It’s no secret that the Linder team enjoys a glass of wine every now and again. The team remains deeply divided on the red vs. white debate, while others have pledged staunch support to Champagne. Personal views aside, when the time comes to develop wine selections for an event we recommend having options available to suit all palates. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your choices.
Consider Your Audience
You may love to drink a white zinfandel at home while binge watching Friends, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for your next gala or fundraiser. Choosing wines of familiar varietals and regions is the easiest way to ensure your guests will be satisfied. If your event is smaller and you know your guests well, there’s nothing wrong with catering to their unique tastes. As a rule, avoid adventurous options like Alaskan Merlots or a sparkling option from Canada. If you’re passing wine during a reception, it’s advisable to offer sparkling water to guests who may wish to pass on the hard stuff.
Consider Your Menu
This is a great time to bring in experts for guidance and advice on narrowing down your options. As the menu for your event develops, remember to actively seek input from your catering team. As a trusted partner, they will understand the unique flavor profiles of your menu and will be able to offer excellent pairings. Of course, the best way to ensure harmony is to pull the cork during your tasting. Remember that otherwise average wines may blossom when paired correctly with menu options, keep an open mind and enjoy making a selection.
Consider Your Event
A good glass of wine has the power to set the tone for an event. Having an open bar is a surefire way to get things off to a great start; however, no one likes to wait. Passing wine during a reception is a great way to keep lines to a minimum.
Using wine as an activation can be a way to engage guests. The events industry has begun incorporating trends from bars and restaurants and installing wine walls. Offering guests the chance to pour their own glass keeps things interesting and adds a unique dynamic to their evening. Guests appreciate accessible education and will welcome the chance to learn something new.
Consider Your Budget
The goal of a great beverage selection is to add value to the event, while not busting the budget. Offering moderately priced choices that taste great will lead to a higher return on investment.
The next step is to determine how much you should have on hand. Leaving guests high and dry is never a good thing, but having too much can be a logistical challenge. Work with a vendor who is able to supply you with enough to cover your bases and who is willing to accept leftover stock. This helps keep waste and cost down.
You can use wine as a sponsorship opportunity to mitigate direct costs. Recognize your sponsors through signage placed directly at the bar, on menu cards at tables, through a slide deck, or by custom labeled bottles.
Remember to make sure your choices are within budget and delicious. Work with your catering team to make selections that pair well with your menu. Think outside the box to recognize your sponsors for their generosity. Use hands on activations to encourage interaction and indulgence. But most importantly, remember to have a glass yourself. Cheers!