How to: Throw a Fall Wine Tasting Party at Home

For my 26th birthday this year I decided to throw a wine tasting party at my house. I invited about 20 of my closest friends and bought some wine. Well, a lot of wine.

I headed to the nearest Marshalls and bought about 30 red and white inexpensive wine glasses and placed them on a fall table runner that I already had.

I also bought little paper name cards for the wine glasses so people wouldn’t misplace their glasses.

I bought inexpensive wine pourers for each bottle at Cost Plus.

And I placed floating candles (left-overs from my wedding) into small vases and glasses I already had with water and gold/orange beads.

My sister-in-law gave us three wine barrels that we were going to use for planters in our backyard. Before cutting them in half we realized they would be perfect for the party! I cleaned them up a little, covered them with fabric fall leaves, and placed snacks and wine on them in different places throughout the house.

We filled a decanter and placed it by the front door with some candles.

I had one more vase to fill so I put floating candles and beads in it with a few leaves and some water.

For food we had nuts (in large wine glasses), pretzels with macadamia nut mustard, salami and crackers, olives, bread with jalapeno olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar, brie with pesto wrapped in baked  dough with crackers and lots of grapes!

I used more floating candles, beads, and wine corks for decor.

I also made a few little tasting note cards to place with the wine so people knew what to look for.

We played a blind wine tasting game that a friend gave me a few years back. We placed 10 bottles of wine in numbered bags and everyone wrote down tasting notes and tried to guess what they were drinking. This game way much harder than I imagined, but super fun!

For dessert we had port with lemon and red velvet cake pops (not homemade, I bought them here and they were delicious!) We also had brownie bites and chocolate pirouettes (from Costco).

The last photo is my husband and me enjoying the party. Don’t you just love his bowtie?

We set up a tri-pod with my camera on a timer so people could take their own photos, like our own little photo booth.

*Crystal Gala*

You may have noticed I have been slacking on my blog posts lately. That is because I have been incredibly busy working on putting together a huge black-tie crystal gala for 600 people that took place on Sunday. The dinner started with a cocktail reception with a step and repeat (shown below and photographed by the beautiful brunette in the photo, Bre Thurston) and red carpet. Everyone then moved into a large ballroom decorated with white hydrangeas and manzanita trees dripping with crystals and enjoyed their dinner. During dinner videos honoring the award winners were played, speeches were made, drinks were poured and photobooth photos were taken. David Garibaldi performed with his DJ, Joseph One (who also happens to be my very talented brother) and we then auctioned off his paintings to benefit the foundation. We ended the dinner with a performance by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and then an after-party at the House of Blues in Anaheim, where DJ JosephOne kept the crowd entertained for over three hours. The event went amazingly well and I was happy to be a part of it all. This is the only photo I have so far, but I will get the rest from Bre and post them here!