Everything You Need To Host A Wine Happy Hour
Produced by The Infatuation with
Zoom hangouts were fun back in the day but after months of doing so, the last thing you want to do is dial into another call that isn’t work related. Now that we’re making up for lost time hanging out IRL with friends and family, there’s no easier way to catch up than by hosting a wine happy hour at home. It’s less of a commitment than a full blown dinner party and you can linger over the cheese plate as long as you like. But before you invite guests over, you’re going to need a few things. That’s why we paired up with our friends at Robert Mondavi Winery to put together a list of everything required to host the happiest of hours at home.
From the best wine that’s guaranteed to make everyone happy to an eye-catching cheeseboard to a candle that’ll properly set the mood, we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is add a few snacks, and pop open a bottle.
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First, The Wine
To set the vibe, you’ll need a crowd pleasing bottle. Go for a classic like this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondavi Winery. Featuring notes of fresh, ripe blackberry and black plum jam, it’ll match any person (or cheese you’re serving). This heritage brand sources this bottle from their own vineyards in Oakville and Stags Leap as well as from growers with whom they have long-term relationships, creating a solid pick at a great price. In other words, it’s a collab much like the one between you and your guests, and its own party in a glass. Plus, if you use the code SUMMER30, you’ll get 30% off as well as shipping included.
Sponsored by Robert Mondavi
A Candle, To Set the Mood
There’s a fine line between a home that smells, and a home that smells good. Nail that balance by lighting this bright, peppery candle by our favorite olive oil makers Brightland before your guests arrive. With hints of neroli, orange blossom, vetiver, and olive oil, this will complement your space without being overpowering. Bonus: It’s specifically designed to burn after a cooking session, in case you have a prep-time disaster (we won’t tell).
Proper — and Oops-Proof — Glassware
We get it: You’ve got limited cabinet space and plenty of thirsty guests. Spring for this streamlined set of Bodega glasses, which are stackable, affordable, and multi-purpose (they also make great ice cream cups). The 7.5-ounce size is perfect for any pour and the stemless design is both surprising and practical.
A Better Way To Keep Track Of Your Wine Glass
Stash a few of these pens near your wine glasses so guests can write their names on the side. They’re smudge-resistant but still easy to wash, and beat those charms your mom loves so much. Who can keep track of those when they’re not in use anyway?
For When You Don’t Want The Wine Too Pour Freely
Wine stoppers are useful to have on hand when you’re savoring a bottle over the course of several nights. They’re less handy when friends are constantly pouring themselves glasses. Opt for this two-in-one combo which features a stainless steel switch you flip to open and close the stream as you need to.
And Now About the Food...
One part functional tableware, one part eye-catching centerpiece, this silver bowl is a beautiful way to serve olives, crostini, and a few marcona almonds. Three wells separate each item, helping you keep the dry goods crunchy and away from the dips until absolutely necessary (no one likes a soggy cracker).
And Your Favorite Food Group, Cheese
Serve your cheese picks on this marble serving board. The terrazzo base adds a subtle amount of color that will match any table while the elegant gold handles emphasize you’re a host, making the effort to impress. Plus the size is generous enough to showcase a few selections as well as any jams or crackers you’re serving with them.
While you want to impress your guests, you don’t need to shell out tons of cash for a solid set of cheese knives. This combo features a knife, fork, and spreader, and are made from stainless steel and pretty-yet-durable olivewood handles. Tackle everything from hard cheddar cubes to runny Brie with ease. If you feel the urge to hover near the cheese board for seconds and thirds, that’s on you.
Pretty Enough to Eat (Please Don’t Though!)
Pro tip: Keep candles away from the food spread, and any errant hands or sleeves that might get a little too close. Instead, install this whimsical lamp made at the center of your table, and turn it on when the lights dim low. If it looks good enough to eat, that’s because it’s made from real bread coated in resin for a durable finish. Maybe just don’t take a bite.
This countertop wine rack is already Infatuation-approved, and you really can’t beat the price. Install the two-tier shelf somewhere guests can access, and display their options accordingly. Best of all, it’s a low-fuss, low-profile design that lets your wine shine — and will fit in any shady corner.
An Expert-Approved Bottle Opener
Don’t host a party without having a trusty bottle opener on hand (we might or might not be speaking from experience). Those corkscrews with the happy little arms are useful, but the pros swear by the Swiss army knife style that opens wine bottles, pops bottle caps, and so much more.
Special Plates That Don’t Feel Too Precious
These minimalist stoneware plates feature juuust enough texture to keep things interesting — but they’re still plates, and they have a job to do. Mix and match between muted solid colors or bright edges for a one-of-a-kind table. They’re also dishwasher-safe, because we know no one wants to hand wash anything after a long night. You’re welcome.