Game Night Turns Date Night


A Guy’s Playbook to Planning & Hosting Date Night At Home with J. Lohr

Disclosure: Party Bluprints Inc. has proudly partnered with J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and the #YouKnowJLohr campaign to share tips for hosting Game Night Turns Date Night. The opinions within this post are expressly our own.

Who says Sunday, Monday or Thursday night football isn’t date night at home? This season invite your better half to join the game and treat them to a “Game Night Date Night” at home? Take some time to plan and make this night special. If the two of you have been a couple for a while, this experience may help you re-connect in a whole new way. Imagine every Thursday night sipping wine and cheering on the home team!

The vibe for this date night is special, yet sporty and the mood is fun and romantic. It’s easy to create a winning night with the playbook below and a bottle or two of J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.




Game Night Date Night Playbook

PREGAME and 1st HALF – Have some fun. Since it’s date night, we’re taking game night up a few notches — it’s certainly not traditional game day viewing, it’s something different, so stick with us here and enjoy planning this date.

  • Create the viewing space. Arrange an intimate space for two to sip, snack, and snuggle while watching the football game. Your space should feel special, yet cozy. Add throw pillows and a blanket to prime the viewing spot.
  • Upgrade the TV tables. Set up a bistro table in front of the couch, making sure you have a good view of the television – keep it simple and romantic. Cover your table with a white tablecloth, add a small vase of flowers, appetizer plates, stemless wine glasses and votive candles. You can pick up a small  vase of flowers at your local market or florist (remember to send the flowers home with your date.)
  • Woo your date with wine. Forgo the beer at this party and try J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon* to star in your game plan (it’s bold and soft — just like your Game Night Date Night.) Have the wine poured and set on the table — it’s inviting and immediately signals to your date that this is not your typical football hangout.
  • Keep everything on your table low for your football viewing (e.g., avoid stemmed wine glasses, serve wine in stemless glasses). And, don’t be tempted to set the flowers in the middle of the table – you won’t be able to see the television…position the flowers off to the side along with the wine bottle.
  • Make your menu simple but special. Prepare everything ahead of time so you can relax and enjoy with your date (our playbook has you purchasing your appetizer and dessert and for the entrée,you can decide what level you want to take it to!)
  • Shake up the snacks. Think wine bar, not beer bar. Visit the Mediterranean or salad bar at your local market, select bocconcini (small mozzarella balls,) colorful Peppadew peppers and olives — they are the perfect picks for your party for two. You can also add nuts and breadsticks. Pour the wine and display your snacks on the table so when your date arrives you can sit down and get right to sipping, snacking and sharing.
  • Share your passion – now remember, this is a date night, so while you’ll both be watching the game, include your date in your football fun. Unless your date is already an expert, take this opportunity to share some fun football facts to make the game more interesting and allow you to connect while watching — rules, players, and football trivia is all fair game.



HALFTIME – Dinner is served. For the main fare, serve a dish that allows you to eat and enjoy easily in front of the television.

We’re offering two levels of difficulty here:

  1.  if you can boil water, try Pesto Rigatoni (while you’re at the supermarket, purchase fresh pesto {they may even have it at the Mediterranean Bar or salad bar.}) Simply boil a pound of rigatoni, drain and mix in a container of pesto. Top with crushed black pepper and fresh Parmesan cheese. You can make this ahead of time and reheat in the microwave when ready to eat.
  2. If you don’t know how to turn the stovetop on, it’s totally okay to order take-out pasta — order it ahead of time, dish it up into individual servings, cover, refrigerate and reheat when ready to serve.

chocolate-tart footballcookies

2nd HALF – Finish strong and sweetly.

  • Pick up a few mini fruit tarts or any other miniature sweet treat from your market’s pastry department and present these sweet endings after dinner. As an added touch, follow-up in the fourth quarter with football cookies (check your pastry department.)


*Winemaker’s Comments:

The 2014 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is dark in color with a bright hue at release. Layered fruit aromas of cherry and plum are accented by an authentic barrel bouquet of hazelnut, dark chocolate and toasted pastry. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the high-toned fruit signature that typifies the Paso Robles appellation. — Steve Peck, red wine maker

Inspired?  Now see what unfolds with this #YouKnowJLohr

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