Tag Archives: Luxury

How to Throw a Wine and Cheese Party

I talked a little bit about throwing your own wine party in my previous post. But here is a little elaboration on how to have a fancy wine and cheese party! (Riesling is my absolute favorite) Enjoy

Hosting a wine and cheese party is a fun, intimate way to spend an evening with friends. Luckily, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be a memorable and elegant event. Here are a few tips for throwing a wine and cheese party on a budget.

Plan Ahead
Setting the date in advance will give you time to watch for sales. Skip specialty wine shops and head to organic grocery stores or import shops instead. Look for two-for-one deals or 20-percent-off six bottle sales. You’ll need an assortment of wines for a successful tasting, so stock up on a variety of wines ranging from crisp whites through robust reds. If you live in an area with active wineries or dairies, consider using local vintages or cheeses to cut back on costs.

Send Invitations
A party of six to twelve guests will provide lively conversation while keeping costs in check. Save money and add a personal touch by making your invitations, tasting cards and introduction cards at home. It’s easy to print computer-generated invites on generic card stock, but plain white linen hand-lettered invitations and tasting cards lend a taste of old-world elegance. A package of blank four by six inch cards can serve as invitations. Use the extras as introduction cards for your pairings.

DIY Décor
Luckily, a wine and cheese tasting party is an understated event with no need for elaborate decorations or trimmings. Crisp white tablecloths, sparkling glassware and a few pretty candles in decorative holders set the scene. For a centerpiece, let the season be your guide. Cut a bouquet of flowers from your garden, gather an assortment of autumn leaves and seedpods or use a few sprigs of evergreen and holly berry to form an attractive focal point on your table.

The Pairings
Wine and cheese have the ability to each bring out hidden flavors in the other. You’ll want to plan your pairings accordingly. Acidic whites generally pair better with soft cheeses like Camembert or Brie. Hearty reds stand up to stronger flavors like sharp Cheddar or Parmesan. Consider regional pairings, such as teaming a Riesling with Havarti or Swiss. Sweet dessert wines make music with robust, salty cheeses like Roquefort. Ask at your local wine shop for suggestions. Buy the cheeses the day before the party to ensure they are fresh and plate them separately to prevent flavors blending. Chill the wines, label the pairings and prepare for guests to arrive.

Must Haves
You’ll need a glass for each guest along with a pitcher of water for rinsing and a receptacle for disposing of old wine. A silver or cut glass ice bucket works well. When guests arrive, supply each with a tasting card for noting impressions. Gold or silver scoring pencils are inexpensive and classier than cheap ballpoint pens. Provide plain French bread for cleansing the palate before and after tasting, as well as fresh fruit, crackers, nuts and olives for noshing. Put on some soft music and let the tasting begin.

Live – Laugh – Love – Travel

AJ

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Luxurious Manhattan Loft Party

One of my dearest friends lives in a gorgeous Manhattan Loft.  We threw a little get together this past weekend, and it made me think about writing this piece on Luxurious Manhattan Loft Parties!

There are a lot of great places to party in New York City, if you have the money to do so. The best way to re-create the downtown scene without spending thousands of dollars in the process is by doing it in your own loft. While throwing a party and at the same time trying to bring Manhattan style and glamor to it can be expensive if you let it, there are some tips that can help you keep costs at a minimum while putting on a very worthy affair.

Most importantly, people remember a party by the people they met and the conversations and interactions they had with other guests. This makes the layout of the party very important. Your party area should be set up in a fashion that allows people to mingle freely. A mixture of short and long tables gives people the ability to find different spots to talk, or even to take a break from talking or standing for a moment. Create comfortable sections with your existing furniture so that people can face each other when interacting. Do NOT put chairs and sofas against your walls; this will create a high school prom atmosphere, which is definitely not what you want.

As far as décor goes, low lighting and luxury are what you should go for. An easy way to save money while going for luxury is to use white tablecloth on all your tables, with accents in black or silver. These colors work all year round, so you do not have to worry about matching your party with a color theme. Fall parties can benefit from orange, brown, or yellow floating candles in glass bowls. Winter is easy; add some snowflakes or blue accents to get the effect you want.

Your musical choice is always important. Remember, it’s not about what you like, it’s about what people will enjoy without being offended. Try to go for something universal, like jazz turned low, or rock classics like the Beatles or the Who.

Food is also really important; a lot of people remember parties because of the great food that they ate. The first option is to have the party catered, if you know of an affordable caterer. Making the food yourself can be much cheaper, and often the food is much better. Appetizers are what you should focus on, as people will be chatting and interacting, and won’t be sitting down to eat. Finding popular hor d’oeuvres on sale can be effective, such as mini-quiches, or meatballs done with a special sauce. A cheese fondue with bread is also a glamorous and fairly inexpensive idea.

Drinks are the final touch. There is no reason to buy every kind of liquor on the planet. You can even have a drink theme to your party, such as flavored martinis. My all time favorite, and go to is the popular Cosmopolitan!  Always have been and a wine box in case your guests don’t drink liquor, and soda for those who drink any alcohol at all.

Do not fret; following these steps will allow you to actually afford a fabulous party that people will remember for a long time!

 

Live – Laugh – Love – Travel

AJ

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