Hello, my name is Lisette and my middle name is “I love me some wine and cheese.” If by the title of my blog you guessed correctly, I am from the North and I now live in the South. It’s treated me well, and while I will always love the North, Florida is my new home.
I’ve learned a few new words since moving to Florida. Noseeums being one, and lanai being another. Now, I’m no expert, but my guess is that the word lanai is Hawaiian. In Florida, lanais are any covered patios attached to the house. Whether it’s enclosed by walls or screen, or completely open, in Florida they’re called lanais. Really, it’s just an über fancy word that makes me feel like a goober for even saying it aloud.
We recently screened in our lanai because of the noseeums, mosquitos and other annoying insects cramping our lifestyle (more on that in another post). Before, I never had the pleasure of enjoying the iconic warm-weather lifestyle Northerners covet about Florida. Now, after a week or so of screening in the lanai, I’ve moved one of my favorite moments outdoors: wining and dining. Entertaining is something we both enjoy doing, especially when our friends enjoy wine as much as we do. My perfect sip is sharing a Merlot or Riesling with friends.
The other night I went to our local supermarket to buy ingredients for the perfect antipasto plate. I’d say it was a successful trip! Everyone was very impressed with the cheese plate (and it was delicious!).
In order to have a successful perfect sip al fresco, it’s important to balance out the wines and the platter you serve your guests. I purchased both reds and whites, in both sweet and dry varieties for all palates. Also, every wine has different floral or earthy notes, so it’s a good idea to have different types of cheeses and other antipasti to complement those undernotes. I chose Parmesan cheese because it’s almost like a palate cleanser–it goes well with either reds or whites. I also added a Manchego cheese to the mix and a Gouda/Parmesan blend which were hits.
Also, make sure to have different types of charcuterie (cold meats) to accompany the cheeses. The sweeter prosciutto provided a nice balance to the saltier salami and the spicy capocollo. Salty meats and crackers also aid in providing a smooth transition between whites and reds, especially those of us that like both types. The grapes helped sweeten the dry whites while providing a refreshing side.
It should be no surprise that the wine aisle is my favorite aisle in our supermarket. While I favor bold, rich reds, warmer weather calls for refreshing whites. I picked up a nice mixture of Chateau Ste. Michelle reds and whites, just in case one struck my fancy. You may have seen their wines in your local supermarket or liquor store.
I should have known that I was going to gravitate to the Columbia Valley Merlot, and its smooth taste did not disappoint! My friend enjoyed the Pinot Gris (I learned it’s the same grape as Pinot Grigio, with the former being how the French call it). We had so much antipasto that we skipped a formal meal and just opened up the Columbia Valley Harvest Select Sweet Riesling for dessert. I can honestly say it is now my favorite Riesling wine, and it is perfect for the hottest Florida evenings in our lanai.
I plan to get more summer ideas from Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 10 Perfect Sips lists. Check it out for inspiration including amazing getaways, summer party themes, and other moments that pair perfectly with wine.
Where do you like your perfect sip? Leave a comment below for the chance to win a $100 gift card!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 21 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the [email protected] email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/19/2016 – 8/31/2016