How to stage the Summer Olympics of the World's Greatest Wines

The Paris 2024 Olympics start July 26 and there’s no better way to celebrate than staging your own Olympic Games of the World’s Greatest Wines party.

Right up there with top athletes like Marcell Jacobs, Gabby Thomas and Noah Lyles are powerhouse Duplin wines including fan favorite Carolina Red, elite Muscadine Moscato blend and summer’s sleeper Piña Colada.

Serve five wines at your Olympics party, put a couple of them head-to-head, and let guests decide which wines come out in front. Then take the competition one javelin throw further with a friendly game of “coinhole.” More fun than beer pong and easier than setting up the cornhole boards, coinhole is a tabletop game involving bouncing quarters into mini cornhole boards.

Don’t forget to have gold, silver and bronze medals for the winning wines and funny medals for the coinhole champs that say things like “Way Off the Table Winner” and “Weirdest Pre-Toss Ritual.”

This party is easy to host with free delivery of the Duplin Summer Games Tasting Kit, only available for a limited time starting July 8 and including an extra $13 off the regular price. You get five wines, and three of them are the top performers listed above. The kit also contains a score sheet to share with your “judgy” guests and a mini coinhole game. Plus, you can stream the Duplin tasting guide video above to lead everyone through the characteristics of each wine. Don’t miss out. The Olympics and this special both end August 11.

Let the games begin!

How to taste wine like a Duplin pro

See. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Savor. Use this 5-step system for each wine on the tasting sheet included in your kit. Here's how. 

See: First, hold a glass of wine up to a light and look at the color. It will allude to the variety of grapes used and what the wine will taste like. Is it Scuppernong? Nobel? Carlos? Another? Color also indicates flavor. A bright, saturated hue often means a more intense flavor. See if you can guess the grape and flavor before you sip.

Swirl: Consider the wine's body next. Swirl the wine in your glass to determine if it is light or heavy. You're looking for the viscous streaks running down the side of the glass after you swirl. They're called "legs." Sweeter wines will leave streaks to cling or move slowly. That means a heavier body.

Sniff: After you swirl, really dip your nose into the glass and inhale the aroma, which wine pros call the "bouquet" or "nose." Pausing to experience the bouquet heightens your senses and anticipation of the first sip. Think about what you are smelling. Is it fruity? What kind of fruit? Berries? Ripe banana? Musky honeydew melon? Pure grape? Are you getting floral notes like honeysuckle or gardenia? See if you pick up unexpected smells like pine or fall leaves. Describe the bouquet and discuss it.  

Sip: Take a sip slightly larger than normal and hold the wine in your mouth for 3-5 seconds. Let the wine coat the tongue and the inside of your mouth. Wine releases more flavors as it warms on your taste buds. Before swallowing, purse your lips and breathe in gently, allowing the air to travel across the wine in your mouth to get the full flavor profile.

Do the flavors you're experiencing match the wine's nose? When and where are you tasting those flavors? Are you getting, say, banana bread on the first sip and then astringency or acidity at the end, which is called "the finish." Where do flavors hit you? On the tongue? On the side of your mouth.

Think back to the wine's body. Compare the texture of different wines, how they feel in your mouth. Light as water or heavier, like the texture of sweet iced tea? If you're sampling a sparkling wine, do the bubbles feel fine or medium in size. Compare your experience to the wine's description and see if it matches.

Savor: As you continue sipping, note how the sensation is slightly different from what you experienced when the wine was resting in your mouth on the first sip. This is the point when you taste and feel the wine's finish. As you continue tasting, note how the wine pairs with the Duplin Gourmet crackers and Muscadine Pineapple Habenero dip. See which wine you like best with those snacks and others you may be enjoying during your at-home or virtual tasting. Cheers!

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Summer Games Tasting KitSummer Games Tasting Kit

Summer Games Tasting Kit

Summer Games Tasting SheetSummer Games Tasting Sheet

Summer Games Tasting Sheet

Now, let's begin your wine tasting!

Muscadine MoscatoMuscadine Moscato

Muscadine Moscato

Smooth and sweet, Muscadine Moscato showcases the Muscat grape's natural hints of nectarine and white peach. This wine is beautifully sophisticated yet versatile, fitting in perfectly with any setting. Whether lightly chilled or ice-cold, it pairs well with everything from filet to fried chicken. As Dave says, “It’s hard to drink just one glass.”

Pelican RedPelican Red

Pelican Red

Pelican Red blends mid-harvest muscadines with Pink Catawba grapes, a hybrid of Vitis Labrusca and the European Semillon cultivar. Originating in France, Semillon is a golden, thin-skinned grape used in both sweet and dry wines. Although the creator of this hybrid is unknown, early vines reportedly thrived on a "Rose Hill property" in Maryland.

Containing only 7% sugar, Pelican Red offers a mid-sweet profile with a smooth, floral finish.

Carolina RedCarolina Red

Carolina Red

Winemaking is a blend of craft and science, influenced by variables like soil, rainfall, and timing. Duplin winemakers masterfully balance these for Carolina Red, a best-seller since 1980 and Duplin's first red wine. Its velvety sweetness and clean finish come from Muscadine grapes grown in clay soils, unique to the sandy coastal region. With a 10.2% sugar level, it’s best chilled and pairs well with grilled meats, creamy pasta, and desserts. Versatile, it’s also great in cocktails and cooking.

Orange BlossomOrange Blossom

Orange Blossom

Duplin created a unique wine to celebrate the opening of our new tasting room in Panama City Beach, FL. Inspired by a place where warm, orange blossom breezes blow and summer never ends, this finely carbonated wine offers refreshingly juicy citrus notes and a light marmalade sweetness. Enjoy a taste of endless summer with every sparkling sip.

Piña ColadaPiña Colada

Piña Colada

If you love sunsets and sugar-sand beaches, and enjoy strolling under coconut trees by the waves, this is for you. If fresh pineapple is your thing, and you prefer sharing two straws on the cays, you'll find the love you've been looking for. Share a sip and escape to paradise.

Pelican Red RushPelican Red Rush

Pelican Red Rush

Pelican Red Rush is a delightful wine slushie specially created to celebrate Duplin's partnership with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Minor League Baseball team. This Sweetzer, when mixed with Pelican Red wine, becomes a refreshing, frozen treat that's sure to knock it out of the park. Enjoy the perfect blend of flavors as you cheer on your favorite team in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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