Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Throw the Perfect End-of-Summer Wine Party

Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean you have to stop entertaining. Toast the end of the season with a wine-inspired (and fueled) soiree for you and your friends.

The Main Course- the Wine
Instead of heavy reds, roses and white wines are lighter and cooler (these wines are best served chilled) and can provide much needed R&R during those hot summer afternoons and nights. Red and white sangria, with colorful summer fruits dancing in an alcoholic sea, is also a great beverage for summer parties.

If you’re set on red, Pinot Noir has a much lighter body and is less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel. Its color is also lighter, though that doesn’t mean that it has less flavor than other red varieties. Great Pinot Noirs have hints of baked cherries, plums, damp earth, chocolate, leather, and cigars. Zinfandel is also a good choice for summer wine parties. The typical Zinfandel flavor profile pairs well with a popular summer dish—barbecue!

After making the white and red sangria, you may have a few bottles and corks lying around. Whether it’s Sunday brunch with the gals or an intimate evening gathering, upcycle the wine packaging products by creating summer party decorations. Here are a few DIY wine décor projects that are easy, fun, economical, and can help add the final touches to your summer wine party.

Click HERE for the DIY tutorial
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Cork Place Card Holders
“Soup’s on!” Seat your guests quickly and beautifully with handcrafted place card holders made out of old wine corks. It’s easy to do: Take a sharp edge and carve a slit down the length of the cork. Write the name on a small piece of stationary and tuck the note where you made the cut. To keep the cork from rolling over, cut a small piece of cork, opposite side of the slit, so that your new place card holder sits level. This project takes five minutes and is a corky, quirky way to personalize your table.
Wine-bottle lamps, candelabras, and chandeliers
Light up the summer night by placing candles or battery-powered LED lights inside wine bottles. This project can be as easy (just put the light source inside an empty bottle) or difficult (use a glass cutter to trim the bottle into desired heights) as you want it to be. Clean and dry the bottles before using them. Alcohol is flammable—you don’t want there to be any accidents!

Cork Coasters
Depending on the size of the coaster, each one requires 2 – 3 wine corks. Use your sharp edge to divide each cork into 4 – 6 discs. Arrange the circles into the desired shape. Once you’re satisfied with the design, permanently stick discs to one another using a hot glue gun. For more whimsy and fun, paint the discs with colors that complement the rest of your décor.


Appetizers and small plates are perfect for a summer wine party. Finalize your wine list (after all, it is a summer wine party) and then tackle the food pairing. Cheese, charcuterie, olives, and bread complement just about any bottle. If you’re unsure about a particular pairing, talk to the experts at the wine store. More often than not, they have probably tasted the wine and can steer you in the right direction.

This guest post was written by a content editor for Personal Wine. To learn more about Personal Wine, check out the site --> 

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KElizabeth said...

Cute! Those appetizers look delicious!
Kallie, But First, Coffee

Noor said...

The bottles with lights are enchanting , loving them all.
Noor @ Noor's Place

Miss Val's Creations said...

I love all the ideas here! I actually threw a wine tasting party for friends back in April. It was so much fun to plan, but super expensive. It was all worth it though. :) I have been wanting to make cork coasters, so fun and functional!!!

Denysia Yu said...

The bottled lights look so pretty! :)

xx Denysia Yu

Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom said...

Wine?! Did somebody say wine?!

I love this... and I wouldn't think of throwing a wine party but why not!?

I love the cork place-holders... and those coasters are adorable.

Wishing you a lovely day.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

Ohhh my friend just did the placeholders for her wedding. Love all these ideas- and wine of course!

Itzy Bellababy said...

Cool ideas! I think I may have some wine and corks around;)

larry mapp said...

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