Friday evening we hosted a small dinner party sponsored by Gloria Ferrer with their sparkling wines. Most of our parties are “bring the family” with buffet style appetizers and desserts. They tend to be loud and crazy affairs, which is fantastic for me. I usually love a noisy houseful of friends and family, and the more the merrier.
This time, though, I ventured into a whole new world of sparkling wine and cheese pairings with a 4-course meal. We hired a babysitter and brought out the fancy silverware. I love entertaining and have dreamed of hosting a fine dinner party for a long time. A 3 or 4-course meal can easily get out of control and leave the hostess feeling stressed out and so tired she (or he) can’t enjoy the evening, so I pulled together my favorite tips for dinner party planning and hosted a (mostly) stress-free dinner party. The only stress happened BEFORE dinner.
Since we have a big family our family events are usually boisterous and loud with lots of kids and adults in a small space. It was a nice change to have just a few of my siblings and their spouses over for a nice quiet dinner. We had a great time visiting over a calm dinner and enjoyed seeing how well the sparkling wines paired with different flavor profiles, an experience we don’t usually get to indulge in.
Today I am going to share my tips for how I made my Gloria Ferrer dinner party a smashing success that even I, the cook and hostess, enjoyed. Planning your next dinner party? Check out great tips and recipes from Gloria Ferrer and use my handy tips to #LiveGloriously and make your dinner party amazing.
4 Tips for Dinner Party Planning
Invite the People
We invited a manageable amount of people and had a dinner party for 6. This makes it easier to pull off a nice dinner menu that pairs wines with different courses and feel like you, the hostess, can relax and enjoy the dinner conversation.
Choose the Wine
Gloria Ferrer provided the wine so that made my job easier. Having several drink options available ensures something for everyone. You can also experiment ahead of time with club soda and different juices to make nice nonalcoholic beverages that pair well with your courses for the non-wine drinker.
Wine and Cheese Pairing
Sonoma Brut – Fromager D’Affinois
Blanc de Blancs – Drunken Goat’s Cheese
Royal Cuvee 2006 – Quadrello di Bufala
Blanc de Noirs – English Stilton
Choose the Food
Gloria Ferrer has extensive tasting notes with each of their wines that makes pairing easier. I turned to my friends at Whole Foods Devon to see what cheeses they carried and recommended. They helped me select cheeses to complement the wine and sent me home with a lovely assortment.
Tip: Prepare ahead of time.
- Plan your menu carefully.
- Write out the schedule of when each thing has to happen to run smoothly.
- Have your grocery list fully written and organized so you don’t need to run out to buy things last minute.
- Plan a majority of foods that can be prepared ahead of time so you aren’t slaving in the kitchen all evening while your guests are enjoying the meal.
Tip: Make sure you find out what allergies people may have.
Decorate the Space
I have one rule: Keep it simple. I used my best tablecloth, a centerpiece, and some lights or candles for ambiance. Little things such as cloth napkins and napkin rings make the finished table stunning without a lot of work.
Cheater Tip: If you don’t have napkin rings you can use curling ribbon to make your napkins look fancy.
What else do you feel is an important part of dinner party planning?
This post has been sponsored by Gloria Ferrer. All sparkling wines and some lovely party hosting products were provided by them.