'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la wine, la la la la.
Maybe the old carol would have sounded even jollier had its songwriters spent any amount of time lounging cheerfully in the secluded private rooms at The Tasting Room at Uptown Park. With two truly exclusive rooms to choose from and endless options when it comes to food, service, format and wine, The Tasting Room is a holiday headquarters for private parties.
Of course, events occurring in the remaining 335 days in the year when tinsel, menorahs and sparkling lights are obsolete also belong in any of The Tasting Room's common areas or their reservable private rooms: The sleek, luxurious Reserve Room or the old world ambience of The Bordeaux. Both are quietly elegant and completely dedicated to private events like corporate happy hours, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers of any kind, anniversary and birthday celebrations, seminars, business lunches, business meetings and just about anything else that requires specialized attention to detail and impeccable service.
The Reserve Room, the first of its kind in Houston, was built with luxury in mind. It is also the larger of the two private areas within The Tasting Room at Uptown Park, with 1,200 square feet of softly lit space, leather couches, love seats, antique armchairs, and a customizable sound system as well as a Champagne bar. For sit-down events like wine dinners, rehearsal dinners or a formal holiday party, the room can comfortably accommodate 65 seated guests. If the head count goes higher, the Reserve can cater to 100 guests in a cocktail-style setting.
Inspired by romantic, old world European wine cellars, The Bordeaux's 900 square feet of event space is bordered by tall cabinets of wood and glass fully stocked with a global selection of fine wines. Overhead, a handmade, one-of-a-kind chandelier made of wine bottles casts an amber-hued light in the already warm room, with its dark wooden tables and chairs, the towering walls of wooden cabinets and exposed wooden beams. In addition to a sound system customizable to any soundtrack, The Bordeaux is also equipped with a DVD- and PowerPoint-ready 52-inch flat screen television for corporate presentations, meeting materials, videos or any other multi-media enhancements. Fully seated, the room can hold 45 guests and for cocktail-style settings, 60.
In addition to the extremely customizable food and beverage options from the various menus created by chef Jonathan LeBlanc and his talented kitchen staff, private events at The Tasting Room come with an educational component as well: wine tastings. For something outside the usual realm of parties or events, a Tasting Room sommelier can conduct a wine tasting and educational session for groups, no matter the experience level of attendees. Catered to specific needs and tastes, the event can be as formal or informal as necessary.
To really shake things up and get event guests involved, schedule a blind tasting where up to six wines and their labels are hidden from sight. Guests are invited to fill out informational sheets with notes on the wines' color, aromas and flavor profiles as well as their personal assessment of where the wine came from, what varietals it may contain, its country and region of origin and for those who really want to show off, its vintage or the year it was bottled. See whose palate is the most sensitive when the wines are revealed at the end of the tasting.
To combine the best of The Tasting Room's wine selections and the creativity of chef LeBlanc, the option of a formal wine dinner is literally on the table for sit-down gatherings. While the organizer chooses the food options, The Tasting Room staff will choose the perfect wines to compliment each dish for a once-in-a-Houston-white-Christmas experience where every flavor works in harmony with one another. Each wine dinner includes an explanation and discussion by a Tasting Room sommelier of the wines and the methodology used in their selection.
While the sommeliers and staff thoughtfully comb through the current inventory of wines searching for the ultimate pairings and tastings for private events, there's really not much thought needed to go into the decision to book any private event at The Tasting Room's Uptown Park facility. With the holidays in full swing and 2013's first quarter fast approaching, there's no time to waste when booking an event. You'll feel a lot jollier this season if you do knowing The Tasting Room is taking care of all the details, both big and small.