Whether your in-person feast count has gone from a group of 20 down to 5, or has morphed into an intimate, self-hosted affair of your own, celebrating the upcoming holiday season safely need not be dull. (On the plus side, you won’t end up with a sink full of dishes to attend to!)

Here at Shall We Wine we love to tout “Baller On A Budget” material, and being in the midst of a pandemic does not change that! Below you’ll find a list of simple ways to elevate your holiday entertaining. Prep the home/apartment bar, be as laid-back or zippy as you like and take in any positivity and gratitude you can grab! We all need even a little bit. 

Photo Credits from CB2

  1. Swap for special drinkware
    By special I don’t mean spend your entire next paycheck on a set of new wine glasses. There are ways to navigate for-less options for drinkware whether that means you’re hitting up a big box store or scoping out the resale market. Purchase just a few—enough to make a dent in the look of your drink spread, but not so much you’re scavenging for shelf space for it later. Opt for classy and clean designs vs. seasonal specific for more bang for your buck. You might even already have some, but it’s stored away deep in the closet. Take your visual sensory for a spin! Nothing changes the feel of a drink like the simple glass swap. Go from boring to elegant and fab instantaneously.

  1. Look to restaurant solutions

Looking to your favorite restaurant isn’t just for ordering up a meal should you decide that cooking this year is just not in the cards. Many restaurants are selling selections off their beverage lists for comparable prices to retail. Not only is this a great way to snag some options which are nearly impossible to find on retail shelves, but it’s a fantastic way to upgrade your drink spread for the holidays. In addition, it’s one of many ways to support restaurant businesses while stay-at-home orders remain in effect.

  1. Region hop

Think of familiar styles from alternative wine regions. Chenin Blanc from South Africa vs. France. Riesling from the United States vs. Germany. Not quite on a Champagne budget this year? Look to an assortment of Crémant options, a category of (mostly) French sparkling wine made in the Champagne Method, but not within the Champagne region of France. Burgundy is a southern neighbor of Champagne (within the 250km range) where you can find superb Crémant de Bourgogne offerings. With the exception of Luxembourg (Europe) Crémant, you’ll find Crémant offerings pretty much made all over France. From Crémant de Loire to Crémant de Limoux to Crémant d’Alsace and everything in-between, there’s a variety to satisfy a range of bubbly preferences.

  1. Set the mood

You’re already exploring tastes and smells with each beverage sip. Now think of upgrading sights and sounds to elevate the imbibe atmosphere. Playing with some dimmed mood lighting is a fun little upgrade. Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers. Even a single rose can liven up a space substantially! Make a home run of a mood-setting playlist of songs to pair with all the festive spirit… the possibilities are endless. Who cares if no one else sees or hears it! As long as the mood is set for you.

  1. Let Shall We Wine play point

Plan your holiday gatherings around our upcoming virtual Cocktail Hour events! It’s one way to gather from afar but still feel connected! Next on the calendar we take a deep dive into Mezcal with Craig Hiljus of Puente Internacional or explore delicious red wine offerings with Theodora Lee of Theopolis Vineyards. Want a custom, tailor-made wine experience instead? Sit down (virtually) with Shall We Wine for an exclusive Consultation and Personal Wine Profile! This small group event begins with a wine survey to determine your wine preferences. From there, we will discuss your wine style and generate a personalized list of wines for you to explore. Reach out to Shall We Wine for details on all the ways we can help you plan a private virtual event for you and selected guests. Contact us here.

Want another way to be Baller On A Budget? Sign up for the Shall We Wine newsletter and receive a free download of our handy dandy sparkling guide: 25 Sparkling Wine Recommendations From Baller to Budget!