LAST UPDATED 25 May 2007



The Newcomers Wine Tasting Group conducts wine tasting about three times a year in either an "event" or "party" format.  An event is where all members are invited to attend one tasting at one time.  For example, previous events included combined wine tasting party at Moody Hall and a Wine Bottling event at Lexington Valley Vineyards.  A party is in the home of members in which one member couple hosts a party ranging from eight to ten individual tasters per wine tasting party. 

The wine coordinator with input from members selects the "event" or "party" format and the wine style.

For a "party" format, the coordinator sets up from eight to twelve wine tasting parties generally at members homes who have not yet hosted for the calendar year.  The schedule is published and the general wine tasting membership  reviews the available sites and dates.  Their choices are communicated to the wine coordinator who organizes the the wine parties. 

Hosts volunteer to have a wine tasting party in their home and will furnish wine tasting placemats and evaluation forms.   Each guest taster selects a hors d'oeuvre to bring, coordinating their choice with their wine party host who will furnish dessert & coffee.    Six different wines are tasted, so each wine taster must bring six glasses.

When tasters assemble for the blind tasting, the wine is wrapped in a paper bag.  Each bottle is marked from "A" to "F".  Wine tasting commences and tasters evaluate the wine.  At the end of the tasting, tasters score the wine on a scale ranging from "1" (best) to "6" (worst), submit their forms to the host, and discuss their experiences while the host calculates the final score and reveals it and each bottle's price to the group.





EVALUATION RESULTS: When everyone has finished scoring (see EVALUATION SCORING above) the wine, the host will collect the evaluation forms and tally up the results while a discussion proceeds around the table, once around for each bottle.   The host will reveal the results and prices after all discussion is complete.   Each host will forward a summary of the scoring results for each wine label.   The results from all of the wine tasting parties will be summarized and posted on the Newcomers Wine Club website.


EVALUATION SCORING: Wine tasting evaluations are ongoing during the course of the evening.  In fact, your opinion will change often, especially after sampling food or another wine.  It's best to go back and forth tasting a wine in different situations.  You will be asked at the end of the party to rank the six wines you tasted from "1" (your highest rated wine) to "6" (your lowest rated wine).  There cannot be any "ties".  Your evaluation form for each bottle should have six different ratings from "1" to "6" adding up to "21".  Think of the ratings as points because that's how the final results are tabulated: the best wine is the one scoring the least points.


FREQUENCY:  Wine tastings are held every three months:  in February, May, August, and November.


GLASSES: Wine tasters must provide their own glasses.  Bring six glasses per person.


GUEST RESPONSIBILITIES: Wine tasting guests are responsible for bringing wine tasting glasses (6 per single/12 per couple), a food item (consult with your host  and see "Hors d'oeuvre" below), and payment for the wine (see "Wine Cost" below).  In most cases, each party will start between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm depending on the host and special requirements of the guests.  Guests are required to pay their fair share in the event  of a no show.  See "No Show Policy", below.


HORS D'OEUVRE: Wine tasting parties are generally held with four couples.  The host provides dessert and coffee.  Each of the other three couples choose to bring one of the following: cold hors d'oeuvre, hot hors d'oeuvre, or cheese & crackers.   Hosts may alter the style of food brought with the concurrence of their wine tasting party members.  It is suggested that you minimize "spicy" foods, which can significantly alter the taste of wine.


HOST RESPONSIBILITIES:  Members of the Wine Tasting Group are expected to volunteer once a year as a host.  Exceptions include building or remodeling a house where facilities are not available.  Wine tasting hosts are responsible for the items listed below.  Additionally, it is recommended that the host serve a light wine as guests arrive.

    1) directions to their home

    2) the cost of the wine per person

    3) placemats

    4) individual wine evaluation forms & pencils, one per guest

    5) a summary evaluation form for the host to combine the individual results

    6) hors d'oeuvre service such as dishes, utensils, napkins

    7) dessert & coffee

    8) hors d'oeuvre assignments to guests (see Hors d'oeuvre, above) 


"NO SHOW" POLICY: Wine Club members assigned to a wine tasting party have the responsibility to pay for their share of the wine.  Assigned guests who cancel 72 hours AFTER the publication of the wine tasting schedule are liable to pay their fair share.  The money owed is calculated by the host and is payable to the host.  The only allowable exception is when the host agrees to waive a cancellation payment for whatever reason.  If payment is not waived and payment is not made to the host, the member is removed from the Wine Club directory and will not be entitled to participate in future tastings. 


WINE COST: The total cost of the wine purchased for wine tasting is divided evenly among all the attending wine tasters.  Tasters will be notified of the cost before each tasting.  The host for each party will collect payment.  See also host responsibility under "Wine Purchase".


WINE PURCHASE: When the club has selected a wine style to be tasted, a designated club member will arrange the purchase of the wine from an approved vendor.  The vendor will then select six (6) different labels from a price range of approximately $8.00/bottle to $18.00/bottle.  The vendor will order an appropriate number of bottles (six per wine tasting party).  When the wine is received by the vendor, he or she will bag, number, and group six bottles for each of the wine tasting parties.  A price list that identifies the label and its cost will be enclosed for each host.  The vendor will notify the designated club member who will in turn notify each of the wine party hosts who will pick up and pay their party's wine. 


WINE SELECTION:  All members are encouraged to communicate their choices of wine styles to be tasted.  In general, prior to the next wine tasting, a list of recommended wine styles will be published on the Newcomers Wine Club website under the heading that refers to the next month in which the wine tasting will occur.  From time to time you will be able to participate in a ballot vote at a wine tasting party to select a range of wines for future tastings.  See   If you haven't already made your choices, do so by submitting email to Glenda & George Grasse (see end of this page).


WINE TASTING PLACEMAT:  The wine tasting placemat is simply a legal size sheet of bond paper on which is printed six numbered circles corresponding to the six blind bottles of wine to be tasted.  It is suggested that wine tasters also mark their glasses from "A" to "F".  Glenda & George Grasse have a master form.  Wine club members are encouraged to develop improved formats.



1) Each wine taster is permitted to sample any bottle at any time.

The process continues until all wine tasters are ready to finalize their scores.

3) When scores are finalized the host designates one wine taster to start a round of
discussion beginning with bottle "A".  Going around the table, each taster in turn
comments on the wine until all tasters have done so for that bottle at which time the
host reveals the label and price.
4) When all of the bottles have been revealed, the host will tally the evaluation forms to
determine the final score and then announce the results.
5) Before the proceedings are concluded, wine tasters may decide how the remains of
the wine are distributed.   It is suggested that the host keep the remains.
6) These procedures may be modified by any wine tasting party in so far as the rating
system is not altered.

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