Culinary and entertaining tips to make your next gathering a success!
Romance in a Glass
If you haven't gotten the notion of blissful romance lately, pick up any bottle of wine and start reading the preface of flavors listed on the label. Rich, velvety, tobacco, smoky, delicate, floral, dewy. Dewy?? Yes, I went there! In the mood yet? You may very well feel a little intimidated with all adjectives listed on the label, but discovering different wines can be an exhilarating experience for the seasoned wine enthusiast or the amateur wine taster alike. I like to think this is just another great excuse to entertain with friends! Here's a few "notes" to help you host a wine tasting party worthy of every sip, swirl and clink!
1. Bring on the bubbly! I love sparkling wine and I am truly a fan of starting all gatherings with some version of bubbles. That recognizable sound of the cork bursting from the bottle and noted clinks of glasses always signal a celebration. Your guests are remarkably more chatty when you practically force them to salute with a glass! Bubbles not only open up conversation among guests, but also opens the palate for other wine you may be serving during your gathering. There are so many sparkling wines that are available now such as Prosecco and Cava, but if your budget allows, French Champagne is a great way to treat your guests. My go-to is a California sparkling Shramsberg Blanc de Noirs! Usually under $40 at the grocery and oh so good!
2. Sharing is caring! Invite guests to bring a bottle to share at the tasting. White, red, any varietal, any region of the world, organic, unoaked; there are so many options you can learn about. Make it interesting by covering the labels on each bottle and number them. Have guests jot down their own notes about each numbered wine as they taste. Compare notes after revealing the label and let the fun begin. I keep a wine journal I purchased off Etsy to keep up with my favorites and this also makes a great parting gift for guests to take away from the event.
3. Don't forget the tummy! There is something to be spoken about the marriage of a fabulous glass of wine when it is paired with the perfect nibble. It can send the tastebuds into overdrive and bring out the layers of flavors in the wine on a entirely new level. There are tons of great websites to help you pair wine with food. The possibilities are endless but I say, you can never go wrong with cheese, which happens to be the most common pairing for tasting wine with food. I absolutely adore artisanal and specialty cheeses accompanied with fresh seasonal fruit slices such as apples and pears, fruit compotes or chutneys, and raw nuts. Create a cheeseboard that is unique to you and viola, wine soiree success!
CHEERS and remember to please drink responsibly!