I love hosting. I get kind of excited any time I can get people to actually make the drive out to suburbia. However, the unsettling thing about my love for hosting is my personality. I'm very Type A. Very meticulous. I'm an over-thinker, an over-planner, an over-buyer and I'm senselessly indecisive. All unreasonable characteristics of a hostess, I know. I believe things should be presentable and look a certain way before inviting people over. I spend entirely too much time thinking about the nitty gritty details that no one would likely appreciate (nor notice for that matter) -- like, cute napkins and Texas-shaped cheese boards. I mean, they might notice, but likely not enough to justify the hoops I jump through to ensure there are cute theme-appropriate napkins and Texas-shaped cheese boards.
Anyway, a while back, when I was at a point where I felt like my adult circle of friends was depleting and realized how hard it was to make friends as an adult, I joined a couple of Meetup groups. I've gone to no more than three of these meetups, but I met enough people that I actually wouldn't mind spending a few hours of my Saturday with, and just fell off. One of the girls I met started a monthly wine club through Meetup. These ladies-only wine nights are pretty exclusive in that they're limited to 10 (not including the hostesses) people, first come, first serve. The host will sometimes text me right before she posts the event, and literally within the hour, it's completely full. Needless to say, I've never actually attended one. But when she asked me to host, I was really excited to.
Hosting a large group always seems like a fabulous idea until I've committed and am forced to start planning. That's when the "what type of cheese should I buy?" "how should I display it?" "I need some cute serving plates/trays" "wait, this is $40 at Z Gallerie...that's technically 'cheap' right?" questions start keeping me up at night.
This month's theme was Spanish and Portuguese wines so half of the girls bring a bottle of wine and the other half bring an appetizer. Me being the over-doer that I am, settled on two bottles of wine, a cheese board and salmon cakes.
I found the cutest cutting/serving board from Bed Bath & Beyond shaped like the state of Texas and of course HAD to have it. So I dusted off one of several wedding gift cards and made it happen. They have every state, I believe.
The girls are usually encouraged to bring their own wine glass because sometimes the hostess won't have enough to accommodate everyone. Not on my watch, honey. I in fact did not have 14 wine glasses on hand, but Bed Bath & Beyond did. A 12-count for $19.99 to be precise.
All was right in the world until Z Gallerie sent an email featuring a marble serving platter with gold gilded edges and made me stop what I was doing and impulsively ordered it to be picked up at the nearest location. I justified it by reminding myself that I'm hosting Thanksgiving so I would use it twice in the next two weeks. I used it for my cheese spread and I think it was worth it. By the way, it makes no sense to get cheese from anywhere other than Trader Joe's. But you knew that already.
I used the Texas shaped board for my meat spread (I got Spanish meats to go along with the theme) and also made salmon cakes.
We had about 9 bottles of wine total, eight from Spain and one from Portugal. I'm the furthest thing from a wine snob, let me tell you. Give me a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and I'm golden (I am however oddly particular about twist tops. Particular = I can't and I won't). But learning about it is pretty interesting. Tiffany (the organizer) knows a thing or two about wines. She arranged them from lightest to heaviest and read the description and paid tribute to the grape before pouring sample-size portions in everyone's glass. We briefly talked about if we loved or hated it (but drank it either way) and carried on side conversations before the next one was poured. This was a great group of women. Like, I hadn't laughed like that with a group of women in some time. And I only knew three of them personally. It was a great night.
Fun times were had. I've already committed to hosting a mixology party, next. Wine is fun, but few things compete with a well crafted cocktail. I'll definitely share the fun (and recipes)!