Wine Party - Wine Dictionary Favors
Cindy in Boca Raton, Florida
For my 44th birthday, I was out of ideas to throw a party and decided to have a Wine Party since I love Chardonays nad my friends too. I spent time calling wine stores and searching in the internet to find Wine Tasting Persons to come to my home and offer a wine tasting speech and sample some wines.
Well... my budget was $200 and they charge at least $200 for their work plus try to sell their own wines to the guests and I didn't even know if they had carisma, if the guests wanted to go through the whole speech and break the momentum at the party, so I left that idea sit for a while.... I did ask each guest to bring only a bottle of their favorite Chardonay per couple so in that way other friends could taste good wine and could keep some in my wine rack. As the guests were coming in I wrote down in a piece of paper the name of the wine they brought and their names next to it, and assigned a number to their bottle which we wrote on a label placed on the upper part of the bottle to be placed in a big wine metal cooler that I borrowed from a friend with ice and water.
Also, prepared a wine chart and hang it on a wall next to the table that contained all the wines that were brought, writing on the top row a typical/common description of the wines, like Dry, Fruity, Salty, Aweful, and Your Own Comment. On the left column I put the number assigned to each bottle of wine in numerical order (not the name of the person who brought it so they wouldn't feel offended by the guests comments) so people could make check marks with a marker for each wine which was tasted by placing little plastic cups next to the wine cooler and a garbage can to throw them away after being used and not clean wine glasses with residues of other wines to keep tasting others. Surrounding all these, an aunt and an uncle which I have never prepared a party with, came over and started decorating the house. She brought burgundy and red table cloths to put on top of some tables we borrowed from a friend and placed in our pool patio and inside the house.
Also decorated some tables with gold and burgundy plastic tablecloths that were small. Hanged bunches of green and burgundy plastic grapes that I purchased at a local store for about $1.99 each with pins on the sides of the hanging table cloths. Prepared wood trays to cut meat, with pieces of good cheese, strawberries, peppers, apples and crackers and placed them on each table with cutting knives. Had a salmon plate prepared by my boss in a silver tray placed in the kitchen counter along with another tray with proscciuto rolled on top of mozarella cheese, small mozarella balls deeped in olive oil with basil on top and toothspics to eat them, peanuts on another and lots of real grapes everywhere in disposable plates that had wine motives painted on them which I bought at a party store closed by along with gold plastic silverware. In order for all to drink their wine and not misplaced it or get confused with other people's wine glasses, I bought 3 dozen of white wine glasses for $9.99 a dozen and made my own wine rings to hang to their base inserting a metal wine pendant to it, which cost $1.00 per 12 metal rings and $1.00 for a set of 6 wine pendants (grapes, wine opener, wine bottle and moons and stars) and attached a file label I prepared in my computer with each person's name and a picture of a bunch or grape in purple next to it. All those glasses were placed next to the wine cooler in alphabetical order so people could find them easily and even keep them if they felt like it when they went home.
About one week before the party, my husband and I went to a Happy Hour and met a very interesting person that started talking to us about his kids, since he heard us talking about ours and the conversation leaded into asking in what type of business was he in. Well, you are not going to believe me, but this man sent from Heaven happened to sell wines in the past and new a lot about them, so we invited him to our Wine Party and asked him kindly if he would be willing to give a speech and help us with the tasting, to what he answered "Of Course - No Problem". All of you know that a whole night drinking wine tends to be mellow and people tend to get sleepy, so I strategically prepared some music cds for that purpose. At the begining of the party I played what is called now Chill Music and Budahh music, typical from restaurants or quiet pubs, not from any famous artist in particular but good enough for background general taste music. The aunt that I mentioned before also prepared a delicious Pork Leg and an original Green Rice (with herbs) which was served towards the middle of the party and everybody eat on the pool tables which also had candles lighted up so the ambiance was more romantic or wine related.
Right after the guests ate, while they were siting down, our "Wine Friend" stood up and started talking about the Chardonays and people were free to ask him questions about them and my uncle proposed a toast for a wonderful party and for a wonderful niece, of course most of the men were red wine drinkers but that night they had to go for whites.
Then right away I started playing my next cd, with fast paced music so people felt like dancing and happy after so much wine and food, while people kept tasting and scoring the wines on the wall and commenting about their own wine opinions. In the middle of all the dancing and happiness, it was time for the dessert and we served a good matching plate for wines which was a mixture of all the berries you can imagine, strawberries, blueberries, cherries floating in a maraschino wine, hummmmm and another dessert called Tres Leches which is made with layers of white cake alternated with three different types of milk and sang Happy Birthday hanging to each other after the effect of the tranquilizing wines.
After that we decided to find out which one was the most popular and best wine according to the check marks on the wine chart and get ready to give a price to the person who brought it. At that moment there was a tie and we had to vote applauding but the tie was not untied, so luckily I had two prices just in case. Each person won a refrigerator magnet wich I also purchased at the dollar store (but don't mention it) representing a wine opener and a wood barrell with little bottle of wines. Well the end of the party was approaching and some wine bottles were still filled, so some of us decided to take them out of the cooler and put them away in our refrigerator.
I had wine for at least a week of left overs, JA JA. As the guests were leaving I prepared in my office a little binded booklet containing the most common terminologies used in the wine world as well as notes on how to conserve them, where they come from, types of grapes, etc extracted from the internet wine sites, and on the cover I wrote a Thank You note to all for coming an celebrating with our wines and called Our Own Wine Dictionary. Everybody left happy, full stomach and knowledge about Chardonays and some of them even with their glass wines!!! Please note that the best wines were Brancotti and Macon Villages, without counting my favorite one which I hided in the refrigerator as a special party gift named Kendall Jackson. Salud!