Wine & Dine Groups - A Guide
One of the best things about being part of an active retirement community is there is plenty of friends to and neighbors to socialize with. That’s even more so when you’re part of a wine and dine group. Here are the ins and outs of a wine and dine group - one of the most popular get-togethers for those over 55.
What is a Wine & Dine Group?
It’s friends and neighbors getting together over wine and delicious food on a regular basis. And, who doesn’t love wine and socializing? It’s so much fun to visit friends in their homes, or tour local wineries and restaurants.
If you’re new to the Del Webb 55+ community, ask your neighbors to see if there’s already a wine and dine group you might like to join. In fact, there may be several different groups, and if that’s the case ask if you can attend each one to see which is the best fit. If there isn’t a group already then, start your own!
How to a Start Wine & Dine Group
No wine and dine group in your neighborhood? Be the friendly neighbor that starts one up! And since you’re the one getting it going, you can create it the way you want. For example, you may want to have a more active group, that meets once a month, or week. Having a larger group is a good idea in case a few couples are traveling and unable to attend you’ll still have a full house. Ask your friends what they think would be fun, and what would work for their schedule. Make sure to check with the front office for anyone new to the neighborhood, be neighborly and invite them to attend and get to know everyone. To make sure your wine and dine group is successful make sure follow these easy tips.
Step 1: Have an Interesting Mix of Guests
Along with delicious food and delectable drinks, the best way to guarantee successful parties that no one wants to leave is to have an eclectic mix of personalities. When you’re part of a large 55+ community like Del Webb, your neighbors can be from all over the country with varied backgrounds. Maybe you’ll be sitting next to a retired Navy general, banking executive, or kindergarten teacher, that’s what makes the groups interesting. You’ll find things in common like a love of traveling or sailing, or even bowling. No matter what, you’ll make some new life-long friends.
Step 2: Pick a Popular Theme
The term wine and dine means, “entertain with good food” so, the sky’s the limit when it comes to themes. Given the range of guests you’ll surely find some delicious competition between the gourmet chefs in the group. Dinner themes can range from a casual outdoor bbq to a formal 5-course meal with appetizers, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. Some ideas for dinner and themes could include:
If you’re lucky enough to live near a few local wineries, use the wine as the main inspiration point for your get together. Pair the wine with the finest and freshest local produce. Then to get the party started, serve delicious canapes and a variety of cheeses that complement each other and move onto the main course.
Proud to Be . . .
No matter what your cultural background is, show your friends some love with a few of your family’s favorite recipes. From homemade Italian lasagne with heady red wine to Greek eggplant dip, leg of lamb and refreshing white wine. One of the best things about having dinner at friends homes is you learn more about their family traditions and most delectable dishes.
Elegant Black & White
In any group, there are those that love to cook and put on the ritz. These are the parties attendees can’t wait to dress up for. And homes in the Del Webb community were built especially for entertaining with large kitchens and great rooms with plenty of indoor and outdoor area for guests. Although the decor and theme is ultra-chic black and white, the menu ideas are endless. You may want to consider Caprese kabobs with cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh mozzarella, and basil. For desert who wouldn’t love devil’s food cake with fluffy white icing?
When the beautiful weather comes with spring and summer, nothing tops a relaxed BBQ. Along with favorites like ribs, burgers, corn on the cob and potato salad, add a few surprises like watermelon feta skewers and grilled salmon kabobs. Bold red wines pair well with sweet BBQ sauce, and since it’s a casual get-together, you should have plenty of cold beer on hand too. For dessert serve individual strawberry shortcakes.
We hope we’ve given you lots of inspiration for fun get-togethers with old friends and new friends alike. Want to find out more ideas for entertaining? Visit party planning 101.
Contributed to The 55+ Society by Carol Youmans
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