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I’m knee deep in a hard season of motherhood and all I want is to get together with some friends. The only problem is I’m often too tired and it seems like too much work. It’s still very important for me to connect with friends in this season.
I always have an old standby that works every time and is so easy, but still feels special, a wine night. I thought I’d share, because even for me in this crazy season of ours it’s so good to get some quality time in with dear friends.
First, I will be the first to say that I am absolutely no wine expert. Although, I did spend 3 days once in Napa Valley and pretended to know what I was doing. I did, in fact, absorb some knowledge. However, after watching Sour Grapes on Netflix, I learned that I may never be in the know, but I’m perfectly OK with hanging back with friends at home.
how to plan the perfect girls night in
find a date
Hands down the hardest part of getting together with busy friends is picking a time. I find these two ways work best: putting a date down on the calendar or a who’s free tomorrow? spontaneous get-together
Pro tip: Once you get a group together, plan the next one that evening. Getting the momentum going is the largest hurdle. Aim for at least one get together with friends once a month or every-other-month.
find a wine
Pick a wine or few for your evening depending on the number of the crowd. Our wine of choice for this evening? The Edna Valley Rosé, perfectly picked for a relaxed night in with friends. This one is on the dry side, which I prefer, but still sweet for all different tastes. It’s balanced and crisp, which is my top priority.
Rosés vary quite a bit, from sweet to dry, so make sure to read and find the best to suit your tastes! Need help? Try out Rosé Your Way™, a Facebook message tool that helps to pick out one suited perfectly for you. That’s how I discovered Edna Valley Rosé and it was just what I was looking for.
crudités & charcuteries
The best thing about a wine parings night? you can simply grab things from your pantry! and giving it all a French name? Is this real life, easy and fancy all in one package? Yes, these glorified snacks are true and wonderful.
Send out a list ahead of time to your friends in an email or text and have them to reply all with what they’re bringing. Encourage them to raid their own pantry to keep it extra simple.
Here’s my list: cheese: Gouda, cheddar, goat, mozzarella, etc. crackers, nuts, citrus, grapes, chocolate, something salty, fruit: grapes, pears, apples, berries, etc. vegetables: cucumber, celery, carrots, etc.
Pro tip: Have a chopping station ready and a couple cutting board or cheese boards ready for assembly. As guests bring items, prepare them and add them aesthetically on to the boards. Sometimes the more random the better, and as you add items and move things around, it will naturally create an organic flow.
learn a little
After a trip to Napa a several years ago, I learned to appreciate different notes and wine pairings. My husband and I recently were celebrating with a bottle of wine that we got from that trip. It didn’t taste as we remembered and it was because we served it with the wrong food. We tasted it again after eating a piece of Gouda and it completely changed!
We’ve learned so much about wines in the last several years and we’re only scratching the surface. We don’t get out our field notes or track wines (although I know it’s coming) It’s just good fun and I suppose another sign that we’re getting older.
Play a little game with the wines you have: What does it taste best with? What makes it taste different? What notes or flavors do you notice? Is it sweet or dry?
Fun fact: Rosé is actually its own wine genre, it’s not a mix of red and white wine.
remember the key rules
Keep it simple, yet a little above the norm, and make it about friendship.
The end goal of this post is really to encourage you to plan a simple, yet meaningful time for you and your friends. If your a busy and tired mama like me, then chances are your desperate for some time with another friend, but don’t know where to start. It’s hard to make room, but it’s worth it, and also worth making that time enjoyable. We don’t have to make it difficult.
Having a wine pairings night might just be the answer to creating a relaxing space that’s inviting and fun.
Here’s to planning the perfect girls’ night in! Cheers!