Today is the first day of autumn and I for one am ready to embrace this new season!
As the air becomes crisp and the sun sets earlier and earlier, there are few things I look forward to more than a cozy evening spent with close friends, good food, and a glass of velvety red wine. So I decided there was no better way to welcome the arrival of fall than with an intimate dinner party at home.
The evening’s theme and tablescape inspiration came from a favorite fall pastime – visiting wine country during harvest. I took cues from a wine country picnic, including a handful of wildflowers, a herringbone throw in lieu of a tablecloth, and even a few friendly gilded snails to hold place cards. Each place setting included an eclectic mix of glassware (these goblets and these wine glasses) and clean white china with a woven rim reminiscent of a picnic basket. These paisley napkins echo the colors of the flowers and food to tie the look together.
I crafted our menu to reflect the changing seasons as late summer fruits give way to fall’s richer flavors, complimented by two Murrieta’s Well wines: The Whip (a Semillon and Chardonnay-led Blend) and
Once seated we transitioned from The Whip to The Spur while enjoying a rich fig, prosciutto, and blue cheese salad for the first course, followed by a second course of delicata squash and roasted brussel sprouts, beef tenderloin with pickled onions, and popovers! Ever since visiting Murrieta’s Well in July The Spur has become our go-to red wine. (And we’re not alone – Wine Spectator just awarded The Spur’s 2013 vintage 91 points – which makes it an incredible value for the price point.) I recommend opening the bottle at least two hours before serving to let The Spur breathe, and on the odd chance that you have some left over you’ll find it’s equally delicious the second day.
I hope this inspires your gatherings this season!
AUTUMN DINNER PARTY MENU
The Best Pumpkin Pie
Thank you Murrieta’s Well for partnering on this post!
Photos by Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com