Tea and scones may be classic refreshments for a bridal celebration, but if your bride-to-be loves everything red, white, and bubbly, why not plan the party around wine? Sarah Tracey, wine ambassador with City Wine Tours in New York City and blogger behind The Lush Life, helps you get started.

Create a Warm and Rustic Setting

Whether the celebration takes place at a vineyard or in your backyard, a wine-themed shower is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some DIY décor. Simply find a selection of different-size mason jars, and fill them with dried beans, dried fruit, nuts, spices, and even wine corks. It's a simple and colorful way to set the tone. Roughly cut some burlap for a rustic table runner, and finish off with some tea lights or votives for a touch of romance. Antique milk jugs or cheese graters from your local flea market are a perfect addition if you can find them. A few other ways to incorporate the wine theme? Try wine bottle table numbers or a seating chart that asks each guest to "Find Your Reserve."

Get More Wine Décor Inspiration From This Vineyard Wedding
Credit: Courtesy of Claire Thomas

Welcome Your Guests With a Sparkling Toast

It's not really a party until you break out the bubbly. Set up a tray of flutes filled with your Champagne or sparkling wine of choice and place them by the entrance to the gathering to set the stage for a festive day.

Tip: Find an old wine barrel and use that as your display; check with your local party rental outlet to source one.

Find the Best Sparkling Wine for Your Event
Credit: Taylor Gage Photography

Set Up Wine-and-Food Pairing Stations

Rather than plan a seated luncheon, serve an array of small bites, each paired with a different wine. Encourage mingling and spark conversation by giving each of your guests a wine glass and inviting them to make their way to each station to try the different pairings. For a recent shower at NYC's City Winery, the staff created six stations:

Blue crab crostini + sauvignon blanc
Root vegetable and ricotta crostini + chardonnay
Spicy tuna canapés + riesling
BBQ pulled-pork sliders + pinot noir
Hanger steak skewers with romesco sauce + malbec
Mozzarella and zucchini hoagies + chianti

Note: Since this is a wine tasting, count on one bottle of each wine for every 10 guests.

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Make Personalized Menu Cards

At each station, place a menu card describing the flavors of your food and wine pairing, and find a way to relate them to the couple of honor. For example, if the honeymoon is set for Spain, you might want to do a Spanish tapas-and-wine station, or toast the heritage of the bride.

Read These Tips for Choosing a Good Wine

Give Fitting Party Favors

Send your guests off with a takeaway that will be a souvenir of your wine-tasting adventure. Some of these can be crafted or created by the bridal party. Decorative wine stoppers, wineglass charms, personalized wine-tasting glasses, and wine-scented candles are all memorable tokens of thanks.

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