Let’s go wine tasting . . . On The Couch!

By Shannon Burrows
Owner, Argyle Wines Listowel
On The Couch wine-tasting parties

May 10, 2019

I will never forget the first time I read the saying, ‘Let’s go wine tasting . . . on the couch.’ I think I quietly laughed to myself for days.
But how true though, right? So many of us love to kick back on the sofa (or chesterfield, another word that gives me the giggles), glass of wine in hand, in comfy pants, a messy bun or ball cap, and enjoy a little treat after a long week  — or if we’re being honest, sometimes just a Wednesday.
In this week’s Second Glass, I’d love to talk with you about On The Couch wine-tasting parties.
I’ve been getting lots of inquiries and bookings, so I am super stoked to write this blog and share the fun we’ve been having with OTC.
I founded On The Couch wine-tasting parties in 2018. It got its start from three key points: A) I’d been giving wine tastings with my friends, family members and even some special events for a while, with very encouraging feedback. I loved the interaction with people and helping them discover how to ratchet their wine enjoyment up a notch.
B) I’d been seriously studying wine for several years. I learned that wine education doesn’t have to be this pretentious, nose-in-the-air pontification. In fact, it’s better off without all that. Wine appreciation should be fun, easygoing and engaging.
C) Many Argyle Wines customers told me they’d love to host a wine tasting/wine-and-cheese party, etc., but they just didn’t know where to start. This is actually indicative of wine drinkers at large; Many don’t feel confident enough in their own wine knowledge, or they find the sheer volume of wine options completely overwhelming. They throw up their hands in defeat before they even get started because the task just seems too daunting.
Therefore, On The Couch wine-tasting parties was born.
Here’s what I do: I bring all the wine (different types and styles for variety), food (a hand-picked tasting platter offering a selection of goodies designed to match our wine list), tasing glasses and grids, water, palate cleansers, plates, utensils, napkins, door prizes and the like. Since its start, OTC has been met with such popularity, I’ve been able to upgrade not only my supplies, but also the wine list, and offer a customized seasonal tasting menu. Thanks to my other half Chris, my mother Brenda, my sister-in-law Kelly, one of my besties and fellow wine professional Raechel, even my brother Andrew (who didn’t taste the wine, but was more than happy to sample the snacks), while I tried-and-tested the pairings. They also put up with my obsessive comparisons over many weeks. There will be a future blog of thanks on my family of Guinea pigs 😉
Here’s what you do: As the host or hostess, your only job is to assemble your guest list, choose your OTC party package, and book the date. That’s it.
On party day, I will arrive a bit early to set myself up and assemble our tasting platters. Then I take you and your guests through your private, in-home, guided wine tasting. We’ll cover proper tasting procedures, food and wine paring, wine variety comparisons and so much more – in the comfort of home in the company of family and friends. We go as in-depth as you wish, or keep it light and easy if that’s what you prefer. This party is about you, after all.
These parties are perfect for all kinds of events: Birthdays, family gatherings, work functions, girls’ nights out, Christmas parties, pre-wedding tastings, or for no reason at all!
There are so many ‘best things’ about OTC, I couldn’t even pick just one, so instead here’s lots: There is always an amazing amount of laughter and fun. There are always tons of good questions, because no matter where you or your guests are on your wine adventure, everyone feels so much more comfortable asking in this environment. There’s always lots of delicious wines to try, and enough for refills, too! Hosts and guests are always encouraged to step outside their comfort zone; this is a zero-pressure opportunity to expand your palates and try something new to surprise and delight your taste buds. As a result, there’s always that awesome look on guests’ faces when they discover a new favourite wine – more often than not, by the one they least expect.
For more information on OTC packages, please see the On The Couch menu tab on this website, http://www.argylewineslistowel.ca. If you require a customized package for your event, please do contact me via email at argylewineslistowe@gmail.com, by phone at 519-418-6000 or by direct message on the Argyle Wines Facebook page and I’ll be more than happy to help. I can customize the platter to accommodate for dietary restrictions if necessary.
I look forward to speaking with you!

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Thanks for joining me for a Second Glass.
See you next week!

Argyle Wines Listowel is located at 155 Argyle Ave. in Listowel. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. After hours available by appointment. Follow Argyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and contact us at 519-418-6000 or argylewineslistowel@gmail.com. Proudly named 2018 Food & Drink Business of the Year by the North Perth Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards.