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Wine Cellar Inspirations: Hosting A Spooktacular Halloween Wine Party

October 24th, 2018

A wine tasting party for All Hallows Eve? We’re definitely saying yes to that! But how do you host a fun and memorable wine tasting party amidst all those other Halloween parties? Well, for one thing, it’s not a competition. So focus not on impressing your guests but on how to give them an enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to hosting a spooktacular one:

Host a spooktacular Halloween wine party!

Plan it out with your family or friends

If you’re married, or you have a family, or you live with roommates, it’s always a good idea to sit down together and plan things out. That way, you will be able to pool all your ideas and come up with the best party plan. It’s especially so if there will be quite a bit of age variety with your guests. For example, if you’re hosting a family-based party, where will you put the kids while the adults do the wine tasting? How will you keep them entertained? If it’s a strictly adult affair, how will you accommodate the non-drinkers? And how about those experiencing wine tasting for the very first time? With others contributing valuable input, your party will definitely be an awesome one.

Decide on a theme carry it out well

Obviously, it’s going to be a Halloween-themed party. But narrowing it down to something more specific will make things go more smoothly. It will help you decide on the best menu for both the wine and food. You will also be able to choose the most appropriate decor, as well as invitations. Moreover, it will give your guests a better guide on how they should dress up for your party. They key to deciding on a theme is to consider your resources and that of your guests as well. Do not go for anything elaborate if either you or your guests will not be able to meet it.

Plan your food and wine menu ahead of time!

Follow a solid timeline for your party

Time is always an indispensable factor to the success of any party. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal or informal one. If you want to make it an enjoyable one, free from stress and other worries, managing a solid timeline is essential. It’s especially the case with a Halloween party. Lots of people will be hosting the same kind of event. So the first thing you should do is notify your guests at least 4-6 weeks prior. Don’t forget to ensure an RVSP deadline. Finalize your wine and food list as early as possible. Purchase the “essentials” at least a month before. There is little room for compromise on “essentials.” Last but not the least, prepare your decor ahead of time and put everything in place the night before the event. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Fun Wine Games For Your Halloween Party

October 10th, 2018

Halloween night is still weeks away, but planning early for your Halloween party is always a good idea. Apart from your food and wine menu, you should definitely think about providing some entertainment. If you’re going to have a good number of guests, an icebreaker or two is in order. Here are some fun wine games you can try out:

Fun wine games to try out!

The Blind Man’s Wine Challenge

This is quite a heavy favorite with a lot of wine tasting parties. There’s a general set of rules, but you can modify the game to suit the party mood. The great thing about this is that both beginners and expert wine tasters can participate. So if you have a mixed crowd, this will help to put everyone at ease and enjoy the rest of the night. Prepare several bottles of wine (make them as varied as possible), blindfolds, adhesive labels, and markers. You will also need some disposable cups, paper and pencil for each guest, and a list of wines. Cover the wine bottles with adhesive labels and number them. Put the corresponding numbers on the cups as well. Each guest should have a cup for each bottle of wine. Hide the wine bottles and when your guests arrive, give each of them a blindfold. Give each guest the first cup, and have them the wine. Read off a list of the wines the guests are tasting, and have them write down their best guesses. Once everyone has tasted all the cups and put down their guesses, the blindfolds are removed. It’s time to check who identified the most number of bottles correctly!

Guess the number of corks!

Guess The Number Of Corks/Caps

This game is easy to prepare and won’t give any of your more experienced guests an upper hand. Prepare two or three transparent glass jars of varying sizes. Fill them up with wine bottle corks or caps. Put a sheet of paper and pen in front of each jar. As your guests arrive, have them write down their guesses for each jar on the paper, next to their names. Don’t forget to prepare some nice “prizes” for the winners. The one who can make a guess closest to the number of corks/caps inside the jars wins. There will be one winner for each jar!

Wine Toss With A Twist

Wine Toss is always a fun way to loosen everyone up. But instead of the usual wine toss, try putting a twist into the game to make it more challenging. Here’s how it goes! First, set up some empty wine bottles and divide your guests into two (or three) groups.  Each group will receive the same number of rings. As the host, you will read off some trivia questions. Your guests will try to toss the rings into the wine bottle which they think is the correct answer. The catch? Once a group runs out of rings to toss, they can’t answer any more questions. So they have to be careful not to waste a lot of rings on just one question. Naturally, the group with the most number of correct answers wins! ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Fun Table Preparation Concepts For Christmas

December 20th, 2017

Christmas eve dinner will certainly be always a special occasion. Whether you celebrate it with family and friends, with your special someone, or with a huge gathering of people, it will always be loads of fun. And one of the truly enjoyable moments actually come during the preparation stage. That’s right! Setting up the Christmas table and thinking of all the ways you can make it beautiful is definitely an activity to look forward to. With Christmas eve only a few days away though, the nerves can get a bit frazzled along the way. So we thought we’d lend a helping hand with some of these fun table preparation concepts:

Incorporate natural touches!

Incorporate “natural” touches

This year, “all-natural” has become one of the biggest buzzwords for almost anything. Food, drinks, toiletries, make-up, fashion – you name it. People have been leaning more and more towards “all-natural” ingredients in almost anything. So why not bring these “all-natural” touches to your Christmas table as well! Decorate your table with fresh greenery such as pine with sprigs of holly for that holiday flavor. Instead of vases, try bowls filled with fresh salad greens and topped with fruit. They will make great appetizers as well. Also, instead of the usual china or crystal setting, switch it up with wooden plates and bowls.

Go for “bold and vibrant” decor

It’s the holidays, people! Get out of your comfort zone and instead of the usual elegant (spell, stiff!) decor, glassware and cutlery, go for something bold and vibrant. It will actually prove to be a nice change and will help give off a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Colorful, mismatched glassware, decorative plates, printed table runners and napkins – these say one thing: fun, fun, fun. You can also add some quirky little presents for your guests such as holiday poppers or tiny boxes of liquor-filled chocolates.

Bold and vibrant decor!

Overdecorate to spell “abundant”

What better time than Christmas dinner to literally go all out with food, drinks, and of course, presents?  Make this Christmas eve dinner one of the most memorable ones by making your table exude an air of abundance. Overdecorating is the key. Go for large blooms for your centerpiece. Trot out large candles and candle holders, oversized bowls and serving platters, and pile on the holiday greenery such as pine and junipers. Turn your table into a grazing table chock-full of aperitifs – fruits, nuts, cheeses, cupcakes, crackers and more. We guarantee an air of festivity like no other!

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Our Top Christmas Wine Picks

December 13th, 2017

Only ten more days to go to Christmas eve! What’s your Christmas dinner menu looking like? We’ll give you some hints with ours – red, white, and sparkling. Yup, yup! It seems like the holiday colors will be all over the dining table this year as we trot out our top wine picks for the season. Check our list out and share with us yours as well:

Cheers to a good year!

Pour on the Pinot!

Ham will definitely on the menu come Christmas eve. So what would we be pouring alongside that? Experience tells us that whether they are baked, smoked, or honeyed, hams beg for wines with a dash of sweet.  A German Riesling with a touch of residual sugar, made lighter in style and a bit lower in alcohol, is one of the popular pairing choices. Riesling comes with plenty of food-friendly acidity and crowd-pleasing palate appeal. But this year, we’re going to pour on the Pinot instead. Why so? Good Pinot Noir has subtle tannins that make for an easier going pairing profile. It’s a crowd-pleaser, apart from a palate one. If you’re going to be having a variety of tastebuds over for dinner, Pinot is the bottle you’d want to pop open.

Style with Sauvignon Blanc!

If we have our reds, then we’re certainly lining up the whites this Christmas eve as well. Turkey will also be on the menu and this savory dish deserves a suitable partner. Sauvignon Blanc is a time-tested favorite pick for turkey and savory sides. This white wine will bring its own herbal tones to the table, enhancing one’s turkey dinner experience. Note that it will also go well with duck compared to reds, particularly if you’re serving one with a fruity type sauce.

We love our dessert wines!

Bring on the Dessert Wines!

Naturally, the meal won’t be complete without an array of lip-smacking desserts to end Christmas dinner with an extra “ho” to the “ho, ho, ho.” And for us, dessert won’t be complete unless there’s the right wine pairing for it as well. You have to be careful though not to overdo the sweetness intensity on the palate. Ice Wine is one of our favorite picks, especially with bite-sized truffles and other chocolate-covered goodies. If you’re serving cheesecake, tortes, or other similar cakes, the Moscato d’Asti will make for the perfect wine partner.