This past weekend I hosted a summer dinner party for a group of close friends. As with all of my dinner parties, I do like to fully plan them out and usually do a food theme such Italian , French, Greek, Mexican and British but this time I thought I would do something a little different.
By day I work for a consulting firm where I lead a number learning programs. One of my favorites is doing a program using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) of which I am a qualified practitioner. The MBTI is the most widely used personality assessment in the world, which offers a foundation for understanding individual differences, and applying that understanding to the ways people think, communicate, and interact. While the tool is serious in nature and has helped many people to understand why we behave in a certain way, I have used the tool for less serious reasons on many occasions. With this in mind, I thought I would have a little fun with typing my friends and applying their type to summer entertaining styles and wine. What was even more interesting was that all of us except two had different preferences so this made the evening more open and entertaining.
I set the table and gave each dinner guest a place card with their profile description. Each of my guests read out their cards and what followed was a few hours of spirited conversation about preference types and how spot on they were with entertaining styles and wine tastes.
I am an ESFJ (Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger) also known as The Provider.
One of my good friends is an ESTP (Extrovert, Sensor, Thinker, Perceiver) also known as The Dynamo. If you knew her you would know how spot this type is.
I will be sharing some of the recipes soon from this very entertaining and tasty evening. In the meantime, here is a more detailed overview of each preference type for food and wine if you ever want to do this yourself. Its a lot of fun.
ISTJ: The Inspector
Thine self: You are a practical, reliable lover of rules who lives and entertains by the book.
Summer entertaining style: The ants will be marching away from your blanket because you have spent hours analyzing data to uncover the perfect picnic spot that circumvents insect traffic. (That and they know better than to mess with you when it comes to plans.) There are no surprises on your watch and you like it that way. Just remember to schedule time to take it all in. ISTJs can be so busy constructing the perfect moment that they sometimes forget to look up.
Wine: ISTJs are more logical, consistent, and organized compared to other personality types. They embody practicality, and take their responsibilities very seriously. They tend to be hard workers that don’t quite until the job is done. The California Chardonnay is structured and very straightforward, staying consistent for the wine drinker. You know what you’re getting with this wine, similar to the ISTJ.
ISTP: The Mechanic
Thine self: Reserved, analytical, and interested in the way things work. You are a risk-taker who also loves finding solutions to practical problems.
On the menu: Anything you have caught, bagged, or brewed.
Summer entertaining style: You’ve spent much of the off-season dismantling your grill and smoker to create a hybrid worthy of praise. Now that summer is here, it’s time to take your invention out for a spin. So you load the new equipment and an ice chest filled with grub in the car and off-road until you spy a clearing. If you are along for the ride, don’t mind the trespassing signs along the way — your ISTP host never does.
Wine: ISTPs are definitely quieter, but they’re also great at observing. They use their observations to find innovative solutions to problems and can leverage data to their advantage. ISTPs are great with processing information and utilizing it to create practical solutions in their environment. Malbecs are a great red with notes of plums and blackberry, and is considered to be a very versatile wine that encompasses a lot of flavors that can please any palate (just like ISTPs!). Considering malbecs pair with everything, they definitely go hand in hand with the ISTP ‘value efficiency’ characteristic.
INFJ: The Nurturer
Thine self: Quiet, kind-hearted, and dependable. You are a sensitive soul with an artistic eye.
On the menu: At least one of each of your guest’s favorite dishes served on a mix of treasured heirlooms and flea market finds.
Summer entertaining style: You love fireflies, fairy lights, and flowers from your garden. A close group of inner-circle friends are on the guest list and you spend time listening to each one of them as you dine on a meal prepared from ethically sourced ingredients and locally grown goods.
Wine: The INFJ looks for connections and relationships between various facets of their life, and goes out of their way to understand the dynamics of motivation within those around them. They believe in helping others in an effort to support the common good, and make for great teammates on a project. The Cabernet Franc has a very wide range in the type of wines that can be made from this grape, similar to the INFJ and their ability to see connections and meaning in a variety of things.
ISFP: The Composer
Thine self: Quiet, serious, and creative. You are conflict-averse, but flexible and live in the moment.
On the menu: Your original creations. Foods that seem like they shouldn’t work together, but somehow they do when you have at them.
Summer entertaining style: The people and place are as important as the food when you take your gatherings outside. You are the type who handwrites the invitations, handcrafts the plates, and handpicks the prettiest hidden spot in town — a secluded gem you often visit alone to meditate and muse.
Wine: ISFPs are in tune with their emotions and to those of the people around them, and live for the present moment. They tend to avoid conflict, and instead finds peaceful ways to bring harmony to their environment. ISFPs are also quite loyal to their friends and loved ones, which make them great people to have on your side. Pinot Noir is an earthy wine with great scents of red fruit cherries, licorice, and smoke, which makes anyone drinking this wine enjoy every sip. The process of drinking this wine is just like ISFPs, who live in every moment and work at their own pace/cadence.
ISFJ: The Advocate
Thine self: You are insightful, complex, and gentle. An idealist.
On the menu: Greens grown in your composted container garden.
Summer entertaining style: You believe social justice should always be on the guest list. In honor of the season, you might ask guests to bring along fresh produce that you will donate to your favorite local food bank after you finish the dishes. You love to entertain outside, be it on your decked-out fire escape or among the art in your favorite public sculpture garden.
Wine: ISFJs are more on the quiet side, but their introverted nature is matched by their very loyal, kind, and sympathetic tendencies. They are very conscientious of those around them, and are great friends to have. They value peace and harmony in their environments, whether it be at work or at home. Pinot Grigio can please a lot of different palates, since it ranges from tangy, to light, to rich, to round, and to full-bodied. It also has those same ‘specifics’ for consistency, just like the ISFJ.
INFP: The Healer
Thine self: Sensitive, idealistic, and reflective. You like small groups, but not small talk.
On the menu: Dishes that are pretty but not fussy, with a dash of Pinterest-worthy creativity.
Summer entertaining style: Quiet, pretty, and thoughtful make you tick, and that goes for Summer entertaining, too. Expect a party where the wine and conversation are serious, deep, and flow late into the summer’s night.
Wine: INFPs place a lot of weight in their values, and ensure every facet of their life goes in line with their ideology. They are also great at finding the good in others, and help people both realize and execute on their potential. This personality is great for teams or working in pairs. The effervescence and brighter tastes of the Riesling are just like the bright-eyed INFP who seek possibilities in their environment and others.
INTJ: The Architect
Thine self: Perfectionist, intellectual, and determined. One of the rarest personality types — especially among women.
On the menu: Whatever it is, it will be equally portioned and plated with surgical precision.
Summer entertaining style: You might take a gathering outside, but not far from home. Midway through the party, you many sneak off to the corner with a book. And, since INTJ tend to run in the same circles, your guests likely won’t mind.
Wine: INTJs are original thinkers with the motivation necessary to execute on their ideas. They tend to be more independent, and hold themselves (as well as others) to a very high standard. INTJs are great for personal projects, and can be trusted to see them to completion. Just like INTJs excel when given goals, chiantis only improve when given food to pair with. Chiantis can range from light to full-bodied but retain a universal appeal to red wine lovers everywhere.
INTP: The Thinker
Thine self: Logical and original. An out-of-the-box thinker.
On the menu: Butterbeer, finger sandwiches, and baked Alaska.
Summer entertaining style: Your guests might be surprised that your summer soirée is held indoors in front of oversized beach posters, but you see it as a foolproof way to avoid the mosquitoes while still watching the sunset. The night concludes with a dramatic reading of Where the Wild Things Are.
Wine: INTPs are great at finding logical solutions and explanations to their environment, and tend to have their interests peaked by abstract ideas and concepts rather than interacting with others. They are great when it comes to thinking critically or out of the box, and are known to be exceptional problem solvers.
If INTP’s are into the abstract, then there couldn’t be a better wine than a grenache. It’s radically versatile and is used to make both light and heavy reds, as well as amazing blends with Mourvedres and Shirazes.
ESTP: The Dynamo
Thine self: Social, adaptable, and action-oriented. It’s always a party when you are around.
On the menu: Foot-longs, fireworks, and a trunkful of Costco finds.
Summer entertaining style: Hot dogs on the highest mountain peak and a few hundred of your closest friends. And personalized T-shirts.
Wine: ESTPs live to quickly solve problems, and typically jump to a challenge with exuberance. They tend to not get mired in concepts or ideas, and would rather be a ‘do-er’. They live for the present and have a palpable energy to them. Just like the tolerant nature of the ESTP, Sauvignon Blancs can range from sweet to grassy in taste. Not typically used in blends, this is definitely the ESTP problem solver’s kind of wine.
ESTJ: The Executive
Thine self: Organized, traditional, and practical. You like to be in charge and likely are athletic.
On the menu: Selections from vintage Bon Appétit grilling issues.
Summer entertaining style: You know the buck stops with you, and that is no different when it comes to entertaining. Your Summer furniture is meticulously cleaned and packed away each Labor Day, but during the summer you put it to full use. The detailed summer schedule you created months ago includes many meals on your deck. Your parties start and end on time, as you believe everything in life should.
Wine: Pragmatic, keen, and determined, the ESTJ is great at making decisions. They’re also adept at organizing teams and finding logical ways to effectively solve problems. They tend to be more forceful and by-the-books, and are great at providing results. Cabernet Sauvignon is the pragmatic wine to go with the reasoning personality of the ESTJ. It ranges from medium to full bodied and has a great dry taste that pairs well with the deliberate and efficient personality of the ESTJ.
ESFP: The Performer
Thine self: Charming, optimistic, and generous. You are a fun-loving people person.
On the menu: Signature cocktails.
Summer entertaining style: You love to dine under the stars because you are one of them. Your parties tend to last until the final star has faded away into the morning light.
Wine: Definitely among the friendlier of the personalities, ESFPs are engaging people who tend to really enjoy life. They love to make work a fun activity instead of a chore, have a spark of spontaneity to them, and can quickly adapt to new challenges. Sangria is the ultimate drink for those who love and celebrate life, which is why it’s perfect for the ESFP. The mixtures of fruit, red wine, and other sweet flavors make this delectable amalgamation perfect for the fun-loving ESFP.
ESFJ: The Provider
Thine self: Responsible, popular, and practical.
On the menu: No matter what is being served, there will be spreadsheets involved.
Summer entertaining style: Be it a latte on a park bench or a dinner party in a far-off courtyard, you plan every minute of it from the company to the conversation to the cleanup. The smiles on your guests make all the work feel worth it.
Wine: Of the extroverts, the ESFJ definitely tends to be the more kind and empathetic of the outgoing personalities. They love teamwork, cooperation, and ensuring that everybody is happy. They ensure harmony in a very efficient and pragmatic way, and have a strong work ethic. Merlot has the same warmth and compassion of an ESFJ, and provides a less intense but still delightful taste of any medium to full-bodied red. It’s a great go-to wine for everyday drinking, and its consistency in taste is similar to that of the loyalty found in an ESFJ.
ENFP: The Champion
Thine self: Enthusiastic, charming, and independent. You are a true free spirit.
On the menu: Vegan sliders, rum punch, and everything in between.
Summer entertaining style: You don’t consider it summer until you’ve hosted at least one epic party on a rooftop. The vantage point from up top feeds your soul, as does the crowd. You are the heart of the party no matter how many feet off the ground you stand.
Wine: ENFPs tend to be bubbly, energetic, and wield great imaginations. They tend to be the life at parties and have a knack for connecting people, ideas, and things in their environment. They also tend to be spontaneous, affirming the idea that variety is the spice of life. The bubbly characteristic of Champagne goes well with the ENFP who has the same approach to life. Imaginative, confident, and spontaneous, champagne matches perfectly with the ENFP.
ENFJ: The Teacher
Thine self: Popular, empathetic, and passionate.
On the menu: Chilled soup in every color of the rainbow, sliders, and deconstructed strawberry shortcake.
Summer entertaining style: You can’t wait to break out your “Kiss The Cook” apron for the first barbecue of the season, even though you always spend more time talking to your guests than flipping burgers.
Wine: ENFJs are warm, empathetic and loyal souls. They see potential in all and desire to help other reach their potential. Their responsible and responsive attitude provides inspirational leadership to all. The Rose is a sweet wine that matches to the sweetness of the ENFJ who are great at working with others. The ENFJ’s upbeat attitude and perseverance is consistent with the flavors and notes of the Rose.
ENTP: The Visionary
Thine self: Creative, resourceful, and intellectually quick. You are outspoken and love to play devil’s advocate.
On the menu: Edible insects and elaborate Jell-O molds.
Summer entertaining style: A seaside debate is your idea of summer fun, but a poolside debate works, too.
Wine: Sharp, vocal, and clever, ENTPs are great at finding innovative solutions to hard problems. They’re great at thinking out of the box, applying strategy, and going outside of the norm. They tend to get tired of routines and going through the motion, so the more variety they have the better. The intensity of the Shiraz/Syrrah goes well with the focused intensity of the ENTP. It’s spicy, fruity, and has a rich texture that pairs well with the electrifying personality of the ENTP.
ENTJ: The Commander
Thine self: Logical, assertive, and efficient. You are a natural-born leader who gets things done and likes to solve problems.
On the menu: Power food, like macadamia nut-crusted mahi-mahi, chili-lime grilled corn salad, and boozy frozen watermelon-mint ice pops.
Summer entertaining style: You are a force of nature every season of the year, and the same holds true for your parties. The summer sky is your only limit, but you are working on ways to get past that, too. Your gatherings are events to see and be seen at. Relay races in the pool are not optional and your team always wins.
Wine: ENTJs are true leaders. Decisive and frank in nature, they quickly implement logical and efficient procedure and policies where needed. They enjoy setting and reaching goals and passing along their knowledge to others. A very powerful wine with a very straightforward flavor profile, the Nebbiolo pairs well with the executive-like personality of the ENTJ. Nothing says ‘I know how to lead’ like a glass of this delicious and notable red wine.
Sources: TheKitchn.com, Buzzfeed.com