PARTY TUTORIAL: ELEGANT HOUSEWARMING

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The new year has brought about a major change in my life. My husband and I moved into to our first owned home together! It was a change worthy of a celebration with friends and I wanted our first get together in our new home to be sleek, chic and sophisticated. Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines have new packaging that features a bold, high quality look to match the bold, high quality flavors of the wine itself. The elegant black labels worked into my modern industrial decor scheme perfectly for the housewarming party and the wide selection of Coastal California wines were sure to satisfy everyone’s palette.

When decorating for the party I wanted to keep everything minimal and sophisticated, an extension of my new home’s decor, nothing too kitschy.  The decorating theme throughout most of my new home centers around a delicate balance of mid-century modernism and rustic industrialism.  With our large reclaimed wood farm table and metal crossback chairs as the focal point for the party, I decided to compliment and contrast the wooden table with an all slate table setting.  Slate serving platters and coasters can get pretty expensive but if you search online, you can find some great deals.  Just a couple of slate platters will make a big statement and they are easy to clean when you’re all done!  You can also draw directly onto slate with chalk to write cute appetizer/cheese labels, although it can be tricky to keep your writing neat on jagged slate surfaces.  Luckily I found a set of slate placards with smooth surfaces perfect for writing.  The placards were such a simple addition but really added a next level elegant touch that totally wowed my guests!  *Tip: The least expensive option for slate is actually from home hardware supply stores… if you can find individual slate tiles used for flooring or backsplashes in a size you like, simply add little protective foam/plastic feet to the bottom four corners and you’ve got an awesome on-trend serving tray!  Slate serving trays are not only great for serving food, they make unique placemats for sit down dinners and platters for candles and centerpiece displays!

Of course, it’s not a complete tablescape without delicious bites and bevs! Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines had me covered for delicious drinks and for food, I decided to whip up some super easy-to-do bite-sized phyllo tarts.. Preparing both a veggie option and a meat option was a safe bet to suit everyone’s preferences and would pair well with both white and red wine selections. *Side note: The flavors in these tarts scream gourmet even though they are a total cinch to put together!

Mini Spinach + Goat Cheese Quiche Tarts (makes 24 mini tarts)

Ingredients
1 package phyllo dough
1 package frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh spinach), thawed and drained
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs
1 cup non-fat milk
1 package goat cheese crumbles
Zest of 1 lemon
Heavy pinch of nutmeg and salt

Prep
Heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high heat and cook spinach, shallot and garlic.  While spinach is sautéing, combine milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt and zest in a medium mixing bowl.  Add cooked spinach and goat cheese to egg mixture and set aside in refrigerator.  Cut phyllo dough into 2” x 2” squares and press the squares into a mini muffin pan allowing the sides to fold over as needed to fit the mold.  Spoon 1 tbsp on mixture into center of phyllo dough.

Mini Fig, Brie + Prosciutto Tarts (makes 12 mini tarts)

Ingredients
1/2 package phyllo dough
1 round of brie
1 package of prosciutto (5-6 slices)
A few tablespoons of fig preserves (or a handful of fresh figs if in season!)

Prep
You should be able to shred your prosciutto by hand or using a fork...the more cured the meat is, the better!  Cut phyllo dough into 2” x 2” squares with scissors and press the squares into a mini muffin pan allowing the sides to fold over as needed to fit the mold.  Break your round of brie in half and get a small spoon to scoop the cheese out from the rind.  Scoop about one-two teaspoon(s) of brie and place the cheese in the bottom of each phyllo dough tart.  Add half a teaspoon of fig preserves and top with as much or as little prosciutto as you’d like.  I added about one tablespoonful of the shredded prosciutto because it gives a beautiful salty kick to the soft cheese and sweet preserves!

Bake your tarts at 400°F for twenty minutes and let them cool completely before removing them from your muffin pan and placing them on your preferred serving platter!

Bon appetit and bottoms up! These h’ors d’oeuvres recipes pair beautifully with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Robert Mondavi Private Selection but the brand’s wide variety of wines has something for every taste so pair based on your own preference! If you try either of these recipes and/or wine pairings, I’d love to hear how they go over with guests at your next gathering so let me know in the comment section below!