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How to Put Together a Great Wine Flight

Erin O'Reilly - Certified Specialist of Wine

Looking for creative ideas to host your next event with family and friends? Assembling a wine tasting flight is easy to do if you follow a few tried-and-true guidelines. So set a date and get those glasses polished!

a flight of white wines

But First: What Is a Wine Flight?

Often seen in wine bars, tasting rooms, and restaurants, a wine flight packages modest pours (2 oz) of anywhere between 3-6 wines together into a lineup. A flight allows you to sip several wines and discover something new. The venue curates wines based on style, theme, price, and any combination of the three. Wine bars and destination restaurants with wine flights can pour a wider variety of flight wines than a tasting room, and may work to pair their tasting menu with small bites and appetizers.

DIY Wine Flight

You don’t have to leave home to experience a great wine flight, and getting started is as simple as deciding on what wine experience you’d like to host. Here are a few ideas:

  • Wine by Region: Select a region from anywhere in the world you’d like to explore. Tuscany, the Loire, or maybe even Mendoza. Armchair traveling has never been as entertaining as when accompanied by a tipple or two of local wine.

  • Old World vs. New World: A classic flight that combines European wines with their counterparts from growing regions around the world. Give French Chardonnay a side-by-side critique with its California cousin.

  • Wine by Varietal or Style: Are you a staunch Cabernet Sauvignon enthusiast? Start with a few bottles of Cab from different growing regions or different price points, and go from there.

  • Mix and Match: Follow your whimsy and pick a few bottles that spark your curiosity. Whites, followed by Rosés, reds, and fortifieds – in this order – will make a winning lineup.

a flight of three wines and cheese

There are two golden rules for a wine sampling flight: Taste the wines in order from lightest to fullest and driest to sweetest. Each wine’s chemistry interacts with our senses, affecting how we perceive what comes next. Much like the wincingly painful toothbrush plus orange juice combo, tasting wines out of order can leave you grimacing. You’ll figure this out quickly and can shift the wines around. In broad generalities, here are possible tasting orders for:

Wine Flight Pairing

Tasting flights present a chance to learn about new wines, and what’s more enjoyable than doing that with friends and loved ones?

As you browse the bins selecting bottles, don’t forget to pick up tasty treats. Crackers, different hard and soft cheeses, charcuterie, nuts, and even fresh fruit will change each wine’s flavor and texture profile, making for a delightful sensory experience for you and your guests.

Wine Combo Cases

If you need some help deciding what wines to include in your wine flights (or even if you just need more wine), our combo cases are a perfect option to get you on your way! Check out some of our suggestions down below, or browse our entire selection of combo cases and pick your favorites! If none of them strike you, you can always make individual bottle purchases in our wine store to further customize your selection!

Refined reds combo case

90+ Refined Reds

This combo case is perfect for someone who loves red wine, but still wants some variety in their flight lineup. You can even go a step further and make it a challenge to try to guess the varietal you're trying each time. Or, kick back and enjoy these delicious red wine options. Either way, you won't be disappointed.

Browse this combo case!

Stylish 90+ Pinots combo case

Stylish 90+ Pinots

For the Pinot lovers out there. Why over-complicate things? A flight of unique Pinot Noir options so you can see what you like the most without straying away from the wine varietal you know and love. Not a Pinot person? Don't worry, we've got combo cases with exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, as well!

Browse this combo case!

Impressive Chardonnay combo case

Stunning White Wines

Don't worry white wine fans, we didn't forget about you. This variety is the perfect spread of white wine to enjoy a wine flight with all your favorite varietals represented. Try a little of everything, or indulge in your favorite!

Browse this combo case!

Festive Reds and Whites combo case

Festive Reds and Whites

This combo case is best suited for anyone who loves all things wine. A mix of red and white, this case will allow you to expand your wine palate and enjoy a variety of flavors, aromas, and textures. Why put yourself in a box? Get the most out of your flight with this festive combo case.

Browse this combo case!

Erin O'Reilly Author Bio Image Author Bio: Erin O’Reilly, Certified Specialist of Wine, is a wine writer and educator. She pens her work from Monterey wine country where she raises a glass to the growers and producers crafting wines that transcend time.