I have a couple quick lessons learned from a wine and beer pairing pop-up dinner I recently supported. The goal of the night was just to do something unique and fun for the wine store’s customers, so this wasn’t a battle between who paired it better, the Sommelier or the Cicerone.
The dinner featured 3 hors douvres and a 6 course meal. The hors douvres were spread out across the store and had both a beer and wine featured at each station. This lasted about an hour prior to the guests taking their seats for the main event. Each course was paired with both a beer and wine.
- Cut back on the hors douvres time. One hour was too long and gave the patrons too much time to drink beer and wine prior to the first meal. 30 minutes, 3 hors douvres, 1 beer and wine total would have been perfect for the 40 person dinner.
- The pour sizes were about right, each course had 3oz of beer and 3oz of wine. 36 total ounces of alcohol over a 2.5 hour period.
- Continual water refilling is paramount.
- The Store Manager did a great job pointing out cab or safe ride options prior to the start and handed bottles of water out to patrons as they left.
- The staff could have done a better job explaining the dishes and paired drinks prior to each course.
- The staff should have explained how to get the most enjoyment out of the pairings by explaining how to properly taste beer and wine.
- If you are going to run an event like this, be sure to have ample bottle openers and wine keys on hand.
All in all the event went according to plan and was a huge success.