Everyone’s gathered in your backyard and ready to enjoy the epic flavors of summer. The sun is shining and the grass is green and your nosy neighbor is on vacation (thank goodness). You’ve cued up the playlist with rocking jams, defrosted the meat for grilling, and slathered on the SPF. Still, something’s not right. You forgot to—oh darn it! Whatever that “oops” moment is during your summer soiree, it can be sorted out. Just use this handy guide (and don’t forget to buy extra ice and TP)!
1. Chill a bottle, stat
So you forgot to place the white wine in the fridge before guests arrived? Rookie mistake! Sure, it could take at least an hour to get that bottle down to refreshing temps, but you don’t have time to waste. Instead, grab a paper towel or two and soak it in tap water. Now, wrap the towel around the bottle and fling it into the freezer ASAP. In 20 minutes, you’ll be golden.
Tip: Chill out with complex and unique whites from Chronic Cellars, like their popular 2016 Stone Fox Grenache Blanc/Viognier/Picpoul blend.
2. Tastier meats in a pinch
A pinch of salt really can make your steaks or burgers that much more flavorful. Set your meat out at least 45 minutes ahead of time, allowing the inside to come to room temperature. Now, here’s the real trick. Season your meat with salt and pepper, per usual—but then, return after about ten minutes to see the moisture that has been drawn out to the surface. Now, take a paper towel or clean dish rag and press the meat. Season a second time (you can repeat this a few times; each time you press, you remove some of the seasoning, so don’t worry about overdoing it). This creates a nice dry surface for grilling, which will inspire a browner, crispier crust on those medium rare burgers! Yum.
3. Pick a glass, any glass
Stemware is easily knocked over during a party (it just takes one person with really animated hand gestures to topple it all). Plan ahead and serve stemless glassware, and be sure to offer a distinguishing bauble that will remind your sister not to smear red lipstick all over your boss’s glass.
Tip: DIY your own name tags here.
4. Take the party outside
Sure, holding your own summer party is fun, but wouldn’t it be even easier to allow someone else to take care of the prep and cleanup? Invite your friends to a “summer outing” at a Paso Robles winery, and gather your favorite people in one place (but avoid all the dishes).
Tip: For gourmet burger summer Sundays, meet up at Lone Madrone and enjoy the panoramic countryside views with friends, along with a glass of Neil’s stellar wine or cider. (Neil won winemaker of the year 2015 – honored by his peers for his amazing winemaking.)
5. Sharing is caring
So often, we attend parties and enjoy sampling a host of wines (OK, maybe too many wines, to be honest). The next day who remembers what exactly they drank? There’s always such a dizzying array, as guests tend to bring their own bottles, too. This summer, make a point of collecting winery business cards when you’re out and about at different tasting rooms. Bring back the bottles you love best and rest assured knowing your friends will be able to find that perfect viogner when they plan their own get together. It’s just the right thing to do!
Tip: With plenty of crowd-pleasing red blends perfect for barbecue paring, head to Vines on the Marycrest for wine that’s well worth sharing.
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.