Even before ABC’s “Cougar Town” became so popular, I knew that enjoying a glass of good wine was a popular American pasttime. We may not all look like Courtney Cox (seriously…this woman is 47 years old with upper arms and stomach muscles that tight?!?!!), but we can sure put on a wine tasting party to rival any neighborly fete her character, Jules, could.
Spring is the perfect time to try new wines that will accompany your warm weather meals and desserts. A wine tasting party needn’t run you to the poor house, either. Ask your guests to bring along a bottle of their favorite, put some good cheese, breads, fruits, olives and desserts out for them to sample, and you’ve got yourself a smashing springtime soirée.
(Click on any photo to enlarge!)
This is buffetscape #2 created for my first “Art of Tablescaping – Buffet Styling” class back on March 6. I started with a full-length white linen topped with a deep yellow bird & branch covered topper placed on the diagonal. (See the topper used on a dining table for a sit-down meal HERE.)
The 2-tier wrought iron and wood stand is great for displaying whole fruits for guests’ enjoyment. An assortment of cheeses and olives are presented on a wine barrel Lazy Susan from Pottery Barn. Olives are scooped into Pier 1 white poppy serving bowls, and varietal breads are piled into a long linen-lined basket.
A 2-tiered wrought iron stand from Traditions in downtown Lee’s Summit, Mo., balances out the tall fruit display on the opposite end of the buffet table. Displaying the plates here puts them up high where guests can easily access them. The bird on top peeks out through branches of apple blossoms casually arranged in a white ceramic cylinder.
A wine tasting should always include lots of glasses. (Aw, quit your whining…no pun intended. That’s why dishwashers were invented!) Not only does it look really cool to display lots and lots of stemware, but it provides an opportunity for guests to use a different glass to enjoy the full flavor of each wine. Here, the wines are displayed in the recommended order for tasting starting with the light Pinot grigio, moving on to the heavier, more full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, and finishing with sweet dessert wines. Appropriately sized and shaped glasses are used for each.
I was so lucky to get these fun wine butlers from Bombay Company just before they closed their storefronts. They are a terrific way to showcase the wines up for tasting. Even though Bombay Company is no longer around, try places like Kirkland’s or specialty wine shops for something similar.
Please be sure to join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday starting at 9:00am (CDT)! Ooohhh…and don’t forget that many of my fellow bloggers from around the world are showing off their most festive Irish tablescapes at Cuisine Kathleen’s 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl starting March 13! You won’t want to miss either of these great blog parties!
Not to take anything away from anyone else, but I honestly think I have the best neighbors in the world. They are kind-hearted, generous of spirit, supportive, talented, and an absolute hoot to boot. When I asked my next-door-neighbors to the east of us if I could borrow their tree-filled back yard for a photo shoot, they generously obliged and even helped out with the 7-hour process. The lady of the house pitched in with styling the table, and the neighbors behind us came over to help with breaking it all down. Such sweethearts!!!
After all that work, we deserved a good meal and a crisp, refreshing glass of September wine!
Given the sultry temps we continue to experience in the Midwest, it’s hard for me to break out the pumpkins just yet. This late summer/early autumn tablescape (what I like to call “summer adjacent”!) has rich, deep hues tempered by creamy ivory in the full-length underlay, background of the overlay (a 6-yard length of fabric purchased from a remnant table several years ago), candles and other tabletop elements.
No charger used here so as to allow more of the overlay design to show. Clear glass dinner and salad plates from Bed, Bath & Beyond are the perfect choice to do just that! Clear chargers – perhaps with a colored edge – would work great here if you have them.
Click here to see another fun way to use clear glass plates.
Two-tone cotton napkins from Pier 1 are folded to expose a generous portion of both colors thanks to my neighbor, Barbara, who also nailed the placement of the napkins on the plate. The menu is simply deep ivory lightweight cardstock embellished with grape clusters that pick up the pattern & color in the overlay. Leaves I plucked from Barbara’s sycamore tree resemble a grape leaf.
Lightweight and versatile faux mother of pearl flatware from Target.
The much-maligned clear glass hurricane sleeve is actually one of my best decorating friends. I have them in various sizes, and I find they can dress a table up in a heartbeat. Here a mix of 24″H and 17″H hurricanes from Pottery Barn create the desired high/low look. The 2 outside hurricanes are placed in huge metal-banded wooden bowls that are filled with fruits and a profusion of faux leaves that mimic the design in the fabric overlay. Centerpieces using fruit continue to be a favorite of mine for autumn tablescaping. (These black seedless grapes from Costco were inexpensive and SO tasty!!!) An ivory pillar candle elevated on a bronze candlestick provides a subtle glow.
Click here for “Simply Bittersweet”, another table using varied hurricane sizes.
Wines are displayed on a wine barrel Lazy Susan from Pottery Barn.
Suggested chairs for this table: dark wood chiavaris with an ivory pad.
Check out “Brilliant Italian” for another wine-inspired tablescape!
I’ll be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for the 160th Tablescape Thursday, and I hope you will, too!