Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party

May 24, 2023

As you all know, we love to host dinner parties at our estate and that means we’ve learned a few tricks that we wanted to share with you. If you are ever in the position where you’re hosting a dinner party, here are some great tips to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Make Sure You Have an A-list and a B-list

People are going to no-show to your dinner party or cancel last minute so always make sure to have a couple of extra names to reach out to if you get any cancellations. Now remember, friends who are on the B list can be on the A list at other parties; you just know you can rely on them to fill the space when someone else can’t. When selecting your guest list, do your best to pick people who have common interests if they haven’t met before, or if they have met, make sure they get along. 

Get to Know Your Guests’ Preferences on Beverages & Food

Buying every kind of alcohol can be expensive, and a waste of time if dinner party guests aren’t going to be drinking everything. Are they martini gals, or whiskey gents. Do they prefer beer or rum? Are they big wine drinkers or do they just enjoy wine when it’s offered? This can help you decide what to purchase and which wines to pull out of your cellar.

Similarly, make sure you know your guests allergies, dietary restrictions and preferences. It would be terrible if you served peanut satay chicken skewers to a vegetarian allergic to peanuts, or cheeseburgers to a hasidic Jew! It’s a quick text over to your guest to find out if there’s anything you should avoid.

The Great Wine and the Good Wine

As the evening progresses, you will be so disappointed if you pull out incredible bottles people won’t remember. Always bring out your best wines first! That way you get to enjoy the good bottles. By the time you’re on your third or fourth drink, your palate is generally quite fatigued and you won’t be able to enjoy the wine as much. So, this is where the good wine comes in. I generally recommend choosing a good wine, but not a great one for the second or third bottle you pull out. So do make sure the AJA is the first wine poured!

Set a Pretty Table

Dinner parties are all about coming together to have great food wine and conversation. But none of this is possible without a fabulous ambiance. Don’t forget to set a pretty table! All you need are a few colors, flowers and learning where to place your forks, knives, spoons, cups and plates. Don’t skimp on the centerpiece. It brings a whole room together. You can either use flowers or fruit, or just foliage to make your table feel special. It really does bring the whole event together. Need some inspiration? Click here!

dinner party table with fruit baskets as center piece.

Greet Your Guests with a Drink or Food

Nothing feels inviting more than greeting your guests with food or wine the moment they arrive. I mean, it’s a dinner party! Food is the main event!

Every guest should have a drink in hand right away to get the event going. Whether it’s soda water, mini quiches, or sparkling wine, people love being greeted. It’s a sign of goodwill and gratitude.

Batch Your Cocktails

Don’t play bartender all night! Whip up a pitcher of non-alcoholic punch, cider or lemonade that can easily be spiked. Serve the booze on the side and let your guests do their own pouring. You don’t want to be responsible for refreshing people’s glasses all evening. And if you’d rather have more options at your bar, splurge on a bartender. It’s usually well worth it if you can entertain your guests instead of serve them. Check out this great recipe for mulled wine!

Know How Much Booze to Buy

I always like to make sure there is enough wine and spirits to go around. But how do you know? My trick is to make sure there is enough wine for each person to have three 5oz pours of wine. So 15oz per person at 25.4 oz per bottle of wine, you can do the math from here:

If I’m having a part of 10 people, we need 150 oz divided by 25.4 oz which is roughly 6 bottles of wine (round up).

The most important tip here at AJA Vineyards is to make sure that you’re sharing your 6 bottles of AJA with those whom you hold near and dear to your hearts. Wine and food are such wonderful ways to bring people together.

We hope you have a spectacular next party!


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