It’s a predicament we wine collectors have all faced at one time or another: how do you casually represent yourself at a party and show off your passion for wine at the same time? Everyone will be looking at you to be THE wine guy, especially those who don’t know much about wine. You want to talk wine and show off those rare bottles, but you don’t want to turn folks off or come across as THAT arrogant wine snob. What do you do? We’re have some great suggestions for you below.
First, remember that it’s not your party. Sure, you’re a collector ready to show everyone your impressive knowledge and the unique bottles you have brought from your collection, but be careful not to upstage the host. Check beforehand what kind of wine they’re providing. You don’t want to be the person showing up and looking like you’re trying to be better than everyone else. Bring some wines that are similar to the what the host is providing, whether or not it is up to your standards.
Have you noticed recently that you have numerous bottles sitting your collection that no longer get looked at due to lack of interest or simply because you have too many? Maybe you were a Bordeaux collector five years ago, but you’ve since switched to Burgundy. Bring those bottles to the party! Other people will enjoy them and it’s a great way to impress the crowd and not let wine go to waste. You loved those wines at one point someone will appreciate you bringing those high quality wines, even if you’ve long since moved on. Now you have the opportunity to replace those California wines you’ve been itching to get rid of and replace them with something better or different.
Bigger is better? Well, in this situation it most definitely is. Many serious wine collectors acquire their wine in larger format bottles and take it for granted. But to the casual wine lover, the big bottle is a sight to behold. Bringing the large format bottles is always a good way to make a splash. You may have bottles that range from five to fifteen liters. People love these bottles. Something about that much wine in one bottle gets them excited! Serve them at the party and not only are people impressed, but more people have a chance to try the exquisite wine you’ve provided.
If you’re the one hosting the party or the if the host does not mind, bring several bottles from your collection, perhaps from the same collector, but different varietals. You can then have a mini wine tasting for the guests. You can even make it a blind tasting. Bring the wine in brown bags to hide the labels and allow people to figure out what it is they are tasting. We know brown bag at a party sounds bad so another way to do this and make it look much prettier and fancier, is to put each wine in different decanters. It will provide a beautiful display and everyone will be intrigued. Have them match the wine to the decanter and it’s a fun little game and tasting all in one.
Surprise people by bringing unique wines from unfamiliar regions or lesser known varietals. The casual wine enthusiast might be locked into the California cab circuit as this is your chance to break them free! The guests will be impressed with your wine knowledge and it’s a great conversation starter. You can show that you’re not a typical wine collector, but that you experiment with new varieties of wine and have the dedication of a true collector. Perhaps, you can inspire them to do the same if they haven’t started yet.
Be phone or tablet ready! Using a quality online cellar management tool allows you to expand upon the wine you brought and take your fellow partiers on a deeper dive into your collection. Before you hit the party, make sure that your cellar management software is up to date and reflects your latest prize acquisitions. At the party, show your fellow wine lovers what you have in your personal collection and provide them with tasting notes, years, values, and so on. Teach them about your cellar management software, VinCellar, and how you know exactly when you can drink your wine or have it delivered directly to you when it is at it’s prime for drinking. It’ll show your dedication to your collection and that you’re software savvy!
If you’re hosting the party, have your physical cellar tidied up and ready to show off. A lot of times people will be interested to see your personal collection so make sure it’s displayed well. Cellar too cluttered? Offload your excess bottles to Vinfolio storage. With Vinfolio’s full-service storage services, you can have your wine taken to our Napa warehouse and we’ll bring it back to you whenever you want. With this service, we help you create more room in your cellar and have it ready to be organized. You’ll have a wonderfully curated cellar and your wine will thank you for the proper storage. Not enough time to organize your cellar? We have a solution. Have our collector services team come in to help you! We’ll send what we like to call a wine librarian to you cellar and they will clean, polish, curate, and organize your bottles and collection. By the end of it all your cellar will look so good, you’ll be excited to show it off and your guests will be impressed!
Last and most important – have a good attitude about everything. Don’t be snooty. A lot of people are intimidated by wine collectors and wine knowledge. Be self deprecating. Now is your chance to introduce someone to your passion, rope in a new wine collector, not turn them off. If you get a sense that it’s not a wine party, take a break for a night and just have a beer – nothing wrong with that.