(BPT) - This season holiday entertaining will be back in full swing with everything from guest-filled open houses and large family gatherings to big, festive parties expected to make a comeback.
For those of us looking to brush up our entertaining skills as we head into the most festive time of the year, renowned chef and entertaining expert Ashton Keefe has some advice for hosting the perfect holiday get-together. She says the foundation for a great event often starts with the wine selection.
“The goal is to offer a selection that appeals to everyone’s tastes,” Keefe says. “By the time the holidays roll around what your guests want is a great glass of wine, a few satisfying cheese and charcuterie boards — and merriment!”
Keefe recommends always having at least two white and two red options for guests along with a sparkling wine. “For white you can’t go wrong with a hearty chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc for zippy acidity. When it comes to red, I always go pinot noir or a lighter, perhaps chilled red, like Beaujolais and then a big bold cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux,” she says. “You can also explore new options with a few unexpected bottles in the mix for people to try, and don’t forget to provide low- or no-alcohol choices too,” she advises.
For those who might be worried about having to open too many bottles or wasting those that aren’t finished, a wine-by-the-glass system like Coravin provides the perfect solution. Their range of systems allow you to pour a glass from any bottle and preserve remaining wine for weeks, months or even years.
When it comes to selecting your wine, Keefe says don’t worry about having to be an expert yourself or spending a lot of money. “I always say if you have no idea what to serve, just ask! Your local wine shop can provide wine options that work with any budget. And investing in a Coravin means you don’t have to worry about wasted wine — or splurging on a few bottles to try — because you’ll always be able to save whatever’s left for your next party.”
Another tip Keefe has for this time of year: Embrace color. “This is such a festive season with a rich palette to play with, from room décor to table settings and even gifting.” Keefe’s a fan of the new limited edition Coravin Gemstone Collection, which features the popular Timeless Six+ model in shimmering Anthracite, Deep Emerald and Dark Amethyst, all with striking gold accents.
“We’re all so happy and grateful to be back to holiday parties in full swing,” says Keefe, “and at the end of the day the most important thing is celebrating with friends and family.”