Thanksgiving Week

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Happy Thanksgiving week!  Jake and I took the red eye to New Orleans on Monday night to be here with his family for the holiday and it’s a little different than what we normally do, but I’m happy to be in such an amazing city with loved ones.  I just wanted to pass along the Fall / Winter Entertaining Guide I put together for ONEHOPE in case you were looking for any more recipe ideas for tomorrow.  There are definitely some yummy ones in there so check it out.  All of the images from that shoot can be seen here so be sure to visit there for some more decor tips and ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Meg

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Images by Brian Tropiano.

Pink Party for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Call me #basic, but by the time September rolls around, I’m ready to embrace all things fall.  From autumn inspired recipes, to warm mulled wines, to pumpkins and candles that remind me of fall scents back home in Michigan – I just can’t get enough of my favorite season.  October, however, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it marks the beginning of the most important time of the year for us at work.  Since half the profits from our Chardonnay give back to Gateway for Cancer Research (providing clinical trials to women with breast cancer), just when we’re ready to dive head first into fall, everything turns PINK.

We have a division of our company called Hope at Home which offers at-home wine parties that benefit the cause of your choice with 15% going back to the non-profit of your choice.  As our Art Director, I’m always on the hunt for creative and fun ways for our team to stay inspired and get motivated to throw their own parties – especially during our cause months.  A big challenge for me this year at work was figuring out how to throw a pink party, when everyone wants to curl up with a blanket, drink warm mulled wine and pull out their orange pumpkins and decor.  I poked around the internet for some inspiration and ultimately ended up coming back again and again to a flower arrangement that embraced pink and orange equally.  It was inherently pink but also perfectly fall so I decided to run with it.

Since everything we put together had to be easily replicated by our team members who might not be full fledged floral designers or regular party hosts, I broke it down into three simple DIYS and four food/appetizer ideas that both embrace the fall season and pair wonderfully with our Chardonnay.  The best part of this project (beside seeing it all come together) was definitely trying the recipes.  They were SO good and everyone in the office chowed down while we popped open a few bottles of Chardonnay.  Check out everything below from the DIY and recipes to shots from our own little Pink Party ;-)

PS: If you’re interested in hosting your own PINK party for Breast Cancer Awareness Month or if you’d like to raise money for another cause that you’re passionate about OR if you’d like to make an income while giving back to various causes, please consider Hope at Home :-)

DIY YARN FRINGE BACKDROP

DIY PINK FALL FLORALS

DIY FLORAL ICE CUBES

PINK MARSHMALLOW DIP

PEAR + GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI

BRIE + FIG PASTRY BITES

CHARDONNAY CHEESE PLATE

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CHEERS!

 

 

Fall Entertaining

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Hip hip hooray!  It’s October 1st and I’m so excited to finally get to share the shoot I styled for ONEHOPE’s 2014 Fall Entertaining Guide perfectly captured by Brian Tropiano Photography. At work, I feel like we’re always flying by the seat of our pants and putting together content like this ahead of time has been a struggle.  This year, however, we managed to stay ahead of the game and shot everything in July to use for the remainder of the year.  Trying to determine what is going to be “in” before anything holiday related is even advertised or released in store is tough so instead I just decided to stick with my gut and curate items and elements that I really, truly love.  I wanted the room to feel like a forest so I incorporated a lot of wood textures, ferns, (faux) antlers, geodes and quartz tea lights down the center of the table.  On the wood backdrop behind the wine, was a wreath with an antler to tie the look together with an additional leather fern garland with bistro lights strung above the table.  We brainstormed for days on what to do instead of traditional place cards before we finally decided on stones – gold calligraphy on stones – to keep with the forest theme while adding a touch of elegance to each setting.  The overall messaging behind the day was “Hope, Thanks and Dreams” so Beth hand crafted an amazing dream catcher where guests’ thanks, hopes for the future and dreams were shared and attached with tiny clothes pins.  Menus were printed on archival matte paper with hope, dream or thanks hand inscribed on the top and florals were kept to a minimum with wooden vessels and a casual/handpicked mixture of dahlias, garden roses, viburnum berries, artichokes and greens.

Since the entire purpose of the shoot was to show how to integrate wine into your fall, Thanksgiving or holiday gathering, the day wouldn’t have been complete without some absolutely delicious and gorgeous fare crafted by 24 Carrots Catering.  24 Carrots is one of the biggest catering companies in the business and their food has never, ever disappointed at any event I’ve ever attended.  I was so impressed that they took our direction (a classic Thanksgiving meal) and creatively modernized it a bit while still staying in theme.  For example, I loved the juxtaposition of a modern beet dish served on a raw wood platter that you’ll see below.  Lastly, each of their dishes paired perfectly with one or more of our wines so find pairing suggestions and a few wonderful recipes below!  CHEERS!

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DECOR TIP:  Chairs can make or break a look.  This shoot took place in our conference room and it’s usually filled with white task chairs that are functional for work, but we opted to replace them for this shoot and I’m so happy we did.  Using these metal industrial chairs from Found Rentals kept the look casual, but also uniform, which I loved.

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DECOR TIP:  When designing a table on a budget, not only are garlands beautiful and always on trend, but they’re also the best bang for your buck. Seeded eucalyptus, lemon leaf, leather fern and bay leaf are all great options to consider.  Contact a flower mart or district in your area for bids, but depending on the greens you go with, garlands can run as little as $2.50-$7.00 per foot!

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DECOR TIP:  Menus aren’t always necessary, but they really add to a place setting and are so simple to create.  We whipped this one up Illustrator (but can easily be replicated in MS Word), printed it on nice paper and applied it to a piece of recycled kraft/corrugate paper that we picked up at Michael’s to tie in with the rest of the theme.  Menus are not only great for making pairing suggestions, but they are also the perfect place to tie in your theme or messaging of the evening.  Beth hand wrote thanks, hope or dream at the top of each menu to reiterate why we were all gathered that day.

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DELICIOUS Sauvignon Blanc can be found here.

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Fall-Entertaining-Turkey-2PAIRING NOTES:  Pinot Noir and Turkey are a natural pairing.  The savory herbs and spices on the roasted turkey are complimented by the spice-infused influences of the French oak in our Pinot Noir.

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DECOR TIP:  Since turkey is usually the main food element during Thanksgiving meals, I love that 24 Carrots used this legged platter to give it some height.  Pieces like this are readily available at Cost Plus, Pottery Barn or can be rented for the day from Found Rentals.Fall-Entertaining-Dream-Catcher

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PAIRING NOTES:  The creamy texture and toasted oak notes of our Santa Barbara Reserve Chardonnay pair perfectly with the rich butter and cheddar cheese of this twice baked potato.

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PAIRING NOTES:  Eggs and Pinot Noir are a guilty pleasure not to be missed and Pinot is the perfect partner in crime for ham.

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PAIRING NOTES (recipe below): The rich fruit and lively spice of our Pinot Noir adds some brightness to the earthy quality of these savory vegetables.

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Thyme Infused Roasted Root Vegetables by 24 Carrots Catering

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 lbs mixed root vegetables (we use baby carrots, the smallest parsnips you can find and a mix of yellow and red beets)
Olive oil, to taste
Salt + pepper, to taste

Balsamic Thyme Vinaigrette Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons thyme minced
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons miso paste

Directions

Gently peel the carrots and parsnips. Leave them whole if they are all the same size – if not, chop the larger veggies to equal the size of the smaller ones. Peel and chop the beets into rough cubes, about 1-inch all around.

Place all the vegetables onto a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in a 400°F degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, shaking them periodically for even cooking. Remove from oven when soft, slightly brown and caramelized.

Meanwhile, prepare the balsamic thyme vinaigrette. Place all the ingredients aside from the oil in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine. Season to taste.

Drizzle dressing all over the vegetables to coat, return to the oven and caramelize for five more minutes.

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PAIRING NOTES: The savory, meaty essence of the sausage pairs perfectly with spicy and herbal characteristics of our Zinfandel.

Apple Sage Cornbread Stuffing by 24 Carrots Catering

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

Cornbread, recipe follows
10 slices oven-dried country white bread
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 granny smith apples ¼ inch, diced
1 lb apple sausage
7 cups chicken stock
1 cup Heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoon thyme
5 eggs, beaten

Cornbread Ingredients

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown, then add the celery, onions and apples and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock and cream, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and thyme.

Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish.

Cornbread Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Cranberry Lemon Herb Butter by 24 Carrots Catering

Ingredients

1/4 cup mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cranberries, dried
1 teaspoon cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Chop cranberries then add herbs on a work surface. Add butter cranberry sauce and lemon zest. Finely chop together until well combined. Season with salt.

Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, placing on edge closest to you. Fold paper over and roll into a cylinder, twisting the ends; wrap airtight in foil. Chill until solid.

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DECOR TIP:  Use as many potted plants as possible to achieve your look.  Mixing in small potted ferns, rosemary plants or succulents to your tablescape will keep the look interesting and will also make great favors to your guests.  While fresh cut flowers are always beautiful, they’ll also perish a few days later while a potted plant will flourish and will serve as a happy reminder of your gathering with loved ones.  While not for everyone, trees also make a huge statement.  The cedar tree pictured behind me in the photo below was purchased from a local nursery for $20!  Fall-Entertaining-Beets-3

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PAIRING NOTES: The earthy tones of the beets and the tartness of the goat cheese are complemented by the lush, dark berry fruit of our Cabernet Sauvignon.

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PAIRING NOTES: The candied red fruit characteristics and the bright acidity of our Merlot help cut through some of the richness of this luxurious pie.  The bright acidity and zesty citrus notes of our Sparkling Brut would be a fantastic match for the rich, sweet character of the pie.

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DECOR TIP:  To keep your look interesting and “collected” opt for pieces that still fit your aesthetic, but aren’t too “matchy matchy”.  I love this vintage galvanized pie/cake stand 24 Carrots used for their Pecan Pie.  That tiny hint of metal tied in perfectly with the iron chairs we selected from Found Rentals.

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Photography: Brian Tropiano Photography
Calligraphy & Dream Catcher: Beth Phillips
Rentals: Found Rentals
Linen: La Tavola
Styling, Florals & Decor: Yours truly :-)

Apple Cider Mimosa

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Happy, happy Friday!  I hope you had a wonderful first week of fall – yay!  After a long weekend in Michigan and then a short week of playing catchup from being gone for a few days, I’m more than ready for a weekend at home to do a few projects and test out some new recipes :-)

One of the major things I was hoping to do while visiting the family was to take a trip to the cider mill because those just don’t exist in California.  Unfortunately, while enroute to the mill, it started POURING and we had to turn around and call it a day.  We picked up some fresh apple cider from the market the following morning and whipped these up to sort of ease the blow of not being able to partake in one of my favorite midwestern traditions.  Just in time for the weekend, I wanted to pass along a super fun fall spin on the classic mimosa :-)  They are SO good!  I promise you will love them!

Apple Cider Mimosa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total: 10
Serves: 1

Ingredients

1 tsp brown sugar
1 ounce scotch (optional)
2 ounces fresh apple cider
4 ounces ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
Apple slices for garnish
Caramel sauce & brown sugar for rimming (optional)

Directions

1.  If rimming your flutes, dip the rim of the glass into caramel.  Using a small plate or bowl works best for this.  After coating the rim, dip your glass into brown sugar.
2.  Combine brown sugar, scotch and apple cider in a flute.
3.  Top with ONEHOPE Sparkling wine and garnish with fresh apple slices.

Recipe adapted from here.

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#ONEHOPEHoliday / Snippets from last week…

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Happy, happy Monday!  I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!  Last Wednesday we had our “Christmas in July” / ONEHOPE Holiday shoot for ONEHOPE and the days leading up to it were an absolute blur.  From planning to flower arranging and driving all over LA to pick up rentals, it was a chaotic week!  While I’m glad to have the stress of it behind me, seeing everything come together for just the few hours of shooting sometimes doesn’t feel like enough.  Our table scape ended up being so beautiful that I couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart for a few days… even if it meant we had some wilted dahlias and crispy ferns as eye sores for Thursday and Friday.  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve already seen a few of these, but I just wanted to pass along some snippets of last week.  Can’t wait to share the professional images (hopefully this week) as well as some of the inspiration behind the day :-)

Cheers!

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Blair Bear Turns ONE!

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Happy, happy Monday!  I hope you had a lovely weekend and are ready for the short 4th of July week we have ahead!  Woohoo!

S0… I’ve been dying to share this party!  It’s as cute as can be and was featured on Style Me Pretty Living – pinch me!   The last time I posted, I ran through the steps to create your own tissue paper fringe backdrop that we used for Blair Bear’s Birthday Bash.  It’s one of my favorite DIY’s to date so if you haven’t checked it out yet, head on over here to see :-)  Our EVP of Sales at ONEHOPE is a dear friend (you might remember her from here) and just over a year ago, she welcomed the cutest little girl into the world.  Blair seriously has the absolute biggest personality and I could not wait to help her momma out with her first birthday party.  Tiffany found a Panda Bear print that she loved at the Land of Nod, so we used that for inspiration for the color palate (mint, coral, pink, gold and white) and went from there.  AND, since it happened to be around the same time we were launching our ONEHOPE Mimosa Bar, we decided to use it that day for the adults and set up an almost identical version (minus the bubbly of course) for the little ones.  We created the tissue paper fringe backdrop for the Mimosa Bar and a fun tissue paper pouf version for the juice bar :-)  In all, we had so much fun putting this together and not a single detail was overlooked.  Check it out and view all of the vendors at the end!  Xo

PS: The Mimosa Bar + Bubbly for the party provided over 50 meals to children fighting hunger.  Cheers to that!

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{The happy family! Yay to turning ONE!}
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{Every case of ONEHOPE’s Sparkling wine provides 25 meals to children fighting hunger – so perfect for the adults to enjoy during a kid’s party}

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{Guests mixed and muddled their own mimosas with fruits and juices they loved}
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{BFF mommas with their BFF babes}Mimosa_Bar_Signage-Detail

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{Florals were a mixture of peach garden roses, bright pink ranunculus and tulips, and dusty miller}Lantern_Lights_Outside

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{The juice and snack bar area was a replica of the adult’s Mimosa Bar (minus the champagne).  Kids were able to mix their own fruit juices and grab their favorite sweets and snacks}Outside_Details_Juice_Bar5

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{Oh so thirsty!  Birthdays are hard work :-)}

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{The girls behind the scenes –  Me, Beth, Tiffany and Sabrina}
Vendors/Sources
Mimosa Bar – ONEHOPE Wine
Sparkling – ONEHOPE Wine
Event Design and Florals –
Invitations – Five Two Eight 
Photography – Kylie Chevalier
Desserts – Take Two Etc.
Tissue Paper for fringe, garlands and poms – Koyal
Lanterns – Koyal
Linens – La Tavola

Grapefruit Sangria

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Happy #WineWednesday!!!  I can’t believe the week is halfway over already!  Last weekend was complete perfection (you can see it all documented on Insta), but there is SO much to get done before our big catalog shoot at work next week.  Cue the anxiety!  I will definitely be enjoying a glass of wine tonight to calm the nerves :-)

Today I’m sharing the Grapefruit Sangria recipe I created/shot for work last month.  I was really on the hunt for some unique sangria options and wanted to throw a little grapefruit in there to mix things up a bit.  Grapefruit is something I do not get enough of and I realized that with the grapefruity presence in our Sauvignon Blanc (as well as it making mean mimosa!), it would be the perfect fit for a super citrusy sangria.

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Ingredients

1 bottle of ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc
1 bottle of ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine (optional topper just before serving)
grapefruit slices (from 1 small grapefruit)
3/4 cup sliced ripe strawberries
lime slices (1/2 lime)
orange slices (1 small orange)
3/4 cup pink grapefruit juice
1/4 cup simple syrup, more if desired

Directions

1) Combine all ingredients in one of your sangria bar carafes and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

2) Fill glasses with crushed ice and garnish with fresh grapefruit, strawberries and orange slices. Top with sparkling before serving (if desired).

Yield: 4-6 servings

Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/strawberry-pink-grapefruit-rose-sangria-recipe.html

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Blackberry Orange Sangria

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To continue on our ‘Sangria Week’ as we gear up for summer, the next sangria recipe on this list is a Blackberry Orange Sangria that is absolute perfection.  I had a really hard time picking a favorite sangria this year because they’re all so unique and have something about them that I truly love, but this one just has to take the cake.

In early April I was poking around the internet for a sangria recipe made with Cabernet.  Most sangrias that call for red wines use a Pinot Noir, a Spanish red or Merlot, but we were hosting a lunch at our office for Autism Awareness month and our Cabernet gives back to Autism so Cab it was!  Rather than serve Cab at noon, I decided to get a little creative and make a sangria instead.  I came across this recipe and decided to replace the Spanish red for our Cab and I was floored with how good it turned out.  For a moment, I was the crazy girl at the office asking everyone if it was really that good or if I was just nuts.  Everyone agreed that it was awesome – the combination of pomegranate juice, orange and fresh juicy blackberries is simply heavenly – and so it became my favorite :-)  Bookmark this one for when you’re entertaining this summer or just need a change from your usual drink of choice.  I hope you love it!  Cheers!

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Ingredients

1 bottle ONEHOPE Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until sugar is fully dissolved)
orange slices
apple slices
blackberries
pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions

1) Combine all ingredients in one of your sangria bar carafes and tightly seal for 24 hours before serving

2) Fill glasses with crushed ice and garnish with fresh orange slices, apple slices, blackberries and pomegranate seeds before serving.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/red-wine-sangria-recipe.html

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Guava + Sage Sangria

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TGIF!  Is it me or was this week just bananas?  I can’t believe how many things are happening at work and how many projects need to be wrapped up before the end of the month – major crunch time for sure!  Last weekend we were in Seattle visiting some friends so this weekend is going to be a little catchup, gardening, some housework and of course… sangria.  This one was an absolute crowd pleaser at work and I’ve never had a sangria that was quite so unique.  The combination of guava, sage and cranberry is one that is truly special and that you will not find on a menu anywhere this summer.  Plus… isn’t the color just incredible?  Guavas really are one of the prettiest fruits and the flavor is so fresh and sweet… AND, they’re in season right now so go scoop some up before they’re gone and get mixing :-) Have a wonderful weekend!  Cheers!

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Ingredients

1/2 bottle ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 bottle ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
1/4 cup cognac
1/4 cup pureed guava (use guava juice if fresh guava isn’t available)
1/4 cup pear juice
1/4 cup cranberry juice
Thinly sliced orange spheres
Strained cranberries (use frozen cranberries if fresh cranberries aren’t available)
Fresh sage

Directions

1) Combine ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc, 1 cup of the ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine, all of the cognac, guava, pear juice, cranberry juice, sliced oranges and cranberries into one of your sangria bar carafes, stirring as you go.

2) Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve on the rocks, garnish with fresh sage, cranberries, orange slices and top with a dash of ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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Wine Wednesday

Wine and cheese are two items we always have on hand in our household.  Whether it’s just the two of us for a relaxing night in or a casual last minute get together with a few guests, a great bottle of wine and a platter of 3-4 delicious cheeses sets the perfect tone for effortless entertaining.  I’m not sure if it’s the fall colors over the weekend in Michigan or my cousin’s 2012 vineyard wedding brainstorming session that got me excited about wine parties, but I’ve really come back to California with an itch to host a slightly more formal wine tasting this fall that would include more than just four people.  I’m thinking cheeses, meats, olives, gourmet mac & cheese and even cracker crust pizzas… YUM!  Check out some of the images below that have me completely inspired (and hungry) this morning :-)

{Cracker crust pizza, red wine and a fabulous raised cheese platter.  Love!  Image via}

{Delicious assortment!  Image via}

{One of my personal favorites: bite sized gourmet mac and cheese.  Mmm!  Image via}
{Gorgeous!  Image via}
{I love the idea of using a slate as a labeled cheese platter.  Image via}

{Cleaver!  Cork spreading knives to fit with the theme.  Image via}

{What a great idea!  Chalkboard runner with labeled pairings.  Love!  Image via}