As we seem to fully emerge from the pandemic, the desire to reconnect with friends and family is stronger than ever. This summer, why not host a post-pandemic get-together that combines the best of wine, food?
Here are some tips to help you create a fun and safe space for everyone to enjoy.
- Choose an Outdoor Venue
Hosting your gathering outdoors is a great way to minimize lingering concerns about post-pandemic parties. Al fresco dining puts everyone at ease and allows for guests to space out while still being part of the community. Whether it’s your backyard, a local park, or even a nearby peony farm, choose a location that’s new and exciting for your guests.
- Plan a Charcuterie Spread
A charcuterie board is a perfect way to showcase a variety of flavors and textures while encouraging guests to mingle and sample different foods. Include a mix of cured meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, nuts, and crackers to cater to various tastes. To make it more pandemic-friendly, provide multiple sets of tongs and serving forks to minimize communal touching. You can also offer individually plated or wrapped sips and nibbles for added safety.
- Focus on Wine Pairings
Wine is a key element of any successful gathering, and carefully selected pairings can elevate the entire experience. Offer a range of red, white, and rosé wines to complement the flavors of your charcuterie spread. For a more interactive experience, consider hosting a wine tasting where guests can sample different wines and learn about their unique characteristics.
- Be Inclusive with Food Options
To ensure that everyone feels welcome and included, provide a variety of food options that cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions. Offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free choices, and clearly label each dish to avoid confusion. This thoughtful gesture will make your guests feel valued and respected.
- Create a Fun and Safe Space
Designate areas for different activities, such as a cozy seating area for conversation, a space for games, and a designated spot for children to play. Provide ample seating and shade to ensure everyone’s comfort. Offer a wrap on the back of a chair if the night gets chilly, and remind guests to pack flats instead of heels for outdoor events.
- Prioritize Hygiene
In a post-pandemic world, hygiene is more important than ever. Set up hand sanitizer stations near the entrance and throughout the gathering area. Ensure that your bathroom is clean and stocked with good soap and fresh towels. Providing hand lotion for general use is also a thoughtful touch, given the increased frequency of handwashing.
- Encourage Conversation and Connection
After months of isolation, your guests will be eager to reconnect with one another. Encourage conversation by setting up conversation starters or icebreaker games. You can also create a playlist of background music to set the mood and facilitate a relaxed atmosphere.
- Be Mindful of Air Quality
With increased awareness of indoor air quality, it’s essential to ensure proper ventilation during your gathering. Air out your home before the event and consider opening doors and windows to promote air circulation. If necessary, adjust your heating or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature for your guests.
Hosting a post-pandemic summer soiree is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and create lasting memories. By focusing on wine, food, inclusivity, and safety, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone. Cheers to a summer of togetherness and celebration!