Throwing a party is not a challenge to your self-esteem. Yeah right! Nothing like throwing a party to reduce you back to being an eighth grader and wondering if anyone likes you and if anyone is going to come to your party. Now trying being forty and the new mommy in town! If you’re moving to a new a place and trying to make friends, here is a suggestion for a party. The most important thing is to go with a theme you know and don’t be afraid to “just ask.”
I had just moved from the San Francisco bay area to Westchester County outside New York City. I decided to invite the moms from my daughter’s first grade class and some from my other daughter’s preschool. The theme was “Mom Appreciation Night.” It was something everyone can relate to as most kids don’t tell you that you are doing a great job and blending just the right amount of love and discipline in raising them!
I asked people not to bring things as I wanted people to just come and relax. I did my own invitations and made sure I noted that it was “very” casual. Since I had come from Northern California and not far from wine country, I decided to bring some of my old home to my new home and had a California wine tasting. I went to the local wine merchant and he helped me pick out the selection I noted below. I asked and then he agreed to come to the party to talk about the wines. It was great publicity for him and the moms got a chance to hear about the wines and get some wonderful helpful hints about selecting wines on their own. I then went to our local county store to order some appetizers and asked about pairing with the wines. The owner was more than happy to specifically match the right foods to the wines. So, lesson learned: it never hurts to ask!
Other helpful hints:
- I got extra wine glasses from the caterer to use for the party.
- A friend came to help set up and warm the food while I greeted people.
- I sent people home with open bottles as you don’t want to be left with open wine and letting it go bad is a sin!
- I set extra bottles of wine by the food so people could see what they were drinking with what food and I put place cards by the food so the moms knew what they were eating.
- I sent people home with a card listing all the wines so if they wanted to purchase some later, they would have something to remember what they tasted.
- Don’t forget a vessel to pour out the remainder if someone doesn’t like what they tasted and water for people to use to rinse their glass between tastings.
- Have fun yourself!
Here are some great wines with food pairings to use for your next party!
Fiddlehead Cellars, Santa Ynes Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2005
- Crab cakes
- Spring rolls
Sonoma Cutrer, Russian River Ranches, Chardonnay 2005
- Chicken satay with peanut dip
- Mini chicken cordon blue balls
Toad Hall Willow Pond, Carneros, Pinot Noir 2005
- Seared tuna on rice cakes
- Coconut shrimp
J.T. Cellars Petite Syrah, Lodi 2005
- Mini chili quesadillas
- Baby lamb chops
Summer’s Zinfandel, Napa Valley, 2004
- Goat cheese pizzas
- Smoked mozzarella puffs
Clos Du Val, Cabernet Sauvignon (blend), Napa Valley 2003
- Mini beef Wellingtons
- Filet mignon on toast