On this week’s edition of pandemic approved date night ideas we have a twist on one of my favorite things to do in Michigan – wine tasting! If you weren’t aware, the mitten state is home to SO MANY amazing wineries, and breweries too! In my opinion, fall is the best time to travel around the state and grab a flight of wines or beers to enjoy. I love tastings in the fall because wineries and breweries dabble with hard ciders and break out their pumpkin beers, 2 of my favorite seasonal beverages.
The idea of conducting an at home hard cider tasting was right up my alley, and luckily for me, Kevin loves them too and was instantly on board. Winner, winner. So, we set-out to find some new ciders as well as a few we knew we loved as ringers, just in case the new ones were… not so great… We went to Meijer (not sponsored) since they carry a good selection not only of locally sourced drinks, but of hard ciders in general. There, we found so many options, more than we were initially planning to try. We left with roughly 13 kinds and narrowed down the official date night menu to sipping on 10. Each of the 10 glasses shown was a shared portion, so don’t worry, we were still able to clean up after 😉
Now, knowing we were about to embark on an elaborate tasting of 10 ciders (you can totally do less, or more!) we knew snacks were a necessity! We each picked our favorite pub food to share during the tasting; mine choice was soft pretzels and Kevin went with sliders. The sliders were homemade and while we had the best intentions of making the pretzels too, we ran out of time and went with the back up box in the freezer. We picked up 2 types of cheese for the pretzels too – both were so good!
The bonus step for our date was that I whipped up a quick ratings card with all our selections listed and then printed them to keep track over the evening (hack: I used powerpoint, duplicated the slide, printed 2 slides per sheet on cardstock, trimmed, and done). This made our tasting almost a game. Sip, describe, discuss, compare, rate. Sometimes have a lively debate. Ranking the ciders was a cute way to keep our attention on the date and off our phones too since we both really got into it.
All in all, it ended up being one of our favorite nights in a long time. It was fun to do something new, creative, and that involved booze. Plus, this is such an easy idea to adapt to your own taste; beer, wine, whiskey, whatever you and your significant other fancy. If you have a specialty liquor store near you, you can often pick up single cans and bottles or mini-bar sizes for liquor should you want to try a whiskey or bourbon night. These singles and minis are perfect for a home tasting and a lot more budget friendly. The number of different tastings is totally up to you too.
Cheers to the weekend!