Wine for Events

Wine for Events

Wine is an incredibly popular beverage option – especially when it comes to holding a special event! Whether it’s a company outing, celebration or special event, having a great menu includes having wonderful wines to go with it. Swank Events recently sat down with Kim Simone of Vinitas WineWorks to talk about some frequently asked questions when it comes to wine and event planning. Kim is a Certified Specialist of Wine and a French Wine Scholar who brings her knowledge of wine to groups and consumers through events and courses.

Vinitas WineWorks Kim Simone

Kim Simone Photo Credit Verdi Studio

Swank: What are some of the most frequently asked questions you get when it comes to wine and events?

Kim: Quantity! How much should you have on-hand based on the number of people you are expecting. The rule of thumb is 1 drink per person, per hour. From there you would evaluate your wine types based on the menu you are planning to serve. If you weare holding a tasting as part of your corporate event, then you generally only offer an ounce of each wine, so the quantity will go down significantly.

Swank: You mentioned menu planning, so that brings us to our next question: what wines should we be looking to serve?

Kim: Traditionally, you should have at least one red and one white but the key is to offer varieties that are going to be “flexible” with your food choices – meaning they pair well with many different types of food. My go-to types are Pinot Noir, light Chardonnays (ones that are “unoaked”), and Rieslings that are not overly sweet.

Swank: Nowadays, wine drinking seems to be more popular than ever; and as a result, there is an increased focus on food and wine pairings. We want to know – how does one make sure they are pairing correctly?

Kim: When pairing with food, focus on what the wine does in your mouth, how it feels. What’s important is the weight of the wine in relation to the weight of your dishes. Is it sweet or tart, heavy or light vs. just the flavor profile. This will really help you focus on what you like and how it goes with your food. A great example is off-dry Riesling – which might have a bad “rap” out there, but you should give it a try with spicy food like Thai, Indian dishes or sushi, as it creates a great balance of sweet and tart with the spicy – which goes back to what you are experiencing in your mouth.

Swank: Tell us more about some of the popular seasonal wines out there right now like Rosé.

Kim: It is a great gateway wine and Rosé is NOT your mom’s White Zinfandel! It’s grown in popularity over the past 3 years and for good reason, as it pairs wonderfully with summer seafood favorites like fish, seasonal veggies and shrimp! Even though it’s made from red grapes, there are a lot of fruit notes in the different varieties and styles – from strawberry, to raspberry and watermelon. If you are going to be circulating appetizers or have a varied buffet – Rosé is a great choice.

Swank: What’s another factor people need to keep in mind when planning an event with wine?

Kim: Serving temperature! Most people serve their reds too warm and whites too cold! Reds should be chilled a little before serving and white wine should be out of the fridge or cooler 20-30 minutes before serving. If you are having an outdoor event then you should chill both and protect against the wines getting hot.

Our thanks to Kim of Vinitas WineWorks for these amazing points of advice when serving wine at an event!

National Creativity Day

National Creativity Day

Last Wednesday, May 30th, was National Creativity Day.

While it may not seem like something to mark on your calendar, it makes us think of all of the amazing things we get to do as Corporate Event Planners; our job is to help clients bring their vision to life with unique touches!

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to flex our creative muscles daily! It may be something as simple as the centerpieces and decorations for a retirement party, or it could be the menu selections for a special event based on the evening’s theme.

Themed parties also give planners a chance to explore all the different ways to set an atmosphere for a room with flowers, food, activities and even the beverages! A company’s recent Great Gatsby event saw a typical hotel ballroom transformed into a roaring 1920’s speakeasy – complete with gaming tables!

The other aspect that motivates us creatively are the wonderful people we work with! While we’ve already talked about the benefits of hiring an event planner, our clients know that we are there to make their event look impressive and run as smooth as possible. It’s their excitement that makes us passionate about our work and rise to the challenge of each new engagement!

How can Swank Events help you? Contact us about how we can bring our creative touch to your next event!

Vanessa Farino, President of Boston Business Women and Kristin Healy, Owner & Creative Director of Swank Events – photo by Allegro Photography


Elevating Your Message

Elevating Your Message


We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” before and how it can apply in delivering important information at the workplace, but what might also be as important is where.  

Maybe it’s the year-end meeting to review the outstanding job your team has done for the company or the holiday celebration where special recognitions are going to be highlighted.  Maybe it’s the kick off to a new company initiative and it’s your job to get your staff energized with your messaging.  That can be difficult to do in the same board room, lunch area or meeting space you always use.  Time to elevate your message with location!

Off-site Venues to Mix it Up!

Yes, there are the traditional options of a hotel meeting room, conference or convention center – but how about going for something memorable?  Places like:

  • Theaters (Universities, High Schools or public venues)
  • Private clubs (no, not just country clubs!) or historical homes
  • Boat cruises
  • Distilleries, wineries or breweries
  • Museums
  • Sports arenas
  • Zoos

Integrate lunch or dinner, and make it for employees and their families!  Each of these locations will fit different agendas for different sized groups, but all will be more memorable than your company’s conference room.

Sound daunting?  Remember an Event Planning Professional can help arrange the right place and help with all the details associated with the day!  

4 Ways to Engage Employees at Your Corporate Event

4 Ways to Engage Employees at Your Corporate Event


Photo credit: Bubble Battles

We’re in the thick of summer here in New England, which means the temperature is high and the events are plentiful! This time of year is so beautiful in our neck of the woods, and totally worth celebrating.

Summer is a great time to plan a corporate outing (though we won’t lie, fall is pretty gorgeous too and these tips totally apply to that season as well). But when competing with summer family vacations and weekend getaways, it can be hard to convince your employees to participate in your summer corporate outing.

Below we’re sharing four of our best tips for creating an engaging experience that’ll encourage your employees to attend and take part — read on to learn how you can kick it up a notch this year!

1. Align the event with a purpose
Events that have a designated purpose – like a volunteer component – are much more likely to garner attention and support. People like to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and what better way to do that than give back to your local community?

2. Add a health/wellness option
Charity races, fun runs, and other sports and fitness oriented activities are a popular option in today’s health-minded climate, and adding a component like that to your corporate event is a sure-fire way to get people involved. This is a great team bonding option that’ll improve more than just each individual’s health.

3. Bring in an outside personality
Whether you hire a motivational speaker, run a creativity workshop, or host some sort of team building seminar, bringing in outside professionals whose line of work it is to build, strengthen, and lift up teams is a great way to not only boost morale, but improve relationships too.

4. Plan group activities
Especially in the warmer months, the group activity options are endless, and there’s something to suit each and every crowd. You could try to plan an event around one of these activities – maybe a group hike or park outing – or you could incorporate them as a smaller subset of your larger event – think a round of trivia, or a friendly department vs. department field game.

Poll your employees to find out what resonates most with them, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

What’s the most engaging corporate event activity you’ve ever been a part of?