July 17, 2013
This season, create the perfect patio event with the help of Missouri wines. The summer months provide the ideal opportunity to host a fun, open-air gathering for you and your friends. All you need is a cozy outdoor setting, a delicious menu and the fabulous guests. Follow the simple steps below and you’re on your way to the savviest summer affair of the season!
The first step is to decide what type of event you would like to have. Your patio-perfect shindig can be a relaxed get-together with wine and desserts, a traditional barbecue, or a picnic-style potluck. Plan ahead; consider the guest list, budget and any potential time limitations. Maybe develop a theme for the evening. Some ideas include a “brown bag” blind tasting event (ask guests to bring a bottle of their favorite Missouri wine), or a regional theme in which wines from a specific area of the state, such as Augusta, Hermann or Ste. Genevieve, are highlighted. Play a wine-themed movie in the background for added ambiance.
When and Where?
Because the later summer months can be hot, it is a good idea to host your event in the evening hours when the temperature will be more comfortable. Next, decide where your guests will munch and mingle (the deck or backyard?). Be sure there are chairs available or spread blankets around the backyard in case anyone wants to take a seat. Light citronella candles to keep bugs at bay. You may also want to consider a “plan b” if it rains by either moving the celebration inside or to a public location with a shelter.
Food and Drink
Your menu can help set the mood of your gathering. A simple menu, like these snazzy finger foods, conveys a relaxed mood, while a more elaborate dinner menu suggests a bit of a fancier affair. Or serve some of these desserts paired with dessert wines or other sweet Missouri wines. Be creative! Setup a drink station with glasses and various Missouri wines to encourage guests to socialize and try different food and wine combinations. For easy added flare, freeze grapes and place in wine glasses to keep wine cold.
Keep in mind these other basic food and wine pairing tips:
- Serve Vignoles with spicy dishes and fruity desserts.
- Vidal Blanc pairs well with seafood and poultry.
- Serve Traminette with full-flavored foods, and foods with a little spice.
- Chardonel complements richer seafood dishes.
- Catawba pairs well with fruit and desserts.
- Chambourcin pairs well with barbecue, pork and pasta dishes.
- Norton complements red meats and smoked meats.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun! Once your plan is in place, you can relax and enjoy your get-together along with your guests. Cheers!