I am a middle aged male who acts like an old man
I am in two bling tasting groups. We limit attendess to any one event to 8 people if only one bottle of each wine is being opened. (people who host the meetings i ntheir homes often invite friends/family/neighbors so we set the policy to make sure there was enough wine for the tasting members as well as guests.
When I open bottles to be drank (versus tasted) I like 2 or 3 additional people present so we all can have a decent pour.
There are exceptions to my drinking limits (if champagne the more the merrier as I want the bottle consumed closer to opening than flat? wines) (ports is also the more the merrier as most dont consume full glasses of port like myself)
Does anyone put as much thought into this as I do or do you have different thresholds than me?
That’s because you’re Jewish. Welcome to the club!
I generally like to drink with no more than 8. Larger groups are fun every now and again, but 8 allows for decent pours and better conversation. That said, I mostly roll with the punches. If people want a larger/smaller group, so be it.
4 or 6 is my preferred for dinner if there are serious wines, but 8 can work. For a high volume tasting with many bottles to be experienced - not my preferred set-up - I think 12 on a bottle is the outside limit.
I was pouring for a wine competition last weekend and for the finals we were pouring for the entire judges pannel
of 16 out of one bottle. This seemed to be enough for
them but I’d put my preference at no more than 12.
Tasting, the way Mel does it above, wine in each glass, I’d go for max of twelve. The idea would be not to have a lot of food or discussion until all the wines were tasted, and there’d be enough to go back and re-taste for an hour or so.
For a tasting, with perhaps 8 wines, 12 is a top number. No passing the bottle around - someone needs to be responsible for pouring.
For social events, still someone should be in charge. I brought wine to a gathering over the 4th, and the hostess went to finally enjoy a glass of wine. Her newish male partner was sitting with a very large pour, and there was none left. It was my own wine, and in general, I was in charge of wine for the weekend. It reminded me that we are a small, geeky community here, and with that comes some responsibility. I think.
I also brought the Champagne, in addition to my own wine, and I handled that better. During cocktail hour, I made sure everyone had at least one pour of each of 4 wines, but I fell down on the job for the final dinner of the weekend. Never again.
When we had our tasting group going, the approach we had might work for you.
Wines would be tasted in sequence, but with relatively small pours of each. This meant we often used little more than half of each bottle.
At the end of the ‘tasting’, some more substantial food was served up, and then people were free to grab from whichever bottles they wanted. It was effectively a good ‘vote’ as the first bottles to be drained were generally the most liked, and the ones with a glass or two left in them at the end of the evening were not. Often there would be remnant bottles pressed into the palms of departing guests. It also took away any stress of getting equal pours, as you always had the chance to revisit, and indeed revisiting with food was sometimes quite instructive.
Such and approach probably works best on 6-8 people per bottle, as beyond that there is little left for re-tasting.
You can get a pretty good idea with 12 people. We did it for many years. The idea is that you don’t mix random vintages or grapes and above all, you don’t talk about the wine until everyone has had a chance to taste all of them, after which you can talk away about them. You definitely need a glass for each wine and one or two persons pour all of them at the beginning so they all have equal air time. I would taste each against each other so as not to be biased by tasting in any particular sequence. And at the end, there’s still a bit left in the bottle. The idea is to taste, not to drink, so you spit everything. Always blind. It’s the greatest way to learn about your own preferences and your own palate.
We had one guy who insisted on talking about what he was tasting - always some kind of soy and random flavors. He was a great guy but eventually left since the format didn’t really suit him - he wanted to drink and eat rather than taste and analyze. We still go out to dinner and enjoy wine that way - he wasn’t interested in anything academic.
And twelve wines over a few hours never caused palate fatigue. Even sixty won’t if you pace yourself.