Creating A Memorable Dinner Date

Nov 3, 2022

The truth no one wants to admit is that standard romantic dinners at home grow boring over the years. This is especially true in long term relationships where the novelty wears off after awhile. However, this doesn’t have to be true. If you add some extra elements to enhance the event, your partner will boast about the romantic dinner for years to come. To do this, you need to break the predictability and add some flair. This article walks you through four options to make your romantic dinner at home especially memorable.

OPTION 1: Have a virtual wine tasting

Advance planning: Approximately 1 week (plan for 2 weeks if ordering the wines from a winery)
Make your meal more interesting by having a virtual tasting with an expert between courses. There are many virtual wine tastings available on the internet at no cost to you beyond the purchase of the wines. Given how rapidly they are changing, I won’t list them here. Instead, a simple search for virtual tastings for your country and region of interest will yield many options.

Chose your favourite winery and secure a spot for an upcoming live tasting or plan to attend a recorded one. Make sure you have a list of wines that will be tasted and that you can locate the wines relatively easily. Some of the wineries will send you the wines in advance. Take the time to plan this in advance so that you have the wines ready and chilled, if applicable, before the tasting.

Plan to have a light first course and after it’s completed, begin the wine tasting with your partner. Pour small servings of each wine. After the tasting, you will then have selected your favourite wines to enjoy with the rest of your meal. Remember to serve water as well as wine and be slow with the alcohol. You want to enjoy the whole evening and drinking too much too quickly isn’t likely to result in the type of memories you’re striving to make.

OPTION 2: Serve a tasting menu with wine pairings

Advance planning: Approximately 2 days
Serving a tasting menu with wine pairings requires a multi-course menu with smaller sized dishes. A five-course menu makes for a manageable meal comprised of an hors d’oeuvre, appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert.

Choose a theme for your food and wine such as country (Italy, Portugal, US-California) or choose a year for all the wine that has significance to you as a couple (such as the year you met or wed). Once you’ve chosen your theme (such as Italian food and wine from the year 2000) then select foods that are tasty but not too difficult to put together and pick your wines to pair with the courses. Depending on your time and talent, you may prefer to order foods from your favourite restaurants to streamline the process.

When pairing your courses with wines, begin with white wines before reds and those that are lighter and drier to then be followed by more full-bodied varieties and sweeter wines. The goal is to create a fun and interesting experience. Things do not need to be perfect.

Remember to keep the courses light so as not to make your partner too full. One way to achieve this is to split a typical serving between the two of you. To ensure no one ends the meal too intoxicated to enjoy any after dinner activities, pour small wine tastings with each course and ensure you go slow with the food and the wine. A five-course tasting meal with wine pairings will take approximately two to three hours. Savour the time and the experience.

OPTION 3: Blindfolded chocolate and cheese tasting for dessert.

Advance planning: 1 day
Ending your romantic dinner at home with a blindfolded chocolate and cheese tasting for dessert will delight and entertain your partner. To make sure the dessert is fully enjoyed, ensure that you have not overfed your partner during the meal.

To blindfold your partner, use a sleep mask or a sash. Make certain to explain the concept that you will be slowly feeding your partner small amounts of their favourite chocolates and/or cheeses. A suggestion is to serve four of each item to allow for two servings per person, and to serve three small chocolates (white, milk, and dark; or different flavoured chocolates) and three different cheeses. A fun idea is to choose one expensive item and one inexpensive item for the cheese and chocolate tasting and see if your partner can identify which one it is. Your partner should also be asked to identify any items that are known and to identify which is the favourite.

Remember that when your partner is blindfolded, trust will be important. Serve only items that are palatable and be respectful with the responsibility. If being blindfolded is not comfortable for your partner, then cover the serving dish with a napkin and ask your partner to shut their eyes when they taste the item.

OPTION 4: Arrange entertainment

Advance planning: 1 day
There are many ways to add entertainment to your romantic dinner at home. All of the ideas require some preparation though so that your evening will run smoothly. Make sure you have planned all the details so that you are not leaving your partner alone while you try to get entertainment working.

Below are a few different entertainment ideas. Choose one to add to your special meal.

  1. If you have children you can practice in advance to have the kids perform with you. If your child can play a musical instrument, practice a song to sing with them… or just ask them in advance to play a song for you at the end of the meal. Alternatively, prepare a dance you can perform with your children. If you don’t want the children in the home during your meal, record the session and show it to your wife on a tablet, laptop, or phone that can be brought to the table.
  2. Between courses, arrange to watch a performance you both would enjoy. This provides an auditory and visual stimulation to the evening. This concert should be one of your favourite performers. Presently many musicians have recorded concerts you can watch at no cost on Youtube, including major symphonies and many famous music performers. Search your favourite on Youtube and queue it on your tablet or phone to quickly play it for entertainment. Make sure you are aware of how long the performance will be and that it will accompany your meal and not overtake it. NOTE: You will score even more bonus points if the performance includes your favourite song together (or the song you danced to at your wedding, if applicable) and while it plays, you dance together… and end with a kiss.

A final reminder, is to ensure that you put the effort in to prepare for the event in all ways. There is no point having an amazing menu and entertainment only to have the children running through the dining room, as you sit there wearing workout clothes, and then leave your partner to clean up the large mess in the kitchen afterward. To have an extra special evening at home, take the time beforehand and make sure you’ve adequately prepared all items including: the environment, menu, drinks, and entertainment. That includes doing the following:

  1. Make sure the children aren’t going to interrupt your dinner date. Have arrangements for the children, if applicable. That may mean to plan for a babysitter and if they must remain in the home, ensure that they are busy and will not disturb your date. One suggestion is to order them their favourite takeout (such as pizza) and put on a movie or to arrange for the dinner have gone to sleep.
  2. Clean up and dress up. Put effort into making the environment and yourself look nice.
  3. Use your good plates and crystal. You want to present the food on nice dishes.
  4. Set the table, dim the lights, and have candles ready to be lit.
  5. Have a low centrepiece of flowers.
  6. Use linen napkins.
  7. Plan the dinner music with remote speakers, if available.
  8. Prepare the menu. Serve a multi-course meal with your partner’s favourite foods. One method to ensure you don’t prepare too much food is to make only enough for one serving and share it between the two of you. If you aren’t a great cook, order the food from different restaurants you both enjoy.
  9. Prepare the kitchen for a quick clean up. No one likes to end a meal with a disaster to clean up in the kitchen. Clean as you go and your night will surely end much more successfully.

Enjoy your evening!

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