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Spice Up the Evening with a Wine Party

By Kimberly Wilson

Single? Stop drinking wine by yourself – that’s how rumors get started.

Married? Drinking wine at dinner is so last year.

It’s time to throw a party, wine country style way. Invite over a couple of friends for good wine, good food, and good ol’ fashioned fun. Check out the suggestions below for making sure your first, second, and 50th party is not a dud.

WINE
Pick an assortment of wines to please any palate. Go to popular stores BevMo or World Market for low to medium priced wines. Raid your personal cellar (or in my case, the closet) for two or three reserve wines. Taking out your absolute best is up to personal discretion, but don’t blame me if you regret wasting that 1997 Cab on friends who would have been just as happy with 2 Buck Chuck wine. Below are some standards I always like to share:

  • 2005 Beringer Blass Chardonnay
  • 2005 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2002 Stags Leap Viognier
  • 2003 Sterling Vineyards Sangiovese
  • 2001 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2001 Ravenswood Zinfandel
  • 2004 Navarro Vineyards White Riesling
  • 2005 Robert Mondavi Winery Moscato d'Oro
  • Domaine Chandon Brut Classic

FOOD
Don’t stress yourself out with hours and hours of food preparation. Cooking sweethearts like Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart get paid – you and I don’t! However, I am not endorsing you go cheap. If you are not a chef by heart, plan a day to pick up supplies from the bakery, the butcher, specialty/and the local farmer’s market. Listed below are just some of the essentials.
  • Meats –roasted chicken, roasted Pork Loin, smoked salmon, salami, proscuitto
  • Cheeses – cream havarti, Monterey jack, Belgium brie, smoked cheddar
  • Fruits – Fugi & Jonagold apples, bosc & red pears, dried pears, raspberries, blackberries
  • Breads – sourdough baguettes, French bread baguettes
  • Jams & Jellies – boysenberry or plum
  • Fresh Herbs (Whole Leaf) – Basil and Cilantro
  • Vegetables – tomato, cucumber, bell pepper
  • Desserts – whatever your heart desires

MUSIC
Start the party with the smooth sounds of jazz, and then maybe graduate into your favorites whatever they may be – pop, rock, country, and R&B. As the night wears on and laughter fills the air, let Justin Timberlake move your body to the beats of bringing “Sexy Back”.

TWIST & TIP
Don’t pigeon yourself into thinking wine parties are only a night thing. Have a brunch and pop open some of the bubbly!

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