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How to Host a Wine Tasting Bridal Shower!

By Alyssa Rapp, the Founder and CEO of Bottlenotes.com, the premier online wine community where wine enthusiasts come to learn about wine, share tasting notes, and buy wine. Alyssa is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.

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 wine cellar, and where guests get to enjoy a wine and cheese tasting. You invite the guests- we’ll take care of the rest.

10 Easy Steps Describing How to Host a Barware Bridal Shower

1. 8-10 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 and pitcher, etc.). They can register for wine, stemware, and decanters at www.bottlenotes.com/registry!
3. 6-8 weeks in advance: Send out invitations. Include registry location(s) on the invite (aka: www.bottlenotes.com/sarahandjohn)
4. 3-4 weeks in advance: Order enough Barware Bridal Shower kits at Bottlenotes.com for the shower! (www.bottlenotes.com/barwarebridal) Each kit serves 10 people.
5. 1-2 weeks in advance: Make sure you have enough Champagne flutes and wine glasses (1 flute and 4 wine glasses per person is optimal, but 1 wine glass per person is required at a minimum).
6. 1-3 days in advance: Purchase the cheese, grapes, crackers and/or bread for the party. Cheese pairing recommendations can be found on the tasting notes included with each kit. We highly recommend that you label the cheeses on the cheese board on the day of the party.
7. Day of the party: Photocopy 1 copy of the Tasting Mat and Tasting Notes for each guest. Prepare each guest's place setting with a Tasting Mat, four glasses of wine on the Tasting Mat, the Tasting Notes, 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 a bucket of ice with a little bit of water.
9. 30 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 wine in a standard glass. (Otherwise, pour each during the party.)
10. Then, you can enjoy the Barware Bridal Shower! We suggest welcoming guests with a glass of pre-poured sparkling wine (2/3’s full) 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 complete, the guest of honor can start opening presents…and the guests can keep on tasting.