Ten rules for “wine schmoozing”

Edward Finstein

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Film and TV stars frequently attend them. Politicians and heads of state usually find themselves there. High society folk call these regular hangouts and celebrities of all sorts make this scene.

What on earth is it that all these people go to, you ask? I’m talking about the “wine schmooze,” of course.

What exactly is a “wine schmooze,” you may ask. The unabashed Wine Doctor dictionary defines a “wine schmooze” as a gathering where people chat, network, meet and greet, nibble, and otherwise socialize, all while sipping on a glass of vino. No other get-together is classier and more hip than this type of soiree.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? You don’t have to be famous, though, to enjoy this celebratory do. “Wine schmoozing” is for everyone.

With the holiday season once again upon us, “wine schmoozes” will be popping up everywhere. Whether you are hosting or attending one, the “good doctor” has some tips on making the most of your holiday “wine schmooze.” The following are 10 golden rules for “schmoozing par excellence.”

First and foremost, keep it simple.

Forget those old, rare, expensive, special bottles of vino you’ve been hanging on to. Enjoy them in a more intimate setting with fewer folks. Instead, pick young, fresh, fruity, crisp, robust wines to serve.

Wines that work best will stand up to nibbles of all sorts, extraneous smells of perfume and aftershave that most folks will be sporting, and loud, boisterous conversation.

Stay away from excessively oaky and tannic wines.

These wines will only overwhelm the palate and make it difficult to properly taste any food.

Also, avoid wines with bodacious alcohol, as these can numb taste buds and lead to too much of a buzz.

Have someone who is not indulging act as bartender, dishing out the pours.

An open bar where folks help themselves is a mistake and leads to overdrinking.

Do not use plastic glasses, plates, or cutlery.

Nothing is tackier. If God had intended us to sip wine out of plastic, he would have included a straw on our faces. Don’t chill stemware, either; chill the wine, if needed.

Serve only finger foods.

These are easy and don’t involve all the paraphernalia required for full-fledged dining. Besides, it generally leaves your hands free to “press the flesh.”

Provide non-alcoholic drinks.

Drinks such as soda, juice, and water are important for non-drinkers.

Ensure there is a designated driver on hand.

Designated drivers are important in case any guests overdo it. If possible, even have an extra space where someone could spend the night.

Stand instead of sit.

Although chairs should be made available at a “schmooze,” it is better to stand, allowing networking and moving about freely to socialize.

Look good and dress sharp.

This is a great opportunity to strut your stuff and let others see your great fashion sense.

This is one of the main reasons for standing, as your clothes look much better when you’re vertical and not bunched up while seated.

Most importantly, always have a wine glass in your hand.

The glass could contain juice, soda, water, or whatever, but it’s a vital part of the “schmooze” look. Keep it partially filled whether you’re sipping wine or not.

Hopefully, these tips for “wine schmoozing” over the holidays will have you feeling like you’re at an Academy Awards after-party. Just remember to sip responsibly, ensuring your holiday festivities are safe. Have fun, and the best of the season to all.

© Edward Finstein, “The Wine Doctor” 2016. “The Wine Doctor” is Edward Finstein, award-winning author, TV/radio host, renowned wine journalist, international wine judge, professor of wine and consultant. (winedoctor.ca,twitter.com/drwineknow, thewinedoctor.blogspot.com, winedoctor.ca/docs-grapevine.html, facebook.com/edwarddocfinstein?fref=ts)

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