Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country Dinner

Dinner Parties, Entertain, Menus, Wine Country

Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country Dinner

Bring the colors and flavors of California wine country home. This weekend, gather friends outside with a bottle of wine and a table set with the rich hues of the vineyard. Serve a rustic Italian meal inspired by the best ingredients and favorite traditions of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, starting with a platter of charcuterie and cheese—a simple prelude to the delicious meal that follows.


Wine Country Dinner



Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country DinnerWine country food is simple and seasonal, featuring the best ingredients in an easy-going style. Start off with an antipasti platter; fill a board with a variety of cheeses, charcuterie, crackers or bread and other accompaniments, such as fresh and dried fruit or olives. It’s perfect for snacking before and even during the meal.


For the main course, pass around pizzas and pastas inspired by the bounty of northern California. Top one pizza with heirloom tomatoes and peppery arugula and another with figs and prosciutto for a delicious mix of sweet and salty. Toss pappardelle with a classic bolognese sauce, sprinkled with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. On the side, serve a salad of butter lettuce, fresh figs and crumbled blue cheese.


Finish the meal with a beautiful but rustic candied pear tart topped with toasted pistachios — a wonderful welcome to fall’s first pears.


Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country Dinner

Party Planner


  • 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the tart dough. Make the bolognese sauce and refrigerate overnight.
  • Day of: Make the pizza dough and let rise.
  • Just before serving: Make the salad. Top the pizzas and bake. Reheat bolognese sauce, boil pasta, and toss to distribute. Finish the pear tart.


Set your table with a range of colors and patterns inspired by the grape harvest. Pair olive green dinnerware with plates decorated with Mediterranean olive groves and amethyst glasses for water. For linens, a paisley table runner ties the hues together while still exposing the natural texture of the table.


Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country DinnerFind ways to incorporate rustic woods and natural elements into the setting for a casual complement to the alfresco scene. Think woven chargers and vintage boards.


Repurpose empty glass bottles as water pitchers and vases. Fill them with olive branches and place two or three on the table in place of a centerpiece.


Along with the pasta, serve a bold, full-bodied red wine that will pair well with the meat sauce. (Want more pairing ideas? Check out our full Guide to Wine.)


See more entertaining tips from our stylists here!

3 comments about “Weekend Entertaining: Wine Country Dinner

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