We tend to think of summer as a schedule free, more relaxed time of year, but summer can be a difficult time to plan a get together with community friends and neighbors, despite their close proximity. I can tell you from experience, occasionally, some of the best shared experiences can be last minute plans for entertaining. If you’re afraid you can’t pull of the perfect menu with wine pairings on the fly, we’re here to help! With just a little guidance and a positive attitude, you and your guests will be enjoying the shared experience of food and drink and you’ll be the entertaining envy of the neighborhood!
When it’s hot outside, you want to keep your menu light and your guests cool. Think of light, healthy food and for many, the grill is the perfect gathering spot for neighbors and friends on a summer night.
If you’re looking to grill up a party in a flash, here’s a great recipe from allrecipes.com for Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs that you can throw together in a little over an hour.
Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs
- Prep 15 m
- Cook 15 m
- Ready In 1 h 30 m
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- cayenne pepper to taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Season with chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish with the sauce, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear.
Pair simply with your favorite skewered, grilled veggies and steamed rice and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a shared experience that will leave your guests talking! If you’re looking for an easy option for salads or appetizers to to enhance your party, add a delicious selection from our catering menu, which includes appetizers like our Crisps’N’Cheese Tray, Veggie Fresco Tray, and delectable salads like our Italian Pasta Salad, Roasted Red Potato Salad, or Balsamic Bleu Salad, just to name a few.
So what’s a host or hostess to do for wine pairings? Well, we’ve got a great resource to share with you. If you’re clueless about which wines to serveat your summer gathering, our favorite go-to wine pairing resource is this great Wine and Food Pairing Chart from Wine Folly. They even have a printable poster for you to use at home! If it’s just too hot out to enjoy a room temperature red, go with white wine or consider a light or fruity red slightly chilled. As a cool alternative, why not try serving up a sangria like this one from Food&Wine:
1 750 ml bottle of fruity red wine, like merlot
4 oz brandy
3 oz simple syrup
1 cup mixed chunks of seeded oranges, lemons and limes
In a pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, Simple Syrup and fruit. Refrigerate until the drink is chilled and the flavors are blended, 4 to 8 hours. Serve the sangria in chilled, ice-filled wine glasses.
No matter what you serve or how you serve it, you will find the shared experience of enjoying food and wine with your friends and neighbors at the last minute can sometimes be the most rewarding of all.