Over the past several years I have been involved in planning a large number of dinner parties for our Wine Club and other special events we do at the LEX 530 Event Center. In today’s blog article I want to share with you some of the things I have learned in planning these parties.
The conversations for our dinners usually begin at one of our team meetings which includes the following people: our event coordinator, chef, wine director and me. Below are the points that we consider and discuss prior to each dinner:
- What is the purpose of the event? For example, is it a seasonal dinner celebration (a Spring Dinner) or a particular event (Oktoberfest)? Are there certain foods that are expected at these types of events? What can we serve that will stand out at this type of event?
- We then create the menu and decide if we are going to serve our guests a plated meal or buffet.
- Next, it is important to figure out the number of courses you will be serving and what your main course will be. With this information the rest of the meal will flow from there.
- Another major question that needs attention is how many guests will be served. In our case, we often need to guess based on past experience. For home dinner parties, it is much easier to put together a guest list – especially if you are asking your guests to RSVP.
- The next big item that needs to be determined: what is the wine budget and what wines are you going to pour with each course. You may need assistance in making the selections. In our case, our wine director and I pick the pairings. If you are not fortunate to either understand wine well or have knowledgeable friends or family who understand wine, I would suggest you reach out to your favorite person at your local wine shop. There are also private individuals who will pair your food and wine, then purchase it for you. One such individual is Tom Welsh who can be reached at 574-296-1327. Tom is a Level 2 Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. He is also recognized as a wine steward.
- There are articles and books written on pairing wine and food. There are a couple of rules of thumb when pairing wine and food:
- Red wine pairs well with red meats and white wines pair well with white meats, seafood and fish. On the other hand, there are not any rules set in stone. People, including myself, drink whatever wine is available and whatever wine they enjoy most. People tend not to formalize the pairing process.
- Young white wines tend to have higher acidity, allowing the wine to cut through fat and at the same time compliment flavors of lighter dishes.
- Young red wines have more tannins. Tannins add firmness and weight to wine, and make it good with heavier foods.
- Great wines will be impressive regardless of the food.
- Glassware plays an important role in the success of your dinner. There are a number of all-purpose glasses that will work just fine with your dinner. You should be able to smell and swirl your wine in the glass. Glassware should be clean and free of spots for visual evaluation.
- I always recommend that wines be decanted prior to serving at dinner. An hour or two of decanting will allow most red wines to open up. I think that white wines should be decanted as well, but not as long. A half hour to an hour for a white wine.
- A couple other items have come to mind since I started writing. Give your guests something to nibble on when they arrive prior to dinner. Pick appetizers that go with the food you are serving for dinner and wine to match.
- End the meal with a sweet dessert of some type. Do not serve anything too large. Do not make your guests feel weighted down.
Dinner parties are popular events and allow you to connect with friends and family. To assure the best success, start planning your next dinner party right away.
As always, I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics, please do so in the comments section below.
Until next week,
2022 Wine Events at LEX 530 Event Center
Friday, February 25 – Wine Talk & Taste
Wednesday, March 16 – Wine Dinner
Friday, March 25 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, April 8 – Wine Dinner
Friday, April 22 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, May 13 – Wine Dinner
Friday, May 27 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, June 10 – Wine Dinner
Friday, June 24 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, July 8 – Wine Dinner
Friday, July 29 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, August 12 – Wine Dinner
Friday, August 26 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, September 9 – Wine Dinner
Friday, September 16 – Wine Talk & Taste
Tuesday, October 11 – Wine Dinner (Oktoberfest)
Friday, October 28 – Wine Talk & Taste
Friday, November 4 – Wine Dinner
Friday, November 18 – Wine Talk & Taste