Happy New Year friends! We typically do not go out on New Year’s Eve as we consider it “amateur” night. We like to be home in our jammies with a cocktail to ring in the New Year. Since New Year’s Eve was a Monday night this year, we decided to host a Wine Tasting Dinner Party later that week on Friday to celebrate the New Year. We invited a few of our wine lover friends for a long evening of fun and frolic.
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ormat for our Wine Tasting Dinner Party
We simply asked each guest to bring one bottle of their favorite wine (red or white) and then we prepared a 5-course seated dinner to enjoy all of the wines. It is important that our guests are fed a lot of food since they will be consuming a lot of lovely new wines. Besides, there is nothing I love more than sitting around our dining room table for hours enjoying great food, wine, and friends! The longer…the better…
We started out the evening in our basement bar enjoying drinks and a huge charcuterie tray I made (sorry I didn’t get a picture of it!!) while last-minute preparations are being completed in my kitchen. I created a menu for this meal so that our guests can plan out their wine selections.
The Place Settings for our Wine Tasting Dinner Party
I am not sure why, but it is typical for New Year’s Eve parties to feature black and gold for the decorations. No problem here! I knew had plenty of serving ware and accessories to pull this off, especially with my gold Lenox Tuxedo place settings that I have had since I got married. A 5-course meal is certainly more conducive to a more formal setting and I am all about that!
Considering we were hosting a wine tasting dinner party where we will be tasting RED and WHITE wines, red became a natural accent color. The other bonus is that I can use my favorite Lenox Gold Eternal Accent Plates that feature the most beautiful garnet-red accents.
I chose to re-use the gold placemats that I used for our Gold and Silver Christmas Table Setting a few weeks ago. My black chargers provided a great contrast to all the gold in the place settings. All I needed was to add some red napkins to bring in the pop of color. With all the red, this is a perfect table setting to create for
Since we are serving 5-course (more on that below), a lot of silverware was needed. Fortunately, I have four different sets of sterling flatware that I was able to mix up and use to facilitate all of the flatware needed. I also love having a piece of my family’s history on the table for a special night such as this.
Here is a nice diagram for how to place your flatware, place settings, and glassware for a formal dinner.
The Flowers for our Wine Tasting Dinner Party
To add drama to the table, I decided to create a monochromatic look for the centerpiece using only all red flowers for the arrangements. It really helps the red and the flowers be the star of the show. Plus, it adds such elegance to the table.
To keep from breaking the budget, using several smaller arrangements can be quite a bit less expensive than doing one or more large arrangements depending on the size of your table. Using reds and roses can also yield a very romantic look which, again, makes this a perfect table setting for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
If you would like to have a similar look with faux flowers that you can keep for later, here are some nice options for you.
The Glassware for our Wine Tasting Dinner Party
For any wine tasting, choosing the proper wine glasses absolutely contributes to the “tasting” experience. All of our homes have had wine cellars and we have enjoyed collecting and serving nice wines for us and our guests from the beginning.
We are big fans of the fine crystal wine glasses made by Riedel. Through the years, we have acquired a nice collection that allows us to have enough of what we need for a dinner party like this. Our favorites are linked below.
You might be blown away by how many different types of wine glasses there are out there for the wine enthusiast! Here is a nice compilation of the options available for the multiple types of wines to enjoy.
For our dinner party, we used our Riedel Bourdeaux/Cabernet Wine Series glasses (very versatile for red wines) and our Riedel Vinum Chardonnay glasses for the white wines. For each place setting, I also included one of my vintage champagne glasses for the dessert and my favorite Riedel Vinum Water Goblets. I use them all the time!
Not only are the flowers dramatic, but a table full of crystal stemware is so beautiful! You can shop my stemware here…
Speaking of stemware…here is a quick funny side note. Through this whole blogging journey, I have met so many amazing people. This past year, I stumbled onto Lory of To Have & To Host through Instagram and I noticed that her profile said she was an “Owner of too many napkins”! I knew right away we could be instant friends and we became just that. My profile should most certainly say, “Owner of too much stemware”! It is literally stored all over our home and those who know me well know this to be very true.
The Menu for our Wine Tasting Dinner Party
For the menu, it was important to choose courses that paired well with both white and red wines…starting with the whites. Seafood especially pairs well with so many white wines. This is what I prepared and served for the meal (all of these recipes are my own and I will be working on sharing them with you this month)…
Scallops Coquilles St. Jacques
Curried Zucchini Soup
Arugula Salad with Roasted Pine Nuts, Shaved Parmesan with a Champagne Vinaigrette
Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Bordelaise and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Chocolate Pot de Creme with Homemade Whipped Cream
Typically, I like to spread a little more of the dinner party theme around the room and this is really easy to do. For this function, I simply added a larger version of the centerpiece arrangements to the buffet where we served the wines to our guests. Since the arrangement was still pretty small, I just added a few of my favorite color-coordinated coffee table books as a foundation for the flowers.
This is my favorite shot of the room with the chandeliers on and the reflection of the table setting in the background!!
And, I just love this close-up shot of the flowers. Who doesn’t love a beautiful photograph of a gorgeous red rose?!
You can shop my dining room here. A lot of folks have asked about my chandeliers but, unfortunately, they are not available anymore. I have linked a few more similar options that would achieve a similar look.
Hosting a Wine Tasting Dinner Party is such a great way to spend an evening with friends or family. You could actually host a party like this any time of the year, but New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day certainly make a lot of sense. Are you up for it?!