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At last, the weather is responding to the calendar and temperatures are rising, friends are calling and parties are being planned. I for one, love this time of year since I get to explore new wines for parties and gatherings. Wines that will excite your guests without breaking the bank!

Here is a wine I love, perfect for drinking now that is under $15 a bottle! It has lots of character and will pair perfectly with the fun summer dishes you enjoy most. I have also included my favorite go to order when I am having guests at the apartment – Cow Girl Creamery!



WINEBERRY, Baronne Du Chatelard Borgoune Blanc 2009

Now I know what you are thinking…my god is she suggesting boxed wine? Yes. This wine is surprisingly delicious, fun, and just the right price to lubricate a small gathering of friends. The Wineberry holds 4 bottles of wine in one of these little boxes! That’s enough for a small dinner party or picnic, easily. The wooden construction of the box acts as a thermal case and the bottom slides open to reveal an ice pack to keep it chilled if you are on the go. The wine inside is well-balanced, bright, fresh, delicious and if I might say, a perfect summer go-to for me. And if all that isn’t impressive enough the price was $48 for this magic box wine. That’s $12 per bottle! When you are done drinking all the wine, recycle the plastic bladder and reuse the box as a bird house!



So I have been ordering from Cowgirl Creamery for years both for my own parties and those I have hosted up in Napa. This company has the best cheeses and service. I most often order the “Entertainers package” or “just the cheese” package for dinner parties and events. It’s so much cheese, charcuterie and crackers that I usually just buy some seasonal fruits and honey to pair with it. Trust me, it feeds a lot of people… Thankfully the lovely ladies as cowgirl deliver since we don’t have one of their shops in Manhattan. I’ve included the link for you to check it out for yourselves. (But don’t hold me responsible if you order the cheese of the month club shipment…it’s amazing!)

One of the greatest ways to set up your cheese plate is to do it with a cheese board or butcher block. I use my pizza boards since they have a handle and are lighter than my butcher block. Serve the cheese room temperature with baguette, crackers or just charcuterie and a little bowl of fruit or olives. That’s all you need.

So there you have it, a guide to what to serve for quick Napa Style parties this summer. Amazing wine, good food and friends. Just remember, “wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.” André Simon

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