One of my absolute favorite things to do is host a party. Since summer is just about here I wanted to share how to host a summer wine tasting party. I got the chance to collaborate with Mirassou Winery and Melissa’s Produce to bring this party to life. I picked up a few other items from Fresh & Easy for the finishing touches on the food. If you are looking to host a fun and casual wine tasting party, I’ve got everything you need right here!
How to Host a Summer Wine Tasting Party
1. Pick a Theme : Stick with one to two themes or a color palate. It’s easy to get carried away with different wine party themes. I tried to stick with rustic and bright. I used very simple items such as lunch bags and craft paper details with pops of color.
2. Send Invites : There are so many fun customizable invites available now. I ended up making mine a Facebook event photo since it was a small party. You can always purchase invites really inexpensively like this one.
3. Plan a Menu : I recommend planning an easy menu if you want to be able to enjoy the party yourself. I hate when I don’t make enough time to get food prepped before a party and feel like I am cooking the whole time. The point of a party is to enjoy the company you’re with.
4. Choose the Wines : Select at least 4 wines for a wine tasting party. It’s best to do two whites and two reds. You could always add in something sparkling or a rose for something a little different. Try to select wines that you feel will taste well with the food you serve.
5. Get Decorations Ready Early : Make sure you have all your decorations planned a week before the event. Then one day before the event you can get all the decorations up and not have to worry about it the day of the event.
6. Prep : Get all the food prepped one day prior or the morning of the event. The menu I selected was pretty easy. I assembled the jalapeño poppers the day before so I just needed to heat them up right before the party started. Little things like chopping veggies or washing fruit can be done early too.
7. Set Up: The set up is always my favorite part. It’s when all the planning comes together. Once the decorations are up, the food is hot and the wine is opened it’s time to : Enjoy!
I sent invites out to just a few close friends and family. I really wanted to create a fun and easy summer wine party for about 10 people. All of this could easily done for more people.
All of the wines we tasted were from Mirassou Winery. We sampled the Moscato, the Chardonnay, the Sunset Red and the Pinot Noir. I provided tasting notes (shown below) for all of the guests to view while we tasted the wines.
The Moscato was a great wine to start with. It was very sweet but also very smooth. A tasting was just the right amount to get started with the evening. We then moved on to the chardonnay which was a party favorite.
After the chardonnay we moved on to the Sunset Red. It has hints of cherry and vanilla. Also smooth and sweet but more of a full body wine than the moscato. The pinot noir was last and was oh so delicious! It’s still hard for me to decide if I’m a sunset red or a pinot noir lady. I am definitely more of a red gal.
We paired up our wines with some tasty nibbles of different cheese, fresh grapes, figs and meat.
Meat and Cheese Board
Spring Salad with dried cherries, blackberries, goat cheese and pecans
Papaya Sausage Jalapeño Poppers (recipe below)
Roasted Asparagus and shallot garlic potatoes
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Drums
Chocolate Truffles and Dark Chocolate Squares
I had planned on making traditional jalapeño poppers but somehow I spaced on picking up bacon so I substituted with sausage. I added a little dried papaya for sweetness. These papaya sausage jalapeño poppers were a bit of an accident but they turned out amazing and everyone asked for the recipe.
Papaya Sausage Jalapeño Poppers
10 Jalapeños (Melissa’s Produce) sliced in half and deseeded
8 oz Cream Cheese softened
1/2 cup of Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
1 Cooked Chicken Sausage Link
2 Dried Papaya Sticks
Chop sausage link and papaya sticks into 1/4 inch squares. Mix with cheeses together in a medium bowl. Stuff into sliced jalapeños. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.
Last minute I decided I needed some more color so I made these super easy DIY Lemon Centerpieces. My dad had brought over a bunch of lemons from the tree in his backyard recently. I sliced up the lemons, added them to ball jars and filled them with water. I tied a little twine to the top and placed them around the party.
All of these amazing party photos were taken by Jessica Hammond, a family friend. It was so nice to have a friend there to take photos so I could really enjoy the party. She offered to snap a few family pics while we were all there and I was so happy she did. I hadn’t realized it had been a little while since we had some good family photos taken.
A couple weeks before the party I told Mark that I wanted to make some sort of chalkboard menu. I headed to Target and found this cool ‘menu’ rub on decal. I found a piece of wood in our house left over from a recent home improvement project and painted it with black chalkboard paint. After I added the rub on ‘menu’ decal I hand wrote the menu with a chalkboard pen.
As a thank you for all the guests that came to the summer wine tasting party I made some easy DIY flower party favors. I found the containers in the dollar bin at target ($1 for 10 containers). I bought 2 flats of flowers from Home Depot for $3.99 each and made small thank you cards to tape to toothpicks for each favor. These little favors turned out so cute and are such an inexpensive way to say thank you. I loved the bright colors of the flowers.
And last but not least… A Giant Thank You to our sponsors: Mirassou Winery and Melissa’s Produce. I really had so much fun producing the first #BriGeeskiParty and I hope to have many more!
Photos by Jessica Hammond. I received wine and produce as media consideration. All opinions are my own.