Monday Night Dinner and Wine Parties with Architect Carlo Calma

    A dinner set-up for a select wine club held in a home Carlo designed

    Architect Carlo Calma is part of an intimate wine club that hosts dinners on the first Mondy of each month. Members of the club take turns as host who each execute a distinct theme, wine selection and location. When it was Carlo’s turn, he decided to organize a dinner in a home he had just recently designed inside a gated village in Makati. “I like to host in different special locations. I like to entertain also in places that I built and designed. I also like hopping in different houses when other people host because it quenches my curiosity to see how people live, inherent taste and their bespoke lifestyles,” he shares.

    Initially, the plan was to do a wine crawl. “I had two houses that I designed that were back to back and fronting each other. I wanted to have cocktails in one house then have dinner at the other. In the end, because of the schedule of the owners of the houses – I was able to do it only in one house—the one inspired by Brutalism,” he discloses. “I picked this location because most of the people in the group are avid art enthusiasts and I was looking for a theme to link architecture and wine—we picked wines from the Rioja region (Roda 1 and Toro) that are awarded wines but also has winery done by famous architects.”

    Carlo is inclined to entertain according to groups. He has a guest list comprised of art enthusiasts and another who enjoys fine wines, just to name a few. On occasion, he would mix things up and allow a variety of interesting personalities to gather and make new acquaintances.   “My normal guest list I think is a mixture of different people in different fields but are like-minded and could have a good energy and conversation.”

    Elements of surprise are things that distinguish Carlo’s dinners. He has thrown soirees where a magician, tarot card reader, burlesque performer and a tango dancer were present to provide entertainment. His goal when gathering friends around the table is not just to share in a good meal and fine spirits, but create enjoyable memories. “I’m happy when everyone is having a good time.”


    Unique Elements For Entertaining

    1. Create a guest list comprised of interesting individuals. An art enthusiast, wine connoisseur, designer and foodie, when gathered around the table can engage in lively exchange of ideas. Carlo adds, “When hosting a dinner I just always prefer to do a casual fun dinner – good food, overflowing booze, good mix of people with interesting conversations.
    2. Location is key. Venue and how it is set up with establish the mood of any event. Carlo applies his design savvy in the creation of unique floral arrangements and tablescapes. His access to beautiful homes also allows him to pick out unorthodox locations. It is also not always necessary to have just one location as in the case of a wine crawl. Interactive parties always enhance the dinning experience. “I try to curate a fun atmosphere.”
    3. Keep guests guessing. Carlo’s trademark is throwing in a surprise element or two. Include magicians, musicians, tarot card readers, illustrators or dancer in the evening’s program. Depending on the theme, there is are limitless ways to take fun a notch higher.


    Text by Cheryl Tiu 


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