay hydrated. Soft drinks are recommended, especially if colleagues are bringing children or friends and family who don’t consume alcohol.

Playlist: While it’s often said that the best party music enhances the ambiance without drawing too much attention, for an afterwork tasting, hiring a professional DJ isn't necessary. However, a well-curated playlist can significantly enhance the overall experience. Additionally, research suggests that music can influence the wine tasting experience.

Preparation is the key to a successful afterwork wine tasting event (Photo: Nino Maghradze/ Unsplash)

Choosing the Wine

The key to selecting wines for a tasting is diversity. Opt for wines with varying taste profiles, characteristics, and origins to provide attendees with a comparative experience. For a casual tasting, aim for 3 or 4 wines, offering enough variety for participants to enjoy without overwhelming them with an exhaustive wine seminar after a day of work.

Starting with a glass of sparkling wine is a delightful option to set a festive mood and transition from work to leisure. When determining quantities, plan for approximately 120ml or 4 oz for a standard tasting pour per person per wine, and prepare a few extra bottles on hand as backups. Depending on your overall budget and preferences, you can tailor your wine selection accordingly.

Taking It Further

For teams with wine enthusiasts or following a successful initial event, consider expanding the tasting experience. Arrange guided tastings led by wine professionals or organize themed tastings based on collective interests or preferences. Explore different wine flight ideas to inspire interesting themes for future events.

With these steps in mind, you're well-equipped to host an unforgettable afterwork wine tasting, fostering camaraderie and enjoyment among colleagues. Cheers!

Sylvia Ba

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