7 Wine-Powered Polo Parties
Polo—frequently called the game of kings—not only matches humans and horses, but sophistication with sportsmanship. With a history that dates back 2,500 years, the glamorous aura that polo enjoys is a natural fit for fancy dress and fine wines. So get ready to stomp some divots and drink up: Wine Enthusiast’s got the coolest wine-fueled polo fêtes to attend across the country this summer.
Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
Nothing marks the start of summer soirée season in the Tri-State area quite like the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Saturday, an afternoon of Champagne and polo set against the New York City skyline. New this year is a swanky $500 Rosé Garden ticket. Benefiting City Harvest, it includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé, premium seats to view the match in a sophisticated garden setting and a $100 gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Seattle Polo & Equestrian Club, Enumclaw, WA
There’s a weekend’s worth of activities for the whole family to enjoy at the Northwest’s premier polo event, held Aug. 8–9. On the first day, there are two semifinal matches, followed by an after party with live music. The following day, teams battle it out for the Seattle Cup, plus there’s a “fancy hat” parade and contest, local wines and food, and a divot stomp (not to mention tailgating on the sidelines).
Santa Barbara, CA
End your weekend on a high note at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club this summer. Each Sunday through October, the club offers a free wine tasting alongside polo matches at 1 pm and 3 pm, with a wide range of seating options, from $10 grandstand tickets to $350 cabana rentals. Participating vintners include Grassini Family Vineyards, Francis Coppola Winery and Tolosa Winery. At halftime, there’s a fun divot stomp fueled by apple cider on the field, or Champagne near the grandstands. Don’t miss the Polo in Paradise party slated for June 19 ($20 for members, $30 for non-members). It will feature a sangria station, lawn games, dancing and appetizers in addition to a rousing round of polo.
Polo Reserve, Littleton, CO
Three full days of polo, entertainment and top-notch wine and food mark Denver’s feel-good Polo Classic on June 26–28, with all proceeds benefitting local children’s charities. Start the polo party on Friday at the Black Tie Ball, complete with bites provided by Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Sullivan’s Steakhouse, plus live music and an auction showcasing rare wines. Bring the kids on Saturday for Family Day: Children under 12 are admitted for free, and guests can watch polo matches and picnic on the grass (there will be a host of activities for kids). On Sunday, bust out your garden-party best for Championship Day. Bars will be stocked with a variety of Champagne along with wines from LaMarca and William Hill Estate Winery, and local beers and food from Denver eateries are also available. Think empanadas from Maria Empanada and slices from Denver Pizza Company.
Rancho Santa Fe, CA
San Diego’s polo season gallops into high gear this Sunday with its Opening Day party. Guests can take in two matches (at 1 and 3 pm), peruse a 100-vehicle car show and a food truck competition, and sample beers from local breweries. VIP Tent tickets are $55 and include bottomless mimosas in an elevated, shaded area. Food and Beer Festival tickets cost $30 and include a tasting of five local beers, with proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Homes charity. Polo matches are open to the public at the Club most Sundays through the end of September and include two matches, entertainment at intermission and a Champagne-powered divot stomp.
WestWorld of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ
This year, 15,000 fans are expected to attend Scottsdale’s largest polo party, held Oct. 24, and it’s no wonder why. The event boasts three polo matches, a fashion show (including canine couture) and performances by the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Jazz Festival. There’s also an art auction and artfully designed bites and drinks to match the upscale atmosphere, like golden tomato gazpacho with cilantro crème fraîche, lemon panna cotta shooters with raspberry gelée, and Moët & Chandon mimosas. Guests can try wines from Acacia, Lieu Dit Winery and more. Tickets range from $17.50 for general admission to $355 for an all-access pass.
International Polo Grounds, Glen Farm, Portsmouth, RI
On June 13, promising young polo stars will compete in the annual Newport Cup against veteran players in an event not to be missed. In addition to all the young bucks on the field, there’s plenty of tailgating fun to be had (some 1,000 bottles of wine are consumed each year from a variety of producers). At the Twisted Pony Bar, attendees can choose from a selection of three reds, three whites, three sparkling wines and a rosé, complementing gourmet food vendors with snacks like lobster rolls and Southern-style pulled pork. Tickets are $20 for reserved pavilion seats, or $12 for general admission lawn seating.
(Photo courtesy mjaphoto)
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- 1Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
- 2Seattle Polo Party
- 3Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
- 4The Schomp BMW Denver Polo Classic
- 5San Diego Polo Club
- 6Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships
- 7Newport Polo