Drink or treat! Give me something good to drink. Happy Halloween week everyone. We partnered with Rombauer Vineyards and Instaballoons so our guests could “drink in peace” all night long. We celebrated the holiday with a wicked dinner party for twelve. We are excited to share our Hallo-wine with you.
This year, we deviated from the traditional Halloween colors and incorporated eerie blacks, sparkly silvers, ghostly whites and deep violets. If you have an aversion to orange and black, this is a chic alternative color palette for a fabulous Halloween soirée. We recommend pre-pouring glasses of wine to kick off the evening with a real treat.
Our theme for the evening was “Drink in Peace.” We created a stylish bar highlighting Rombauer Wines. Rombauer Vineyards was founded by Koerner and Joan Rombauer in 1980. If you love to cook, you may recognize their last name from the world renowned cookbook The Joy of Cooking by Koerner’s great aunt Irma Rombauer. Today this family owned winery is operated by second- and third-generation members of the family. We featured 4 wines from their collection.
The Drink in Peace Bar
We created a stylish bar with silver “drink in peace” balloons. We decorated the bar with a silver sequintablecloth, a large tombstone and spooky floral arrangements filled with black roses, lilac alliums, eucalyptus and spider webs. We even dressed the wine in costume with a skeleton skull, a vampire cape and a witch’s hat.
For our elegant tablescape, we focused on blacks and deep purples with splashes of white. We added some whimsy to the table with Bed Bath and Beyond’s bat shaped table mats. We alternated place settings with violet and gray dinner plates. We layered violet or black appetizer plates and crisp white cloth napkins in brown napkin rings.
We placed haunting black tree branches in cylinder vases with purple gems and sparkly violet spiders. Inga of International Garden created our beautiful floral arrangement with black roses and calla lilies, lilac allium, eucalyptus and spider webs. We recommend adding elegant decorative pieces and staying away from anything too kitschy or childish. For formal dinner parties, we use place cards to assign seating. We added some eeriness to the place settings by writing guest’s names on tombstones and placing them in spiderweb place card holders.
The Welcome Drink
The welcome drink was the Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, the second white wine in the vineyard’s 38 year history. Ninety percent of the grape juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the remaining juice is fermented in oak barrels to add texture to the wine. The wine has a brilliant pale yellow with a bright green hue and has aromas of key lime, mango, papaya and white nectarine.
The Horror D’Oeuvres
We started the evening with some spooky bites. This is Halloween, so we dressed up our food too. We placed bloody tomato salsa with crushed tomato hearts, ghoul-a-mole with slimy avocados and deadly tomatoes and hazardous hummus with toxic chickpeas with poisonous tahini in our three-tiered crescent moon serving platter. We also served eyeball boo-schetta and a cemetery cheese platter.
With the appetizers, we sipped on the Carneros Chardonnay. It has intense fruit flavors balanced by fresh acidity. The wine has notes of vanilla, peach and mango and a slight minerality. The wine has a fantastic long, smooth finish that is marked with acidity.
The Eerie Entrees
We served Dia De Los Muertos Chicken and Ghostly Lasagna. We transformed a regular lasagna into one fit for Halloween with sliced mozzarella and a ghost cookie cutter. Remember with a little creativity, the mains can be just as whimsical as the appetizers.
With our mains, we sipped on the Zinfandel, which many consider to be America’s heritage grape. The wine is gently basket-pressed, then racked to oak barrels to finish primary fermentation. The wine has a dark purple-ruby, with a bright crimson hue and we tasted flavors of raspberry and blackberry jam, plums and vanilla flood the palate. The wine has plush and round tannins.
We concluded our decadent meal with spider donuts, devil’s food cupcakes and candy, of course.
With dessert, we sipped on a rich nonvintage Port. This highly viscous wine has has a deep red to black core, and a brick red rim. It has aromas of cherry liqueur, raspberry jam, brown sugar, almond extract and dark chocolate powder. We tasted flavors of black cherry, raspberry, raisins, and dark chocolate. It has a smooth and round finish.
We created our whimsical backdrop with a metallic black fringe curtain from Decorative Novelty. We completed the backdrop with chic violet and gray paper fans from Devra Party.
“Hocus pocus. I need wine to focus.” – Anonymous