Make your moment to refresh a night in, at home, with your friends.
Some of the best times are casual nights in with close friends. While there are several excuses to persuade people to come over, a classic approach is to host a “Wine Night.” With this in mind, we contacted a panel of experts in the field to learn about some of their trade secrets. Okay, not really but we do like wine. That counts for something, right?
Before Wine Night
- Acquire Friends: yeah, you could just drink wine by yourself, but that’s a Tuesday. This is Wine Night! Be sure to give all invitees an appropriate amount of heads up. As you know, your friends are super busy too, and their schedules fill up fast.
- Acquire Childcare: tonight is for you and your ladies, so make sure the men have the kids. Depending on bedtimes, you could have all the guys take the kids to Jimmy’s house for the evening, leaving you a little peace and quiet to get ready. Yes, peace and quiet. And if that's not rewarding enough, remember it gives the dads time to bond too.
- Acquire Wine: a good rule of thumb is to have one bottle for every two guests to ensure there is enough for everyone without going overboard. Consider a variety of different wines so everyone has something they’ll enjoy. Alternatively, you host the party and have everyone bring their favorite bottle or two to share. That ensures everyone will have something they’ll enjoy.
- Acquire Snacks: an empty stomach with wine is just not right. You don’t have to supply dinner, but your guests will always appreciate something to munch on. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could set up some killer charcuterie and use that nice bamboo cutting board you keep forgetting about. Otherwise, spend some time on Pinterest, because we can assure you that the groupthink over there has more ideas than we do.
SN Tip: have a glass of wine before your friends get there. You managed to get your husband and kids out the door, get yourself ready, set up for the night, and have a killer wine and snack selection. You deserve that, so cheers to you.
During The Party
- Play Music: some background music sets the atmosphere and also fills the gaps in between conversations. Having trouble with this one? Check out our Second Nature Wine Night playlist. Just make sure it is not too loud to talk over. And if Bridgette starts talking about her ex a little bit too much again, feel free to switch up the tunes and crank the volume a bit.
- Play Games: have this one ready. You will know that point in the night where the conversation is about to die down, and you’re here to save the night. Games are a great way to salvage a Wine Night from ending prematurely. If you need some help, go everyone’s favorite, Target, and spend some time finding a game you know your group will enjoy. Or, your friends could bring a game to show everyone if they want. Keep it casual.
- Play It Cool: in the spirit of keeping it casual, don’t get in your head about Wine Night. It’s time for you and your friends to just relax, sans kids, husbands, and responsibilities. Have fun and treasure the time you have to invest in your friends. There’s nothing to be anxious about. And if that doesn’t remotely resonate with you, then you’re cooler than us, and we’d love to be friends.
SN Tip: you care about these people, so don’t be afraid to dig deep with them if the conversation takes you there. Keeping things surface level will just make you feel like the night was just OK.
After The Party
- Keep Them Safe: as the host, you don’t worry about driving, but maybe some of your friends didn’t plan ahead all that well. We’ve all been there, and you don’t mind because Bridgette becomes a lot more fun four glasses in. Just make sure you grab her an Uber, Lyft, or cab. Or, one of your more boring friends could give her a ride home.
- Keep That Wine: save what you can, because life starts again tomorrow and you’ll enjoy having some wines handy. If your friends leave you with some unopened wine, keep those set aside for a date night in. If you don’t make it around to some wine before it goes bad (because you aren’t a lush), that’s still perfect to cook with.
- Keep Things Tidy: it may be late, but check to make sure that any spills are accounted for and that the wine glasses are rinsed. You don’t have to do everything before bed, but waking up to a colossal mess isn’t the best feeling in the world. Nor do you want the kids to run downstairs tomorrow morning, knock over some glasses, and leave you a bigger mess. And since they’re your kids, you know just how likely this is.
Pro Tip: your friends will likely offer to pick up. Since they’re your good friends, take them up on their offer. Even if they said that just to say the right thing, you did just give them a night of fun in your home.
Next time you want to have some ladies over, try a Wine Night and use some of these tips! Just remember, it’s best to not overthink it. Focus on having a good time.
If you have some pointers of your own or ideas, feel free to share them with us on Facebook!