Need an idea for your supper club or next dinner party? Here’s one that is interactive, entertaining, delicious, and educational, too. Oh, and just because it is educational doesn’t mean it’s not fun.
Who doesn’t love to share their travel adventures and who doesn’t love to get ideas for their next trip? A Wine Around the World party is easy and inexpensive to host since guests bring the food, the wine….even the decorations! Relive the days you biked in the South of France, rode with the gauchos in Argentina, or visited the bodegas of Italy! Dust off those photos, call your friends and get ready to travel the globe--- no passport required!
This party is inexpensive to host since guests bring food, wine and souvenirs to be used as decorations. Clear plenty of counter and table space so each guest has room to create a “station” for their country. Guests move from station to station as they sample food and wine from each locale. Stack plates and wine glasses in one central spot unless you have room to place them at each station. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your tableware.
Organize Your Travel Itinerary
Each guest brings a bottle of wine and food from their favorite destination--- whether it’s a place they’ve visited, or a place they really want to go someday. The host should coordinate the countries with guests. If more than one friend has been to Australia, ask one guest to bring an appetizer and the other to bring a dessert with their wine selection.
First, let’s plan the menu…. Wait, there’s no menu for this party!
You don’t have to plan a menu but you can help guests with ideas of what to bring so you have plenty of variety. Since I love Spain, I might bring a good, inexpensive Spanish red like Osborne Solaz, served with a tapas platter: little dishes of Spanish olives, almonds, and Manchego cheese. OR I might make a Tortilla Espanola- a Spanish potato omelette, if I have time to cook. Set a limit on what to spend on the wine. You can get a great bottle under $20. If you really want to challenge your guests, ask them to find a great wine under $12!
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to cook. Order a dish from your favorite restaurant or head to Whole Foods or a good local market to get what you need.
Food, Decorations and Entertainment
Photos from our travels and favorite souvenirs are used to identify and decorate each station. Use your computer printer and make a copy of the flag from each country to mark the stations. You can use candles you already have or pick up some flowers to create atmosphere. Don’t feel like you have to go out and buy decorations; just use what you have and keep it simple. Your guests' travel photos and souvenirs will be the focus.
Ask guests to bring their travel photos on a CD so you can play them on the TV. Have guests tell the stories behind the pictures. Award prizes for best photo, best story, worst story, worst travel nightmare, and best overall presentation. Prizes included luggage tags, luggage locks, folding totes, and other travel related accessories which you can easily find at any big box retail store like Target.
You’ve got a start on the entertainment. Now, let the music take you there…
In the days leading up to the party, I like to put together a playlist of tunes to set the mood. I do a little online research or browse through CD’s at the store or on iTunes or Spotify. For this party, try the world music section. There are lots of compilations available from different countries.
This party is easy to recreate and since everyone helps, it’s not a chore to host. It’s also a unique pre-wedding party for the engaged couple who loves wine or trying to decide on a honeymoon destination. The best part is that you won’t have to stand in line, take off your shoes, or go through airport security—you can experience exotic destinations right in your own home.
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: ARDEN WARD UPTON, ARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY