Despite having team members literally across the globe, this past December, Highstreet’s virtual holiday parties spanned cookie decorating to wine tasting. This, all for team members to enjoy together. There was something available for everyone—a guided beer tasting, cookie decorating, a wine tasting that supported charity, and a Christmas goodie bag party. These virtual parties give us valuable time to enjoy our colleagues, sit back and relax, and experience something new. Last year we enjoyed pizza making, wine tastings, and a sweets tasting experience.
Beer Pairing & Tasting
This year a beer tasting was added to offer an alternative for the non-wine drinkers of Highstreet and included a collection of tasting items aside from the beer. Three types of chocolate and cheese accompanied the three varieties of beer, not to mention a beer koozie made it into the box as well. Guided through the experience by Audrey from City Brew Tours, she offered up some advice: “Pour your beer, walk away for 30 minutes, then come back to taste and enjoy it.” The three beers tasted were a Chocolate Porter, Spiced Holiday Ale, and a Stange Kolsch styled Ale. An aged Windsordale, BrickHaus Tilsit, and a Governor’s Cheddar rounded out the experience.
Audrey, a lawyer by day, left us with two tips. “Saison is up and coming”, and to “buy low, sell high.”
Armed with four types of icing, three sugar cookie shapes, and a variety of sprinkles the Highstreet team was ready to compete for the best dressed cookie. Hosted by Lindsay through CookiesToDecorate.com, the team was instructed to leave their icing at room temperature and prior to decorating, massage the icing to ensure a smooth piping experience. The three main steps to decorating your cookies are to make an outline and let it dry, flood the rest of the space with icing, and finally use a toothpick to spread the icing into any blank areas. After that, its time to make a mess and apply sprinkles.
Lindsay left us with this tip. If you need to take a break from decorating your cookies, “scrape out the icing near the tip with the flat side of a knife and then fold the tip over and secure the tip with a paperclip. You can store it on the counter or in the fridge. Just remember to mix it back up when you’re ready to start again!”
Charitable Wine Tasting
ONEHOPE was the host of this year’s wine tasting event. Located in the hear of Napa Valley, what makes ONEHOPE unique is their dedication to make a difference. To date, they have donated over $8 million to support access to clean water, hunger relief, health research, and education. As a part of this, Highstreet was able to choose what charity our tasting would support. We are dedicated to make our community a beautiful place to live. So, Highstreet’s holiday wine tasting event supported Keep America Beautiful, an organization focused on environment preservation and recycling programs.
However, the mission wasn’t the only great thing ONEHOPE offered. With four bottles of wine on the menu, it was a delicious, mission-driven event. As Kristina led us through the tasting, she also tested our knowledge of wine. Did you know a cork can exit a champagne bottle at 55 MPH? Jenn Downing sure did. What are the three elements of wine tasting? “Sip, swirl smell!” Robbie de Leur told us.
As we tasted the sparkling white, rose, Sauvignon Blanc, and red blend, Kristina told us the key to wine tasting is holding the wine in your mouth. After three to five seconds the wine has had enough time to coat the entirety of your mouth. We’ll be sure to keep that in mind for the next bottle of wine!
Highstreet’s team in India gathered together to celebrate on the 17th of December. They each received a personalized goodie box that had cookies, cake, candy, candles, Christmas decorations, and a personalized mug. Veena, Highstreet’s Manager of HR Operations and recent Employee of the Quarter, outdid herself in preparing this special event for the team.
Cheers to 2022
Thank you to Veena, Kristina, Lindsay, and Audrey for making Highstreet’s virtual holiday parties a smashing hit. Beer, wine, cookies, and special goodie boxes only elevate this great holiday season and the people we share it with. We are grateful for such a closely knit global community of co-workers to enjoy. Thank you for all your hard work, Highstreet!