If you know me and my friends, you know we have a knack for throwing incredibly extra parties and get togethers. I love being around my friends and love any excuse to make some delicious food. My friend Nicole had been gifted a Wine Party Box Kit and we decided it was time to finally put it to good use. We gathered 10 of our closest gal pals and had a very fun (and slightly unorganized) wine night.
How To Throw a Wine Party 101
You certainly do not need a structured game to make this work. As long as you’ve got something at least similar to a wine gift box, you can get this party started. At the very baseline level you need some wines to taste, some way to hide the wines (or have blindfolds), and some food & activities to keep everyone full and having fun.
This is really an excuse to have a nice night in with friends. Have 10 friends get together to share some laughs, while also tasting some new wines. We sent paper invites because it’s really nice to do in 2018 (and it came with the kit). We then told each person what wine to bring as well as what food dish to bring. We decided to have a Greek-themed menu with some flair thrown in from our friends. If people didn’t know what to bring we had back-ups, luckily there are wine delivery services like the wine store denver company totalbev.com that people can use if they are in a bind.
Since we wanted people to not be bored and have a night filled with no need to be stuck on their phones, we had some activities lined up. Let’s be honest, we weren’t ready by the time everyone showed up at 6:30 pm anyway, so it was good to have some distractions. I think people worry too much about every last detail when throwing parties, instead, relax and know that your friends won’t notice if the food is a little late, just have some fun activities and drinks lined up for them!
The kit came with wine trivia, so we had one of our friends be the one to ask questions and to choose who won each card. The whole crew played along and sipped on some of the Welcome Punch (recipe coming soon). I made sure to bring some of my food from Expo & FNCE as prizes for those partaking in trivia as well. The poo pourri was a hot comodity, I’d highly recommend it as a grab-bag door prize.
Wine Party Menu
I may not be the best at crafting all those DIY crafts you see on Pinterest but I sure can craft a kick-butt menu with my bestie NV and I hope it inspires you to cook for your parties too. I highly recommend going with a theme so that way you have some direction. Always plan for more food than you need, worst case you get leftovers for the week, win-win. I normally recommend 4-6 oz of protein/meat per person and then plan on having enough side dishes as there are people and you should be good to go.
We decided on a Greek themed menu because we were in the mood for Souvlaki chicken and lamb meatballs (the two main dishes). Here is what our menu consisted of with the help of our friends who attended!
Charcuterie & Cheese Board with assorted olives
Buffalo Chicken Dip with Tortilla Chips
Bruschetta Eggplant Dip with Gluten-Free Bagel Chips
Goat Cheese Log with Crackers
Homemade Hummus with Preserved Lemons
Regular & Gluten-Free Homemade Pita Bread
Chicken Souvlaki Skewers with Sauteed Eggplant, Mushrooms, & Onions
Tzatziki with Cucumbers & Tomatoes
Lamb Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate Brownie Balls
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins with a Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies
Once we all had plenty to eat (I may have gone back for seconds, for the record) we started the night off with some fun taste tests. The goal was to have some fun trying to guess the difference between common non-alcoholic drinks. Here are the ones we went with:
Coke vs. Pepsi
Regular Tonic vs. Local Tonic (Hedonic Tonic)
Bottled Water vs. Regular Water (we used Saratoga Bottle Water because it’s local)
I hadn’t drank soda in a while so that was the hardest taste-test for me as I had no recollection of how they tasted. I would probably choose different drinks next time, however, so we could all enjoy it. I’d recommend having 3 different options for your taste tests, maybe you could do seltzer water flavors instead of soda, kombucha instead of tonic, etc.
Once our taste buds were warmed up with food and an assortment of beverages, we were finally ready for the wine tasting. I think this timing was perfect, that way we went into the taste test with a full stomach.
Here are the wine pairings we went with:
Chardonnay vs. Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc vs. Chenin Blanc
Pinot Noir vs. Carbernet Sauvignon
Shiraz vs. Merlot
White Wine vs. Rose
Sherry vs. Port
It was not only fun to try new wines, but it was fun to learn what each wine tasted like, as we had someone announce the flavors to look for of each. We had each wine in each pairing labeled A or B and covered in a brown paper bag or a wine bag so that no one except the hosts (us) knew which wine was which. To be honest, I tried to not think about which one was which and definitely could not tell the difference between a few of the pairings. I know red wine but white wine is a whole other story. Have some fun with it and try and see if you can taste the difference.
I highly recommend making sure to have water pitchers out and available as well as having a DD or plan to stay over. Drink responsibly and always do 1 glass of water for every glass of wine.
Hopefully our wine party has helped you gain some insight into how to throw a wine party. We even had 1 of our friends who was pregnant and she had a lovely time with our non-alcoholic punch, sparking apple cider, and of course a spittoon for people to taste the wine and spit it out afterward.
Now on to plan our next party, Craft Night, stay tuned!