Host a Casual Rosé Tasting Happy Hour at Home
June 15, 2017
Summer Entertainingwine
"Rosé all day" has become the summer gal's anthem, and why not? The pretty pink wine pairs perfectly with sunshine and patios. Lucky for you, rosé season is in full swing! Here's how to host an easy summer soirée at home.
Why rosé
It's pretty in pink, but also budget-friendly for group gatherings. Rosé is a young wine (not matured for a long time), which means you can get amazing bottles for a bargain price. You'll find a lot of great options under $15. And the top of the line is still only $25-$30. That means your budget will stretch for a few more guests—or a few more drinks!

The most important question to ask: how dry is it? Dryer equals less sweet. When in doubt, pick something from France, specifically Provence—the originals when it comes to traditional rosé.

When to serve
Summer is the perfect time to gather your friends for a tasting. And it's meant to be served chilled – the colder, the better – on a hot day.

Where to serve
The dream place to serve rosé is outside, preferably on a porch, a patio, or poolside. But, honestly, it will taste great anywhere. If you're hosting indoors, try to find a room with the most natural light.

Event planner Lisa Stoner, from Lisa Stoner Events, has a few tips. "Even though it's a casual event, it still needs some structure to get people excited. Everyone is so social! Think about adding a dress code, like an all-white party. The pictures will look lovely on social media."
For a casual happy hour, keep the décor minimal and let the rosé pink "pop" on its own. Serve with festive cocktail napkins for a little more personality. For easy centerpieces, place small bunches of peonies or baby's breath in vases or clear water glasses around the area and in the restroom.

Simplicity is key. You want your guests to feel relaxed and conversation to flow easily. Match the mood with a light and bubbly playlist (Lisa recommends "French Café" on Spotify).

How to serve
Your friends will be happy as clams sipping rosé from a wine glass as they watch the sunset. Rosé is delicious (and pretty) enough to stand on its own.  During your happy hour, keep bottles chilled in a champagne bucket or a marble wine cooler. Don't worry if you don't have one handy. Keep the bottles in the fridge, and bring out two a time for pouring.
It's also delightful in a cocktail. If you want to offer another option for friends who prefer liquor, feel free to create a rosé signature cocktail option, like "Basil Lemonade Rosé." Mix a lemon vodka of your choice with rosé, add some basil leaves and soda water, then voila! A refreshing summer drink, fitting your rosé theme.

For those extra hot happy hours, blend rosé, your favorite sorbet, and ice for a fun "frosé" concoction.

Lisa also suggests freezing edible flowers into ice cubes. "Throw these into the cocktails or the wine glasses. They're pretty and inexpensive!"

Pairs well with...
Anything, really. For a relaxed happy hour, opt for small charcuterie trays. Light and bright bites, like assorted cheeses, crackers, and fruits will complement the light, fruity wine. Placed strategically around the area, your friends can grab a bite as they mingle, and they'll always have snacks within reach.
In the true spirit of summer, the goal is to help your friends relax and unwind. You won't need to do much to make your casual happy hour a night to remember. Just keep the rosé – and the conversation – flowing.


Style Me Pretty Contributor - Madeline Littrell is a Dallas-based writer and PR strategist. Born and raised in Tennessee, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers.