Tired of attending the same-old bridal or baby showers where you sit around, drinking tea, eating crumpets, and watch someone open gifts? So were we. So we came up with the concept of a barware bridal shower, where you attend a shower where the bride (or happy couple) receives gifts related to their bar or starter wine cellar- such as gifts from their Bottlenotes Wine Registry- and where guests get to enjoy a wine and cheese tasting. Cheers!
10 Easy Steps Describing How to Host a Barware Bridal Shower
1. 10-12 weeks in advance: Decide on a date for the shower.
2. 8-10 weeks in advance: Make sure the happy couple has registered for ample "barware" items for the shower (wine, stemware, decanter, wine accessories, tumblers, martini glasses and shakers, margarita glasses & pitcher, etc.) as well as a lavish starter wine cellar at www.bottlenotes.com/registry!
3. 6-8 weeks in advance: Send out invitations. Include personalized registry URLs on the invite (e.g. All Bottlenotes registrants receive a personalized URL for their registry such as www.bottlenotes.com/sarah&john)
4. 3-4 weeks in advance: Order enough Around the World in 80 Sips tasting kits (find it here) or another assortment of 4-6 wines from around the world! (www.bottlenotes.com/barwarebridal). Note: 6 bottles will serve 10-14 people. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like us to send you our tasting mat template and help you put together tasting notes for your guests for free!
5. 1-2 weeks in advance: Make sure you have enough Champagne flutes and wine glasses for the tasting (1 flute and 4 wine glasses per person is optimal, but 1 wine glass per person is required at a minimum. Ikea has both for about $1.00/stem).
6. 1 day- 1 week in advance: Purchase the cheese, grapes, crackers and/or bread for the party. We highly recommend that you label the cheeses on the cheese board on the day of the party. (If you're on it, we recommend ordering your cheese from Artisanal Premium Cheese www.artisanalpremiumcheese.com).
7. Day before the party: Photocopy 1 copy of the tasting mat and tasting notes for each guest. Prepare each guest's place setting with one tasting mat, one set of tasting notes, one glass of each wine being tasted (if you have enough, otherwise, one glass per person for wine, one for water), and a pen.
8. Day of the party: Chill the sparkling wine at least 12 hours before the event in a wine fridge, or for 15 minutes in an ice bath (bin of ice in a little bit of water).
9. 45 minutes before the party: If you have enough stemware, pre-pour one taste of each still wine at each person's place setting, pouring approximately 1.5 oz (2 fingers high) of each wine, for each person. (Worst case, pre-pour the first wine and pour the rest throughout the tasting.)
10. Then, you can enjoy the Barware Bridal Shower! We suggest welcoming guests with a half-glass of pre-poured sparkling wine and passed hot or cold hors d'oeuvres.
After 20 minutes of mingling, you can encourage guests to be seated and begin the wine tasting. We recommend that the host is the "wine tasting leader," describing each wine from the notes on the wine lists, and highlighting the cheese pairing recommendations for the guests. When the wine tasting is underway, the guest of honor can start opening presents and the guests can keep on tasting.
Author bio: Alyssa J. Rapp is the founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc., the leading new media company in the wine space dedicated to educating and entertaining wine enthusiasts via The Daily Sip, Around the World in 80 Sips events, social media and mobile applications. Alyssa is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.