Find some Hidden Holiday Cheer!

  • December 7, 2013 · 6:00 PM

One of our members, Carla, has graciously offered up her home for an evening of holiday cheer! The "game" goes like this:

Ahead of time, each bottle-owner prepares and brings two pieces of information to the party:
1. A note card with a "one line" description of how the owner likes to drink the wine (e.g., "great to sip while watching the sun set" or "perfect with pasta").
2. A write-up with the wine maker's description about the wine, as well as the specifics about the wine that detail where to buy, cost, vineyard, types of grapes, etc. (e.g., Costco for $18, from Coppola Cellars with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot).

The day of the party, everyone brings their favorite "under $25" bottle of wine wrapped in a paper bag so no one can see what it is and then takes it to a designated area to finish their "prep" (i.e., opening the bottle, giving it a generic sleeve with a letter (A-Z) on it, and inserting a spout to assist with pouring). The owner then leaves the prepared bottle and its note card for one of the hosts to place on the serving table.

The serving table is set up with trays for corresponding letters (A-Z); each tray has ample shot glasses, so everyone can taste-test each one and read the accompanying note card while nibbling on a variety of appetizers and tapas-type plates. Guests will have a form on which they can make their own notes -- ranging from initial impressions to what food they liked for pairing the wine.

Once everyone has finished the initial round of tastings, the bottles are uncovered and the details are revealed for all the guests -- and the bottles are finished off while "owners" share their recommendations for pairings and/or make other suggestions for bottles people might want to try that exceeded the $25 limit (which was specified to help people find value-for-the buck bottles that they can confidently keep on-hand).

Parking: There is ample curb parking available in the neighborhood.
(Address will be sent to YES RSVPs only prior to the event)
FYI: The Home is VERY pet-friendly (though they won't be mingling with the guests) -- so those with allergies to cats or dogs beware (but I will have Sudafed on hand, if needed).

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  • Linda

    I wish I could have made it. I started on my way and when my car slid down the hill outside my house, I turned back. Do it again!

    December 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I add my thanks to Carla and Todd. Great party!!!

    December 10, 2013

  • David

    Still can't quite get over all the food!!! Just had some great leftovers for lunch today. That makes your party the proverbial gift that keeps on giving!! Thanks again for your generosity!

    1 · December 8, 2013

    • Carla

      No kidding, I'm also enjoying the leftovers. I just had some spicy pulled pork with a StrongBow... yum & yum!!!

      1 · December 8, 2013

  • Carla

    Glad that the merry revelers made it last night! It was good to see some faces from the last gathering, and to meet new friends. Glad that the weather held off and based on the posts, it appears that everyone made it safely home. Hope to see everyone again soon! Carla & Todd

    1 · December 8, 2013

  • steve

    Todd & Carla: Thanks for hosting this fun event. Excellent food, wine, and guests

    December 8, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Thank you Todd and Carla for organizing this outstanding event (very cool idea). It was great to see everyone...... good wine and conversation. Carla and Todd, you are gracious and generous hosts. And your home was so warm and festive! The food was amazing and delicious (Todd said that Carla was cooking for 2 days). and meeting Louie, the macaw, was a highlight...he is so sweet and such a flirt. Happy holidays to all!!!!

    December 8, 2013

  • Chawn O.

    Carla and Todd,
    Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed meeting everyone. The food was fabulous and my daughter thanks you for the tomato and mozzarella!

    December 8, 2013

  • eric

    Great people, enjoyable wines, nice hosts, perfect night. Thank you!

    December 8, 2013

  • Rob D

    Carla & Todd, thanks for opening your house to the group. The food was amazing. It was great to meet some of the pets also. Everyone had a fun time visiting and learning about the mystery wines. Thanks again.

    December 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a terrific evening. Thank you, Carla and Todd for putting this event on and being so gracious. I really enjoyed meeting everyone.

    December 7, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Fantastic. Enjoyed the wine and the people.

    December 7, 2013

  • David

    What a delightful event! Thank you so very much Carla and Todd for being such outstanding hosts. The "spread" of food was absolutely amazing. And per usual, the company was excellent as well. Happy holidays to all. Thanks again Carla and Todd for a very cool night!

    David

    December 7, 2013

  • Amy

    I'm so sorry to have to cancel, especially on such short notice, buty daughter has an extrely high fever and I need to tend to her. So sorry Carla, I have been looking forward to it all month. :(

    December 7, 2013

    • Amy

      Meant to say *but my. Daughter. Not buty

      December 7, 2013

    • David

      Sorry to hear that Amy. Hope everything is ok. We'll catch you at the next one!

      December 7, 2013

  • mary c.

    Kristen and Carla, first of all I want to thank you for liberating me and others from the wait list. That was a great gesture. Second, OOT friends who were expected tomorrow are now coming in tonight to beat the storm. Therefore, I will not be able to make it after all. I am bummed. I hope you all have a fantastic time.

    December 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Too late to attend? Where is aldie?

    December 7, 2013

  • Cathy C.

    I still do not have the directions, or a precise address!! If I do not have something more precise than "US 50 / Lee Highway", I would prefer to go to a play here in Falls Church!! Please let me know--I would love to join you, as I love wine, especially Merlot, and like to meet other people who also want to try new ones, but I need to have precise directions to the location by 5 PM or I will opt to go to the play, and hopefully join you on another occasion! Thanks for your cooperation!

    December 7, 2013

    • Carla

      BTW, I tried to email you through meetup.com but it wouldn't let me....

      December 7, 2013

    • Cathy C.

      OK- I'll do it now!

      December 7, 2013

  • Kirsten

    Ok Folks....if you were on the waiting list, you're now a YES! Directions have been re-sent so that everyone should have them if they didn't already get them. PLEASE Make sure you've read through the instructions for the evening!
    Unfortunately I am sick and can't taste or smell, so I'm not going to make it tonight, but am sure you'll all have a Wonderful time! Thanks again to Carla for hosting!

    December 7, 2013

  • Amanda P.

    IHi, I'm Amanda. I have been looking forward to attending an event with this group! should we bring something to contribute to the table other than wine?

    December 6, 2013

    • Amanda P.

      I assume I'll be notified if I get off the wait-list?

      December 6, 2013

    • Kirsten

      Amanda, you will get a notice, but right now, assume you CAN Come! I'll send out address tomorrow AM.

      December 6, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Right now as of 8 pm on Friday, the weather is showing clear weather thru early morning- 3 or 4 am on Sunday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with this fantastic wine event, please.....

    December 6, 2013

  • John

    We have to back out as well. So sorry for the late notice - this sounds like a great time. Thanks again.

    December 6, 2013

  • Carol G

    Sorry to cancel but storm coming tomorrow and I live in Reston which is a bit far in bad weather. Hope to attend another event soon!

    December 6, 2013

  • Carol G

    I did not receive the email with directions...checked Spam folder, not there. Can you please re-send? Thx

    December 6, 2013

    • Kirsten

      There appears to be lots of changes in RSVPs going on today, so you may have joined after I sent it out. I will re-send to all Later tonight or first thing in the AM to make sure all who are Yes get it.

      December 6, 2013

  • Meg

    I just changed my RSVP to no. I'm so sorry that I won't be able to attend!!

    December 6, 2013

  • mary c.

    Also, if you no longer want to be waitlisted, remove yourself from that list ASAP so others might have a chance at participating.

    Thanks!

    December 6, 2013

  • mary c.

    If you have to back out, please let the organizers know ASAP. Those of us on the waitlist will REALLY appreciate it.

    December 6, 2013

  • Myrna

    Hi folks, I have to back out. Hope you all have a GREAT time. See you next time!

    December 6, 2013

  • Kirsten

    Directions have been sent out to all the Yes RSVPs. (Please check spam box if you don't see it). If you still don't have it, please let me know. Thanks!

    December 6, 2013

  • Tina

    I have to back out. School really has a way of interferring with my social life. Got an email that I have a test on Sunday. Hope everyone has a wonderful evening.

    December 6, 2013

  • Carla

    Everyone, here are answers to some questions:

    1. Bring red, white, blush, or dessert (just <=$25 a bottle so guests can find an accessible wine to keep in-stock or give as a gift)

    2. Bring a notecard with a one-line summation like "good with steak" or "refreshing summer wine"

    3. Bring a separate paper with more details about the wine, where to buy it, and cost

    4. Kirsten should be sending out the address tomorrow (once the attendee list stabilizes -- sorry you cannot make it Dawn Marie)

    5. There will be a buffet so you can try wines with different food and ensure that you aren't tasting/drinking 25 wines on an empty stomach

    6. I'm not making desserts (there will be some dark chocolates)

    7. A spiral Christmas tree by the mailbox is a landmark.... 8. The cats and dogs will be confined, but you’ll meet the Green-Wing Macaw (Louie); I'll have Sudafed if needed Hope that this helps....
    Can't wait to see everyone on Saturday night!
    Carla

    1 · December 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is this all reds, or is it a mix of whites and reds?

    December 5, 2013

  • Dawn M.

    So sorry to back out. I bought a Christmas party ticket before I was confirmed a yes from a waitlist. I hop you do this again.

    December 5, 2013

  • Cathy C.

    Look forward to meeting some other wine lovers from this area! Will bring a Merlot for sure- not sure which one yet!

    December 3, 2013

  • Elizabeth

    cant wait

    November 9, 2013

  • David

    Now this sounds like a proper wine tasting, with tapas plates to boot! Looking forward to it...Thanks!

    1 · November 5, 2013

  • Simicole E.

    Great idea! I wish I could join. I have a 13 year old birthday party to host 12/07. Enjoy!

    November 5, 2013

  • David M

    Great idea. Don't know yet that I can make it

    November 5, 2013

  • Carla

    Hope that the write-up isn't too overwhelming...
    It's actually an easy, fun way to find some new wine (without any bias)... And the location is basically South Riding (if you're worried about navigating the circles out Rt.50...).

    November 4, 2013

    • Amy

      No worries Carla. The write up is not overwhelming. It's all good! Looking forward to it.

      November 4, 2013

    • Carla

      Glad that you can make it!!! Bring your appetite. :)

      1 · November 4, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Do we have to bring our own pouring spouts?

    November 4, 2013

    • Carla

      No. I have a cache of them (learned that they were necessary the first time I threw this kind of party a few years ago... :)

      1 · November 4, 2013

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