If you want to get your friends together and do something more special than the usual grill out, why not take them on a little Staycation? Letting a destination inspire your dinner party is a fun and easy way to spice up a get-together.
The most fun part of creating a destination-themed dinner party is creating a sense of place. Shaking up the same-old gathering will bring a sense of excitement to the evening, and your guests will love the attention to detail.
Step one is to pick a place, and let it inspire the music, menu, décor, and of course, the wine choice. Whether you’re venturing to India, Morocco, or Italy, these components will bring the evening to life!
When thinking about décor, there’s no need to go all out – a few table or lighting embellishments will do the trick. Topping tea lights with a few lanterns, or garnishing the table with flora or fauna reminiscent of your destination will add charm to your dining experience.
Choose a music option authentic to your destination of choice. It can be livelier during the cocktail hour, or as guests arrive, but once everyone sits down to dinner, be sure to stick to something instrumental, and keep volume low enough that conversations across the table can be easily heard.
As you plan the menu, be sure your wine pairings take into account general characteristics of the fare. Does your menu contain seafood? Is it on the spicier side? Does it contain heartier sauces or lighter vegetable sides? Here are some general tips to get you rolling:
Spicy: Spicy foods pair best with a simple, unoaked, fruity red wine. Wine with a little body stands up best to Spicy foods, which can sometimes be to strong for a sweeter white. Try a Cru Beaujolais like Morgon.
Seafood: Fish love a white wine, and generally speaking Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice, but it’s best to take into account if you’re serving something raw, grilled, or roasted with a butter sauce for example. (Our Wine Scouts are full of tips!)
Sauces: Sauces run the range of sweet, sour, creamy, tangy, etc, but the key is always balance. A Sangiovese pairs well with the tartness of a Marinara sauce, and if you’ve got something aioli-based on your menu, a Rosé’s acidity stands well against the olive oil. An earthy Zinfandel loves a tapenade.
If you don’t find guidelines here for the menu you have in mind, get in touch with one of our Wine Scouts! They’re pairing experts and will have lots of ideas for you!