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Wine Swap - Food Gypsy

The Great Holiday Wine Swap

Cookie swapping parties are so 1990’s, so I say why swap cookies when you can swap wine?  On this Wino Wednesday we give you a few tips on how to host your own Holiday Wine Swap Party.  

It’s the holidays and your sister-in-law just sent you an invite to her annual cookie swap party ‘oh, would you bring those delicious sugar cookies again?  Little Joey just LOVES those’.  Well, there goes your weekend.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love cookies as much as the next guy/gal.  Maybe more.  I beleive cookies are the key to world peace.

Food Fact:  You cannot be cranky while eating a cookie.

Thing is, all those calories add up and by the end of the holidays they can just roll you right into those fat pants ‘cuz that’s where all those cookies are headed.  That’s why I advocate doing your holiday baking in small batches, as needed and get down to what really matters… wine.

“She gets to keep the chalet and the Rolls, I want the Montrachet.” – Forbes Magazine, 1996

Let’s be frank, part of the holiday fun is staring bleary-eyed at the festive lights of the season gripping your best friend around the neck saying ‘I LOVE YOU MAN…’ with a slight slur.  Enter the Holiday Wine Swap, sure to fill your festive events with giddy grins and giggles.

Much like the aforementioned Cookie Swap parties of days gone by, the whole purpose of a wine swap is diversification with less effort.  Golly there are a lot of wine notes to read, so why not piggyback on a friend’s wine find to fill up that holiday wine rack and get your groove on?!

The Basics of The Holiday Wine Swap:

  1. Set a date, time and location.
  2. Gather together a group of like minded friends and wine lovers.
  3. Agree on a price point or price range.
  4. Everyone on the invite list buys enough wine for each invitee (including themselves) to take away one bottle of wine.
  5. On the designated date and time, everyone meets, laughs chats, shares stories… swaps a bottle of wine with everyone else and we all go home with something new.  

Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that you tag eleven vino buddies.  The agreed upon price point is twenty to twenty-five dollars, that’s a $240 (ish + tax) investment (that you’ll probably spend anyway).   Everyone meets up and swapy-presto that’s a mixed case of wino wizardry.  (Come on, when was the last time you made it through the holidays with less than a case of wine?  Fine, just me then, I’m OK with that.)

“What wine goes with Captain Crunch?” ~ George Carlin

You could get all theme party and designate reds only, or ‘bring your favorite Spanish’, or get homegrown and sentimental and say it’s ‘North American vintages only’.  Hey, maybe your friends have deeper pockets that mine, feel free to jig that price point up, or down.  Maybe you have a circle of friends now bottling wine in their basement; call everyone up and swap grandpa Vito’s famous fortified wine, your family’s secret recipe, and see who comes out the winner.

As for time and place, I know in typing this that some of my gal pals with hectic schedules are thinking right now… ‘is it gauche to say meet me at the Starbucks on main at 5:30PM on Tuesday for a 15 minute coffee gaggle and we can all swap wine out of our car trunks in the parking lot and go home?’ to which I say – nope.  Make it your own.

The whole point is great wine minds think alike, so why not venture off the path and try something new.

Chin Chin.  May the wine be with you.

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.” ~ Rumi

Wine Swap Ideas - Food Gypsy




Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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