Parties are integral to the wine eco-system. Be it wine-tasting, wine promotion, wine social or a formal black tie wine dinner, it often becomes incumbent upon a wine enthusiast to attend these. While some of such wine parties are commonplace and soon forgotten, there are others which by their excellent conduct, become memorable and much talked about in the wine circles.
“How to organize a perfect wine party?” is an often asked question, and much googled too, amongst wine aficionados. What’s the big deal one could say…procure the wines, cater good food, invite people and you are on!! Well not quite so. Any wine literate person knows that a wine party is not just another party but it is one which requires a meticulous planning and execution.
So what goes into throwing a successful wine party? Some of well-established suggestions would include selecting good wines as per theme (like old/new world wines, varietal wines etc), correct food pairing, proper wine glassware, serving wines at correct temperature, synchronized wine-food serving etc. But is that enough? Well it certainly is, going by the book, however there always are certain additional “X-Factors” which add value to a wine party and make it successful.
X-FACTORS IN A WINE PARTY
Wine Ambassador Every wine has a story it is often said. If that is true, then a wine ambassador is the story teller. He’s the one qualified to speak about all aspects of the wines being served. An adept wine ambassador can much enhance the sensory experience of a wine by relating it to the land from which it comes, it’s people, customs, traditions besides the technical and commercial aspects.
Qualified Sommelier A qualified wine sommelier, if present at the party, would keep his focus on the wines being served and ensure the technicalities of wine storage, decanting, serving etc, to make the wine consumption a seamless and a pleasurable experience.
Dedicated Host Like any other party, a passionate host is the life-line of a wine party. Proper selection of wines and the paired food, ensuring a judicious mix of guests, effectively engaging the guests during the party in an interactive environment, are some ways by which a good host keeps up the success quotient of the party.
Chef’s Involvement Generally wines are selected to match the food being ordered. But a wine party is different. Here the wines take the center-stage and the food has to be selected so as to match the wines. This puts the Chef in the center-stage. He has use his knowledge and experience with wines to finalize and prepare proper food as per the wines being served. It is not uncommon these days for the Chef to make an appearance during the party itself and interact with the guests to get a feel of how the food is being relished and offer insights into food-wine pairing.
Winemaker’s Presence Presence of the winemaker/owner of the winery in a wine party is always a plus. He would tell so many things about his wines which one would never find in books and even less so on online platforms. What better to listen about the wines from the person who has produced them.
Innovation and Collaboration Innovative ideas can add value to a wine party and contribute towards its success. The possibilities here are limited only by the boundaries of the mind. It could be inclusion of a wine celebrity or say a Master Sommelier/Master of Wine in the guest list. It may even be selecting a unique venue for the event. Recent trends also point towards collaborative themes like wine and art, wine and fashion or even wine and entertainment. Only thing to keep in mind that the add-ons should not be over bearing and the central theme should always be the wine – after all its a wine party.
So if you are planning to organize a wine party, do take a cue from above X-Factors to make it a successful and a memorable one. The only caveat being adherence to the prescribed limits for wine consumption so as to make it enjoyable for all. Cheers!
Picture – meetup.com