Wine. Patio. Entertain.

August 27, 2015

With August nearing to an end, I cannot help but think of my favorite time of year - Fall! 
Or at least, the lead-up to it. There is just something about late Summer and early Fall that makes me feel complete.  In my world, its a time of winding down, entertaining more, and relaxing after a satisfying wedding season. I enjoy evenings on the patio with bottles of wine (errr glasses of wine), charcuterie plates, and great times socializing with loved as the sun sets and cool breezes wrap me up in starry nights. I love every moment of this time of year.

 Perhaps its the wine?

Wine season is nearly upon us!
So in celebration of the fabulous late summer nights that lay ahead with lots of sipping on wine, I thought I would post some of my favorite tips that will have you entertaining neighbors, family, and friends with ease!

1. ) Getting Corked!
If you've ever had a fabulous bottle of delicious adult-friendly grape juice and been without a corkscrew, your world can feel like its falling apart. Before you fall into a 'winey' (whiney) tantrum, use this amazing tip to pop that cork and let the lucious liquid pour! This is a great tool or just even a fun party trick to entertain guests.


2) Set the Mood
Forgo the patio laterns when the light fades, and instead wow your guests with these easy candle decor accents...

Your local craft supplier will likely sell glass bottle cutters - a contraption that fits into the mouth of a wine bottle and braces against the side, allowing you to score the bottle evenly. I purchased one at Michaels for roughly $30 ..and with a 40% off coupon, it was a very reasonable investment.

Read the instructions, but here are my tips:

a) score around the bottom edge of your bottle
b) swirl the bottom of bottle in softly boiling water (not a hard boil)...for 11 seconds
c) immediately swirl bottom of bottle in cold water... for 11 seconds

d) repeat until the bottom of the bottle falls off on its own. I find it usually works on the 3rd round. 



3) Nibble It!
char·cu·te·rieˌSHärˈko͞odərē - cold cooked or prepared meat products,
More and more lately the term charcuterie is used to describe a delicious plate of meats, cheeses, and other nibbles perfect for snacking on with a glass of wine. Whatever you put on your platter, keep it simple. There is no need for fuss as long as its noshy bits that you enjoy eating.

My favorite must-haves on nibble platters are as follows:
- dried, cured meats (such as salamis)

- smoked gouda, havarti, and/or brie. Sometimes a nice hunk of feta works well too!
- strawberries and grapes

- bread (I like a toasted focaccia) and rustic crackers

- Olives

- Hummus (you can buy it easily enough, but I like to make my own simply by throwing a can of drained chickpeas in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the packing juice, 1/8 cup or olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a couple cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of tahini, and 1 teaspoon of salt). It takes 5 minutes and blends up smoothy while you unwrap the meats and cheeses for your platter.

And there you have it, a simple 1-2-3 guide to perfect patio wine-ter-taining this season.














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