How can you make an entrance when arriving at a party? A stunning new outfit? Arriving late enough so that everyone swings around to see who just walked in? Waltzing in with your ex on your arm? Those are a few options. But this wouldn’t be a wine blog if I was suggesting one of those things!
I’d like to suggest that arriving with a stellar bottle of wine is the surest way to make an entrance at a party. I’m not talking about an entrance that will get people talking or an entrance that will feed your ego. I am talking about an entrance that will show thoughtfulness towards the host. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to nail it when you bring a bottle of wine to a friend's house.
1. Think about the host. At the end of the day, you should bring something your host likes. If you know that the host hates white wine, for god’s sake, don’t bring a bottle of white wine. Maybe you just have a general idea of what they like (i.e. they love red, and hate white). Maybe you know a bit more (i.e. they are big fans of pinot noir or they frequently visit Sonoma wine country). Use whatever information you have about that person to help guide your choice.
2. Steer away from “vanity labels”. I must admit that this is a bit controversial to suggest. Vanity labels are what I call wines that impress people when they see them (i.e. a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne with the indistinguishable orange/yellow label in Pantone 137C or a fancy schmancy bottle of Napa Cab that costs you an arm and a leg). Why, you say, wouldn’t you want to bring a bottle of impressive wine? Answer: because anyone can do that. Not a lot of thought goes into grabbing that expensive bottle of Champagne in which most of the cost of the bottle goes to paying for the marketing budget of the brand. Not a lot of thought needs to go into buying that Wine Spectator 99-Point rated bottle that sits on the end-cap at BevMo.
3. Patronize your local wine shop. Employees at wine shops are gold mines. Give them a budget and an idea of what you’re looking for, and they’re sure to have some good suggestions.
4. Be sure that white, rose, or sparkling wines are chilled! There is nothing worse than presenting the host with a lovely bottle of wine that is not ready to be served. Throw that bottle in the fridge or freezer while you are getting ready! There are some great (and inexpensive) products to keep your bottles cold in transit. You can try a corksicle, an ice bag, or a wrap around cooler.
5. Greet the host warmly, thank them for the invitation into their home, and be sure to tell them why you selected this bottle of wine (i.e. I know you LOVE pinot OR I know you and your hubby honeymooned in Tuscany so here’s a lovely Tuscan red OR your family is from Greece, so I found an assyrtiko at my favorite wine shop).
I hope this post will help you make a wine entrance at your next dinner party! These are easy and subtle suggestions, but they go a long way. It is my hope that you enjoy this blog and crack open a bottle of wine with friends and family…..and frequently. The meaning of life is to live it. And how better to live it than by drinking good wine with the people you love. Until next time!