Creative Blind Taste Test Ideas for Your Next Gathering

If you’ve ever been to a restaurant with a menu that’s multiple pages long, you know that too much choice can be extremely overwhelming. Figuring out what to blind taste test can be just as challenging because the possibilities of food and drink products for you to taste are essentially endless.

If you’re struggling to decide on something fun for your guests, appropriate for a tasting, and that doesn’t completely blow your budget, try these blind taste test ideas. I guarantee they’ll help you throw a more memorable gathering. Happy tasting!

Blind Taste Test Ideas

Select one of the categories below that best represent you and your guests.

Blind taste test with beer
Beer tasting lagers in South Africa was surprisingly tricky.

Blind Taste Test Ideas

Nothing is off-limits when it comes to blind taste tests, but sometimes, too many options make decision-making difficult. Use these blind taste test ideas that best represent your group of friends or family.

You can decide to buy all the products in advance, so it’s better organized (and then ask for some cash to cover the costs). Or, you can get people to pick up specific products on your list. As much as I love my friends, I find it easier to source the taste test products myself because there’s always someone that manages to screw up what they’re supposed to get.

Meat Lovers

If you and your friends love a good BBQ, this is the blind taste test ideas category for you. Cook up some easy and filling side dishes, and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic afternoon or evening.

  • Chorizo (supermarket vs. fancy butcher or farmer’s market)
  • Steak (same cut, different butchers or stores)
  • Rotisserie Chicken (from various supermarkets)
  • Game Meat (ostrich, wildebeest, beef, etc.)

Hipster Kids

You might be pleasantly surprised to find that you prefer McDonalds’ coffee to the hipster coffee shop down the street. Or, maybe you’re kicking yourself because now you know the $15 organic sourdough loaf is a hundred times better than any other bread you’ve tasted.

  • Coffee (different brands or different methods of brewing)
  • Ice-Cream (choose one specific flavor)
  • Cheese
  • Sourdough (pick the top 3-4 bakeries in town and throw in a cheap supermarket one as well)
  • Beer (IPAs, goses, hazy pale-ales, etc.)

The Poker Club

Due to the nature of this blind taste test ideas category, things can get sloppy quickly, so make sure you remind your guests to pour small and start slow. You can compare different brands of the following liquors or compare vintages—for example, Tawny Port vs. Ruby Port.

  • Whiskey 
  • Scotch
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Port (Tawny vs. Ruby, port from Portugal or other parts of the world)
Guy looks at glass of wine while another girl pours a glass,
Darren had all the tasting notes in the world for our rose taste test but ended up choosing the $3 bottle as his favorite.

Winos

Wine is a popular blind taste-test ideas category and it’s one of the easiest to organize. Pick up to 5 different bottles (from inexpensive to premium) and always include one double to really see if people know what they’re talking about.

  • Vertical Wine Tasting (same varietal and winery from different vintages)
  • Chardonnay (pick oaked or unoaked)
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Noir (you could try a comparison between New World and Old World)
  • Malbec
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • White or Red Blends

Bottomless Brunch Crew

If dinners aren’t your jam, try this category and make your Sunday a fun (and boozy) one.

  • Champagne (serve with orange juice to make Mimosas)
  • Caesar or Bloody Mary Mixes
  • Store-bought Croissants 
  • Coffee

Fitness Junkies

If you and your friends work out religiously, you’re probably serious about what you put in your body. Find out just how good (or bad) different protein powders are, if organic tastes any better than conventional, and discover something new to try.

  • Protein Powder (pick one flavor like vanilla)
  • Organic vs. Non-Organic (whatever kind of food)
  • Protein Bars
  • Alternative Milk (oat, almond, rice, coconut, soy)
  • Water 
Tasting potato chips with family

Junk Food Junkies

This category is perfect for those that love their junk food. Don’t be ashamed and embrace the junk and find out which brand of your favorite foods you rate the best.

  • Mac N’ Cheese
  • Potato Chips
  • Frozen Pizza
  • Cheesies

Takeout Warriors

Some people love to eat but hate to cook. For this category, pick your favorite takeout dishes and see how they differ from other restaurants. Be sure to order your takeout dishes simultaneously for consistency and choose the same dish (i.e., the same sushi roll or pizza).

  • Sushi (California, Dynamite, Salmon, etc.)
  • Butter Chicken
  • Pizza (Ham and Pineapple, Margherita, etc.)
  • Fried Chicken
  • Portuguese Chicken
  • Burgers

The Downtown Abbeys

Don’t turn down an excuse to throw an incredibly snobby high-tea, complete with the very best tea and bites. These are just some of the many high tea-inspired blind taste test ideas for your next event.

  • Store-bought Scones
  • Black Tea
  • Store-bought Shortbread
Discussions at our rose blind taste test event

Which Category Would You Pick?

Hopefully, this list of blind taste test ideas whets your appetite to start planning a blind taste test for your next gathering. If you have any questions about planning one or logistics, leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you with some answers.

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