How to Host an Apple Tasting Party
What You’ll Need
Five varieties of apples, amount of each depends on number of guests but count on one apple generating eight slices plus you’ll need one to display whole so guests can evaluate its appearance.
Apple slicer-corer (about $9 at kitchen stores).
Five mid-sized bowls for apple slices.
Large wooden cutting board for presentation of apples and slices, or a rustic piece of board or tabletop.
One pen plus five scorecards (one for each apple variety) (download PDF) per guest.
Water and plain baguette slices for palate-cleansing.
Set-Up and Ambience
Hold the party in a room free of strong aromas so guests have a clear sense of smell, which is a big part of a tasting.
Country music sets the mood; the atmosphere you’re going for is laid-back and relaxed.
Small wooden bowls or wicker baskets work well for snacks such as apple chips and nuts.
On a cutting board or other rustic surface, line up five uncut apples, one of each variety, in front of guests so everyone can note what the apple looks like whole.
In front of each apple, place a bowl of its slices and toothpicks (don’t dunk slices in lemon juice to ward off browning as it alters the taste; simply make apple slicing last thing you do before guests arrive and store in plastic bags or covered in plastic in fridge until tasting).
Instruct guests to cleanse palate with water and bread between tastings.
Get into teacher-mode! Fill guests up with your newfound apple knowledge before you begin the tasting. A place card with the variety’s name and a few fun facts can be set beside each apple. Simply Google the variety you’ve chosen for information about its history, origins, uses, etc.
Allow guests time to jot down notes on their scorecards as they move from one apple to the next and compare impressions.
Total scorecards, let everyone make a case for their own favourite and then declare overall winner!