It’s just about that time of year – you know – the time where backyard (or balcony!) get together’s become all the rage as we attempt to soak in all the vitamin C we possibly can before it’s gone again. When you think of planning an ultimate soirée that’ll impress friends and not break the bank, it can get a little stressful. From 15 ingredient cocktails, to decor, to finger foods that cost an arm and a leg, these don’t have to be a reality. Keep it simple with wine but push the limit with these tips from Amanda Herrell, Beverage Director for ENO Wine Room. Amanda shares her expertise with us, so be sure to take photos at your summer soirée using the hashtag #BingeAndSoiree!
For the ultimate summer soirée, choose a lineup of wines that includes a mix of light reds and whites — such as Frappato (Red from Sicily) and Prokupac (Red from Serbia) or Muscadet, Chenin Blanc, & Provence Rosé, — to cater to a variety of palates. Small bites such as oysters and salumi are perfect for any outdoor party. As for cheeses, try to pair the region of your cheese with the region of your wine. Stock up on a range of different ages, and be sure to have a balance of soft and hard cheeses. Chevre de Muscadet, Pecorino Romano Fulvi, Foglie di Noce, La Tur, and Cambozola Bleu Cheese pair excellently with the suggested wines.
When it comes to prep for your soirée, stick all of your wine in buckets (all of the aforementioned reds should be served with a bit of a chill on them)! Assuming your gathering is outdoors, you’ll want them to be chilled throughout the whole party. Stick the bottles in ice around a half hour before guests show up, and you should be good to go!
A final tip: go to your local wine shop and talk to them about what you like! They are there to help you find your favorite wines! Be open minded to unique varietals and regions—there’s a world of wine to taste — often yielding some excellent values.