The unofficial start to summer is finally here and I can think of no better way to celebrate that a little outdoor entertaining. To me, summer is full of slow evenings full of friends, food, and plenty of wine to go around.
Last week, I hosted an impromptu get together which turned out to be one of my favorite parties we’ve had in a while. One person stopped by for a glass of wine, then another friend drove by and stopped at the sight of our cars, then more heard of the gathering and drove over. A few elements went into making it so memorable.
First, the wine. I have always been a sucker for Pinot Noir because it’s so drinkable and for guests who have varying taste, it usually pleases all palettes. It has a nice texture and is fruit forward, but still has a slightly tannic structure, which I love. Pinot Noir is also amazingly easy to pair with food. The fruity notes lends it well to pair with fresh veggies and mild cheeses, but the underlying spiciness means that it stands up next to seared steaks or roasted veggies.
The second thing that made this party a success was the easy menu - since it allowed for me to actually be part of the party. Novel idea, right? For this party, I used those key thoughts from the wine above to throw together a snacky menu from things I had in the fridge - it was impromptu, after all! Roasted tomatoes were topped onto plain pizza crust and dusted with gruyere cheese and a balsamic glaze to create a beautiful flatbread (recipe here)
I also had two filet mignons on hand (which were the original plan for my husband and I that night), but I sliced them up and stuck them on skewers alongside a horseradish sauce to make them go further. (recipe here)
Lastly, I made a little summer bruschetta by tossing together an arugula salad dressed with cherry balsamic vinaigrette and topped it (along with a healthy slice of parmesan cheese) to some sliced bread. (recipe here)
The decor was so simple too - I just topped our outdoor table with a runner that I’d pulled from my dining table and some potted herbs (stolen from my porch!). A pretty atmosphere, great wine, delicious snacks, and all our friends was the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
For us, this party landed on a Thursday, but the good part is that it’s chic enough to be a main event of the weekend too.
By: Erin Souder- Earnest Home co.