Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

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How to Pick a Dinner Party Wine

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Event Planning, Events, Gift Guide, Helpful Hints, Wine Pairing, Wine Recommendations

Don’t be overwhelmed by endless options!

It’s easy to become paralyzed in a wine shop when shopping for a wine gift.  It’s hard enough to know our own tastes, but the task becomes exponentially harder if you don’t know the hosts’ taste- or what they might be serving.

So the next time you’re standing paralyzed in front of a wine aisle, consider these tips:


Pick a wine that plays well with others

These are wines that please a variety of tastes and potentially pair with a variety of cuisines. For a better sense of what this means and specific recommendations, check out my post on pairing with small plates, or this one on Thanksgiving pairings.

Have a budget in mind

This will be one of the first questions someone helping you will ask.  A range of $18-$25 is typically what I stick to for basic dinner party wines.

Go with what you know

If you have a “tried and true” that you love, there’s a good chance your hosts will like it, too!

When in doubt, pick bubbly

Most people like it, and it pairs well with a variety of foods!

Rely on the sales staff

Staff at a reputable wine store will know their stock better than anyone, and I’ve found great new favorites by taking the word of a trusted shop owner. Trust me, they help people in your situation every day!

 What are your favorite wines to bring to a dinner party?



Photo Credit: Boxhill Photography, LLC

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Top 5 Stocking Stuffers!

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Gift Guide, Holidays

With less than a week to go until Christmas, the official gift scramble has begun.  If you’re still on the hunt for stocking stuffers or hostess gifts for the Bon Vivant in your life, check out my top 5 picks here!

I visited my favorite neighborhood specialty store, Hill’s Kitchen, to check out what goodies they have in store for the holidays and they didn’t disappoint!

1. A quality cocktail shaker.  This is something no proper home bar should be without!  This classic version rings in at $29.95.

2. Spherical Ice Molds. These are $11.50 and sure to delight the cocktail connoisseur in your life.  For a crystal clear ice mold, boil the water before cooling and freezing! (Thanks for the tip, Pinterest!)


3. Moscow Mule Mug. This classic cocktail just got a lot more festive with this traditional mug for $14.99. Use it as a bud vase when not sipping your favorite libation!


4. Molecular Gastronomy Cocktail Kits. Perfect for someone who “has everything”, ringing in at $29.95 in Mojito and Margarita versions.


5. Cheeky cocktail napkins. Forget snowflakes and reindeer!  Hill’s Kitchen has a huge variety of cheeky cocktail napkins to round out a stocking for the entertainer on your list.


I also love their selection of wine decanters, bottle stoppers, and more! For even more wine related gift ideas, check out last week’s post for the wine lover in your life!

What’s on your holiday wish list?


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