Everyone looks forward to the first party invite of the holiday season, so why not start the trend? Now is the perfect time to gather friends and celebrate before the festivities truly kick off. With the weather getting cooler, you can create a beautiful atmosphere with a cozy fireplace, flickering votives and a dazzling cocktail party menu.

When it comes to event planning, my best advice is: less is more. We all love to feed our guests, but consider quality over quantity. I like to prepare a few elegant appetizers and serve them with well-matched wines. I then fill in the gaps with light snacks, such as roasted nuts, dried fruits and warm olives with rosemary. For a sweet treat, I opt for desserts that are petite and easy to eat, like chocolate truffles, French macaroons or mini cupcakes. 

If you’re not a chef or sommelier, food and wine pairings can feel overwhelming. There’s a subtlety and nuance to striking the right flavor balance. The good news is, you came to the right blog! I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the best wines in the country, and I work closely with a vineyard in Napa Valley. Below, I’m sharing my all-time favorite food and wine pairings to help you get the party started!  

Cocktail Party Menu

Champagne with Spinach and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms
Savory mushrooms pair well with this crisp glass of bubbly. Pull out the flutes and welcome your guests in style. 

Sauvignon Blanc with Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado Cups
This light, earthy wine works in perfect harmony with pops of citrus. I think of this as my elegant twist on a seafood taco. 

Cabernet with Beef Tenderloin Crostini and Horseradish Crema
Cabernets long for foods that are high in salt and fat, making this the ultimate flavor combination. It’s bold yet chic, and true crowd-pleaser. 

Can I help you? I specialize in hosting food and wine pairings, and can put together a spectacular cocktail party for you and your guests. Contact me—and be sure to download 5 Reasons You Should Keep Calm and Hire a Caterer to learn more about my stress-free services. Plus, receive a special gift when you book your party before 12/31/16!