Who says you can’t entertain on a weeknight? We just did, and quite successfully I might add. 🙂 I had tried forever to schedule a wine tasting and tapas party with 2 very busy couples. After a last-minute conflict cancelled our late October plans, we agreed to try for a weeknight, and it finally happened! If you love to entertain, and busy weekend schedules just don’t “sync,” you might try planning a weeknight gathering. Your guests may thank you.
The key to successful weeknight entertaining lies in the planning. Invite your guests to contribute to a fun and casual menu… a tapas menu. Webster defines “Tapa” as “an hors d’oeuvre served with drinks especially in Spanish bars —usually used in plural.” Helpful? Probably not to all of you. I define tapas as “small plates,” or small bites served on small plates. Of course at Andersen casa, the tapas will be served with really good wine and/or beer.
The occasion for last night’s gathering was to share wine tasting with the couple to our right in the photo above. They began making wine in 2012, after they enjoyed our own Doc’s Folly label wine. Tessa and Ryan brought their Chianti, and a California Trinity Red Blend; we contributed our Doc’s Folly White Merlot and Barolo. We put the menu together by instant message on Facebook. The only requirement was that it be a finger food that fit on a small plate, and would be complemented by one of the wines.
We enjoyed an amazing and varied “spread.” We started with honey crisp apples and salted caramel apple dip, and our White Merlot – a lovely, fruity (not sweet) sipping wine. We enjoyed pumpkin chevre sandwiched between sliced croissants (not low calorie :-)), biscochitos, and brie with pear and Craisin® compote. There was only a bit of “method to our madness” as we sipped the Chianti with bruschetta, baguette, olives, homemade pesto and tomatoes, etc. Last, but of course not least, we dug in to my homemade elk sausage, roasted potato wedges, grilled zucchini, and Aioli 3 Ways. The Barolo and Red Blend paired well with the stronger flavors. (Click here for a recipe for Aioli 3 Ways.)
We kept the menu simple, and the “work” was divided among many hands. This approach worked well on a weeknight. Each guest was able to decide what to make given his/her own schedule, and as hostess, I was relaxed and able to enjoy my guests. I’d say this was a “win win”…