by contributing writer Janel Piersma
When I think back on the wines that I’ve enjoyed the most, good friends are always involved with the memories. Whether it’s touring a winery together, celebrating a birthday with a steak dinner and a bottle of pinot, or hosting a wine tasting party, wine is always better when shared with friends.
While it’s great fun to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a bit and add a specific activity. Hosting a painting party can be a great way to unwind with friends, enjoy good food and wine, and create a little something special to take home. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a Picasso to have a good time. You just need a few art supplies, some small bites, good wine, and friends.
Decide on Your Design
If you’ve got an artistically inclined friend who wants to teach your group how to draw a particular design step-by-step, that’s great. However, not all of us are that lucky. So, make sure you have an easy design plan for the not so artistically inclined. You can channel your inner Rothko and play around with expanses of color. Or, come up with some design templates for your guests to use–clean, simple images or even just words.
Personally, I like creating word art on canvas–like this wine quote canvas. Get some letter templates for your friends to use or print out different quotes on printer paper and use carbon copy paper to transfer the design to the art canvas. Yes, carbon copy paper still exists and it will make things so much easier.
Gather Art Supplies
You’ll need the basics:
- Art canvas – Canvas panels are the more economical option, but they’ll need to be framed for hanging. A stretched canvas costs a bit more but can be hung on the wall once dry.
- Paint – You can usually pick up small bottles of paint at the local craft store for $1-2 each. Select a variety of colors.
- Paintbrushes – Get a variety of sizes.
- Plastic tablecloths – The cheap dollar store variety is just fine for protecting your work surface.
- Cups/bowls for water for cleaning brushes
- Paper towels
Fix Up Some Appetizers
No need for an elaborate dinner–just provide some little bites to keep the hunger pains (and too much wine-induced silliness) at bay. Aim for a variety of sweet and savory.
- Cheese Platter with an assortment of breads and crackers
- Cranberry Red Wine Meatballs
- Maple Spiced Pepitas and Almonds
- Crostini with Brie, Dates, and Toasted Walnuts
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Check out the Wine4Me App’s “Wine Bites” Pinterest Board for more ideas.
Offer a Selection of Wine
Have your guests bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share. It’s always nice to have both red and white on hand. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, mix up a pitcher of Sangria. For Sangria, you don’t need an expensive wine. If you prefer a more traditional red sangria, try a Yellow Tail Shiraz ($7) or Fish Tail Shiraz ($5). If white is your thing, try a Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc ($7) or a Fish Tail Pinot Grigio ($5).
What are your favorite wines and appetizers to serve to your friends?
If you want to know which wines YOU will like best, download the FREE iPhone app Wine4.Me. Tell it what wines you know you like and get your own personalized rankings of best-selling, widely available wines in the US.
Janel Piersma is virtual assistant, diy craft blogger, mom, and “law school wife” in Virginia. She blogs about motherhood, DIY, crafts, and living on a student’s budget at Life with L & E.