An Impromptu Summer Terrace Party

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
Wine Feature Photo

Photo: Emily Long

A few weeks ago, Quarterlette threw an impromptu terrace party.  Ok, it wasn’t completely impromptu…we planned a little and sought advice from wine expert Charlotte, as well as designer and foodie friends, but we didn’t put a lot of time or money into the preparation. We wanted a simple, carefree, easy-to-execute party on a rooftop and luckily, we had a friend who was gracious enough to let us take over his rooftop for the evening.

We hope you enjoy the below tips from Charlotte and photos from our event and feel inspired to create your own little impromptu gathering!

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Summer may be wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean the party is over.  No matter the reason to celebrate a birthday, a promotion, or just a warm Tuesday evening, here are my thoughts on having an impromptu summer terrace party:

Décor: Being outdoors doesn’t require much in the way of decoration but there are simple steps you can take to jazz up an outdoor space to make your guests feel like you’ve been planning this party for months.

Frist, for an easy way to dress up the party is to keep a stash of cute paper napkins with matching paper plates to set the mood, plus who doesn’t like a quick and fast clean up as well?! Second, pick up some fresh flowers and place them in water glasses for your terrace table or place them in vases along the corners of the roof or balcony. Lastly, be prepared for when the sun sets, drape your balcony or rooftop with twinkle lights for when the darkness falls.

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Glassware: Another way to style a party is glassware. But the number one rule here is, don’t stress it! Whatever you’ve got will work just fine! Plastic stemware, stemless wine glasses, or water glasses. Whatever your vessel, rock it. No need to get fancy or require hours of washing up after an impromptu party.

Music: Songza is a great app I just discovered and works on all mobile devices including your computer. Playlists are organized by your mood or activity. They even have a “Casual Dinner Party” and a “Barbecuing” themed playlists!

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Food and Wine Pairings: The key here is to keep it simple and ask for help. No one needs to spend hours over a steaming stove in 100 degree weather. Take advantage of grocery stores well stocked with tasty pre-pared and semi-prepared foods. Whole Foods and Traders Joes are two great examples, who could ask for a better sous chef?!

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The Wines:

1) 2010 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc. Retail $35.00

Made from Chardonnay grapes, this bubbly wine tastes of grapefruit, lemon, along with a tangy toast and slight minerality and will compliment your inner effervescences as the sun sets.

*Recommended pairing: Cheese platter which includes both hard and soft cheeses and fresh bread. Chocolate covered strawberries are also a great pairing with this sparkling wine.

2) 2012 Hess Collection Grüner Veltliner, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley.  Retail $28.00.

An outstanding and refreshing wine from Napa valley full of flavors like green melon, apple, flint, crisp citrus minerality, peach, lemon, and lime.

*Recommended Pairing: Mixed green salad with apple slices, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries and dressed with vinaigrette.  Toss together and add salt and pepper to taste.

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3) 2012 Red Car Bybee Vineyard, Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma Coast. Retail $25.00.

A zippy, dry rosé tasting of white peach, wild strawberry, rose petals, and finishing with a tart acidity will be sure to have you feel like the ocean breeze has descended upon you.

*Recommend Pairing: Grilled chicken, arugula, cucumber, heirloom tomato and quinoa salad. Season and grill chicken breasts on BBQ or indoor grill pan. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Chop cucumber and tomatoes and toss with arugula. Mix in chicken and quinoa once cooked. Dress with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

4) 2011 Moschofilero, Bosinakis Mantinia $24.00

A native grape to Greece, this unique wine was made for summer! Flavors of citrus, grass, rose petal, and minerality. This light wine packs a long finish framed by a bright acidity.

*Recommended Pairing: Hummus, tzatziki and pitas, dolmas and let’s not forget the roasted eggplant. All of which can be picked up premade.

5) 2011 Brancott Estate Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand. Retail $28.00

This young and bright pinot is a summertime red wine drinker’s savour. If you are anything like me, I prefer chilled wines in the summer to keep cool but I often miss the flavors of big bold reds. This lighter red wine has characteristics of a heavier red and won’t leave you feeling deprived of your beloved red wine during the heat of summer. Flavors of bright cherry, clean, tart raspberries, and silky tannins to finish.

*Recommended Pairing: Bagel chips topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon garnished with chopped chives.

Enjoy and Cheers to a rockin’ summer!

Santé!

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All of you in the New York area (and those wishing to come visit!) are welcomed to join Quarterlette & Wine with Kristen for a special Wine Club with the ladies over at Uplift.  We’ll be combining two very important evening activities – working out and sipping wine.  Click here to learn more!

Photo Source: All photos were taken by Emily Long

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