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  • Paired Wine Club is here to help you plan like a pro

    The pandemic has changed much of what our holiday parties looked like, but it’s a temporary alteration, and now we can bring it back, afresh, new.  In this two-part holiday party guide, Paired Wine Club is here to lead you through the stress-free, step-by-step process of organizing your holiday party from food prep, to wine pairings, and ultimately party perfection.

    Hosting a holiday party can be an organizer’s dream. While for others, it leaves us gripped by fear. Creating that magical scene for family and friends takes some work.

    Hard work.

    But, following this easy-to-follow guide will have you as organized as a seasoned event planner, while leaving you the time to actually enjoy your guests and your party. Here’s how:

    The Prep – Choosing a Date

    Setting the date for your gathering is everything. This December there are three prime Saturday evenings. Usually, the ones when everyone else is holding their holiday party. If you’re finding you’re late in booking one of these dates, consider these alternatives:

    • A wine-and-charcuterie party during the week or a late-afternoon open house on the weekend.
    • Stagger the timing so not everyone shows up at the same time. Helpful in keeping numbers manageable during these pandemic times.
    • Serve appetizers from one of our gift sets and definitely have some champagne and truffles on hand.
    • Include the children. Offer a kid-friendly drink such as cranberry juice mixed with orange juice or sparkling Shirley Temples, topped off with festive maraschino cherries, for the children to gulp down while the adults sip their wine.

    The Invitation

    Make your own invites with festive paper and satin or velvet ribbons, matching your colour scheme. To keep it even more simple, download a festive template for a digital version and email your invites. Consider others’ comfort levels. Keep the party to a manageable number and request your guests be double vaxxed. That way everyone feels a level of comfort knowing they’re as safe as they possibly can be.

    The Menu

    Buy your groceries at least two days in advance! Whatever you decide to serve, do make sure it’s something you’ve made before! Pick up some simple snacks, such as chips and popcorn. You can dress them up by adding some freshly grated Parmesan and ground pepper. Throw in a bag of candy canes for the kids!

    To help keep the day as free of stress as possible, Paired delivers both food and wine straight to your door and has “prePaired” some wonderful ideas for charcuterie boards, both traditional and plant-based.

    Double up on the appies or serve a light buffet, such as a roast turkey breast or beef tenderloin, and pair it with our Bodegas Sarmentaro Verdejo found in our Weekday Warrior 4 pack mixed which complements the turkey beautifully. For a beef tenderloin, you can serve full-bodied Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon which is in our Weekday Warrior 2 pack red and mixed.

    The Ambience

    • Create a clean, sophisticated colour palette! You can’t go wrong with red and white, but be creative. Ice blue and silver can make for a beautiful holiday statement.
    • Gather together flowers, candles, some tall branches of winter berries, theme-matching napkins, wood for the fireplace, and let’s not forget, music! Every major artist has a holiday album. You can create an easy playlist on your phone.
    • Don’t have a roaring fireplace? YouTube offers holiday music and fireplace videos that last for hours. Stream this to your TV and sit back and enjoy it! No need to add another log to the fire or worry about changing the music. Voilà! Instant ambience.

    Next Steps

    So, we’ve set a date, sent out the invites, created the ambience, and thought about what to serve. Next in our upcoming Part 2 of our Christmas Guide (December 18th), we’ll discuss keeping the day of your festive holiday party perfectly stress-free.

    In the meantime, take a moment to peruse how Paired can help you stay organized with its wonderfully curated food and wine pairings. And, who knows, you might even want to become a member. Being “prePaired” can be habit-forming.

    Darlene Webb is a communications professional, and photographer with a wine and food pairing background. Based in southern Ontario’s wine country, Darlene continues to explore her love of Canada’s many fine wines and those from around the world and returns to the Niagara region often to enjoy the bounty of its many varietals and freshly grown foods.

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