Gone are the days of beer pong tournaments and flip-cup challenges that used to be the center of parties. Now you live in a grown-up apartment and want to throw a soirée to match your adult situation. A fancy wine party is the perfect combination of both worlds: Everyone can get a nice buzz on while drinking and eating selections that would baffle a palate less sophisticated than yours. Here’s how to plan one of your own, including tastings, snacks and everything in between.
Pick the Wine
Your wine party won’t be a one-trick pony, and by that, we mean you can’t just pick up a single bottle or type of wine to woo your guests with. Instead, you should grab about five different varieties in varying hues so they can sample the entire spectrum. Five bottles won’t be enough for everyone to sample each and have a drink — or two or three — afterward, so it’s a good idea to have about two bottles per guest.
Find a Theme
If it’s your first tasting party, you can get away with a selection of wines from all over the world — or the local liquor store. However, if you want to make wine parties a “thing,” go with a theme so you can make sure you’re doing something new at each get-together. You can choose a particular wine-producing region or year from which to select your pours. You could also choose a type of wine that’s produced in a few different places and compare their best reds or whites. The possibilities might be endless, which is great news for all you wine lovers out there.
Reds are served warmer than white wines — you know that. However, before your wine party, you’ll want to make sure your pours are served at the proper temp. The best way to do it is to give your guests a solid arrival time so you can have the wines chilled to perfection. Pop the reds into the fridge for a quick 15 minutes before it’s time to taste, and take the whites and rosés out just before drinking.
Feed Them, Too
You can barely say “wine” without saying “and cheese,” which is a sign you should always have nice snacks on hand while you’re drinking this grape-based bev. It might seem difficult to pair pours with the proper snacks, but it’s a somewhat simple task. For example, a sweet wine goes well with dessert. It also neutralizes the zesty flavors of a spicy dish. Meanwhile, a light-bodied wine like Portuguese vinho verde brings out the sweetness of fruits and creamy cheeses. Once you’ve picked your wines, find an appetizer that goes well with each one, and no one will go hungry, which is a sign of a great party.
Decorate It Up
Your wine party is an excuse to go a bit crazy on Etsy, Pinterest, or another website where fun craft items reign supreme. If you’re feeling extra handy, there are endless items you can make yourself, too. You’ll need coasters, napkins and snack plates, as well as décor for the table and labels for the wine and snacks. You can create even more ambience with a smooth party soundtrack and candles that scream “sophisticated party.”
You want to throw an adult party, but hey, you can still have some fun… especially after everyone’s tasted all of the wine. There’s no harm in having a few party games on deck just in case the party shifts from wine-and-cheese to wine-and-now-let’s-have-some-fun. There’s no shortage of adult party games, and you can play them without any ping-pong balls. You could also try organizing one closer to the start of the party so all the guests get to know each other, but that won’t be necessary if you’re throwing a BFF get-together.
See? It’s not that hard to throw an adult wine party of your own. With all the tasty wine, thoughtful snacks and cute decorations, it might just become a tradition — your friends won’t mind at all. And, really, you know even if your theme doesn’t quite pan out or you burn your cheese puffs, everyone will have a good time anyway…because wine!