You know it’s a good party when you stop for a minute to listen and the sound you hear is the buzz of the many conversations engaging your friends. That is my favorite time – my friends meeting and enjoying each other’s company. It’s just not the same to meet at a restaurant since you are stuck in your seat only talking with those directly across from or next to you. A party is different – it is alive! Its ebbs and flows are ever changing and so much more interesting.
People don’t throw parties these days like they used to so if you do, you gain instant popularity because, of course, everyone likes to attend them! Maybe with everyone’s busy lives, it seems like too much trouble to plan or just too expensive to put on. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Host a wine tasting party! You can do it very easily and inexpensively.
Guests love to bring something so ask them to bring their favorite wines under $15. You can make it a theme like “reds around the world” or pick a grape such as a Malbec or a Cabernet. (Can you tell I love reds?) Pick up some wine tasting cards or make up your own so your guests can write down the name of the wine, the region and what they liked about it. You can even make a fun little checklist with quotes like “its an unpretentious wine with a great nose – cherry and raspberry with just a hint of cinnamon.”
Since your guests will drink the wines, you only need to have a few extra bottles on hand as the host. You ‘ll need to serve a hearty dish for the party to keep everyone from getting tipsy. I have found with red wine, carnitas do the trick. You can make your own roast if you are good in the kitchen or pick up a frozen package at Costco that serves eight. Add tortillas, chips, salsa, rice and beans – you are good to go. Planned well, you could do the whole thing for less than $100.
Here’s the breakdown -
$15 chips, salsa and guacamole
$5 Spanish rice and beans
$8 pork roast ( or frozen package of carnitas at Costco)
$10 chocolates for dessert
The other stuff:
$22 host wine
$20 beer, sodas, sparkling water, coffee
$15 wine note cards and other miscellaneous items
Borrow extra wine glasses from your best friend (make sure to invite her!) because plastic just won’t do.
Some tips for buying inexpensive but really good wines:
Ask! When my husband and I lived in California we were regulars at Bev-mo and always asked them to point out great wines under $15. They always steered us in the right direction.
Shop the discount stores. We found wine sales at CVS were very good and of course, Costco has great discounts.
Shop locally. Inquire at your grocery store. Many times the grocery store has great sales, especially when you purchase at least six bottles. They also have instant coupons if you sign up on line and wine may just be on their list.
Now you have a fun summer party for eight! Your guests will leave with some knowledge of some great inexpensive wines to enjoy throughout the year and you hosted a great party for less than it costs to dine out for two!