If you’re like me, the first day of summer is unofficially in the late part of May and stretched into the mid part of September before football tailgates start. It doesn’t follow a traditional seasonal calendar schedule, but in my mind, they are the unofficially official range of summer dates. There are a range of things I love to do in the summer and one of my favorites is hosting outdoor dinner parties. Now that we have an outdoor patio to use, I can foresee a lot of dinner soirees being hosted out there. If you’re planning a dinner party in the near future, I’m partnering with Cakebread Cellars to share a few tips on why you should host a BYOB dinner party this season.
BYOB Dinner Parties Enable You to…
Focus more on the menu.
Planning a dinner party is stressful enough, and to add an alcoholic component on that it makes it even more stressful. Suppose your guests don’t enjoy a certain variety of wine that you’re serving, it could throw off their own experience. If you request guests to Bring Your Own Beverage, they’ll have more control over what they want to drink and you’ll have a larger opportunity to focus on the menu items your serving.
My go to at a BYOB dinner party, like at No.ninetytwoatl’s Pop Up dinner was Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve because of it’s fresh, creamy finish that goes with a myriad of dishes. The citrus and melon flavors really amplified our starters of fresh seafood.
Plan a creative menu and release it to your guests beforehand.
Half the fun of planning a dinner party is planning the menu. If you ask your guests to bring a bottle of their own to drink, make sure you release the menu to them beforehand. If your guests know what they are eating at dinner they’ll be able to plan for the proper wine pairing throughout. Encourage your guests to bring a bottle of white and a bottle of red. At our dinner pop up, we brought a bottle of Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve and Cakebread Merlot. Typically a multi-course meal will move from lighter to heavier meals. When that happens, you want to switch from a lighter to heavier wine.
The Chardonnay paired excellently with our first two courses, the scallop crudo in asparagus crema and the braised collard green salad with roasted beets. The freshness of the scallop crudo with the bitterness of asparagus was heightened by the citrusy flavors of the Chardonnay. When we moved on to the heavier courses, the chicken confit and spring veggies in a tomato sauce, the merlot with its lush red and black cherry notes paired nicely against the savory skin of the chicken confit.
Take the Burden off of Constantly Refreshing Wine Glasses.
As any good hostess knows, she should always be ready to excuse herself from a meal to make sure that her guests have a properly filled glass of wine. If you request your guests to BYOB, they will typically be responsible for refilling their own glass. There will be no awkward presumptions about whether or not someone would like another glass because they will have the opportunity to fill at their own will. I recommend having white wine chillers and wine coasters ready to keep your guests wine well attended while they are drinking it. White wine chillers can come in different forms through a traditional ice bucket, a corksicle, or even these new wine tumblers that chill the outside of your bottle. For red wine, make sure you have a coaster and a kitchen towel to catch any stray drips that may happen from pouring a glass.
If you don’t want to host a BYOB dinner party, I recommend having two types of wine on hand for your guests: a light white that is agreeable for all palettes like a Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay and a medium-bodied red like a Cakebread Cellars Merlot. Both of these varietals are sure to keep your guests happy throughout the meal.
Thanks to Cakebread Cellars for providing product and inspiration for this post.