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I have done this before but at a University for students so I didn't charge participants or pay for anything. I am just wondering from others experiences, what is a good number to do these tastings on, how many pairings and what have people charged. This tasting wouldn't be for friends it is to make money from.

When I did it I paired 4 chocolates with 5 wines/spirits. This was about the limit I thought, I remember bench testing and feeling a little overdone palate and stomach wise. I also gave a seminar on parallels in chocolate and wine making which was well received.

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My experience is that the maximum number of people for a tasting of any sort is how many people you can serve without the service being intrusive. If you're serving wines near the end of a tasting that need to be cold you need to figure out how to pour and serve at the correct temperature at the correct time without interrupting the tasting. Of course you could start with those first.

Another way to look at this is the size of the pour. A 750ml bottle holds 15, 50ml pours (14, really to account for dribbles, etc. A 50ml pour may seem a lot, but when you're tasting several chocolates with each wine (as I like to do), it's pretty handy to have such generous pours. As a general rule, I figure no more than 16 people per bottle of wine + plus me. This is 17 40ml pours - plus some for dribbles and sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

I have done as many as 6 wines and twice that many chocolates in a single tasting over the course of 90 minutes-two hours. Never had a complaint about there being too much.

:: Clay
Hmmm, I hadn't considered breaking the bottle down like that, don't want to have too many half bottles sitting around. The limiting factor last time was the chocolate, being as the tasting was done at the wine institute. Thanks


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