It's time to celebrate our country's independence! And what better way than to gather friends and family together for a Red White & Blue Party with some nice wine, food and dessert selections. We are having one this July 4th since we're on the parade route! Chairs are out and tent will go up soon.
What can you do for the Red White & Blue Party? Here are some ideas...
Of course, color coordinate! Invitations, decor and dress the part! Wear red, white and blue or coordinate with your friends, maybe one wears all white, another red and the other just the blue. And don't forget your pets!
Choose drinks and food that fall into 3 categories...red, white and blue of course. And lay out them out accordingly...white food with white wine, red with red and blue with blue!
Red wine - Choose a nice light-bodied red. They are more refreshing during the summer and easier on the palate. Go to a wine shop that has an educated sales staff to help you choose the best featuring the following grape varieties
Pinot Noir - Notes of red fruit, chocolate, clove and cinnamon. Black cherry, slight licorice, vanilla and butter
Sangiovese - Dusty cherry and cassis, with hints of tar, herb, chocolate and leather. Nose is usually of espresso and black fruits. California versions usually have a bit more oak, with possible plum and vanilla notes
Dolcetto - Soft, round, fruity wines fragrant with licorice and almonds
Cabernet Franc - As a single grape wine, has berry, licorice, mint and cranberry flavors with slight floral nose. May exhibit hints of raspberry and black cherry, edged with spice and pepper
White wine - Don't get the usual Pinot Grigio. Be different and also expand your palate!
Chenin Blanc - California selections have notes of tropical fruit, citrus, peach, ginger, oak and toffee. In the Loire Valley of France, Chenin Blanc ages slowly, turning from the freshest vibrant fruit to complex, toasty, nutty, mineral, and honey flavored
Sauvignon Blanc - Green melon (California), crisp lemon-grass and thyme aromas. Grapefruit, pear and possibly passion fruit and fig. When aged in oak, it is known as Fume Blanc
Sancerre - Loire Valley (France) Sauvignon Blanc has flavors of lime or lemon, and intense fruit. Mineral nose, possibly with tangerines, honey and soil notes
Gewürztraminer - This wine exhibits lychee nut, grapefruit and pear flavors. Sometimes floral, tangerine, pineapple, orange, and spice
Reisling - Usually sweet or semi-sweet ("halb-trocken" with German Rieslings) with a floral flavor as well as apricot, peach, apple, pear, and honey. Sweeter varieties may even exhibit toffee, vanilla, pecan pie, and crème brûlée
Blue wine? Yes, actually Merlot is made from a dark blue grape! Merlot has fresh, red fruit flavors (raspberries, strawberries) and sometimes leafy vegetal notes. Take it one step further and serve Coppola Merlot with the blue label
Choose foods in this same color palette. Look at each list of food ideas below and wonderful dishes can be made combining them!
White(ish) food you can serve
Brie and goat cheese
Pasta with Alfredo sauce or flavored olive oil alone or white chicken. Add tomatoes for some color
White bean and chicken chili
White chocolate - truffles, bon-bons
Hamburgers or lamb burgers with sliced red onion, ketchup
Chocolate with berry ganache
Dessert! A must have
Make it fun with the kids. Get big pretzel sticks, dip them in melted chocolate and roll them in red, white and blue sprinkles!
Red velvet cupcakes with white frosting and blueberries on top
Make 3 ice creams/sorbets or pick these up at the store - strawberry, vanilla bean and blueberry. Three scoops are so patriotic looking!
Strawberry shortcake with an added blueberries layer. Add chocolate shavings just because it will take this dessert to the next level!
Cherry and blueberry pie with whipped cream
Firecracker ice pops
or White chocolate mousse with berries...see below for this easy, delicious way to impress
White Chocolate Mousse with Berries - Super Easy!
(Recipe source: Epicurious.com)
Ingredients (makes about 4 cups)
8 ounces good-quality white chocolate (Valrhona, Cacao Barry), finely chopped
1 2/3 cups chilled whipping cream
Stir white chocolate and 2/3 cup cream in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate is melted
Transfer chocolate mixture to large bowl
Let stand until mixture is cool and just beginning to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes
Beat remaining 1 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form
Fold into cool chocolate mixture in 2 additions
Cover; chill mousse at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled)
When time to serve, use clear parfait dishes and layer the mousse with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
Let's toast to the best nation on Earth! Cheers!
Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder of Luxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, Ridgewood resident, recognized as one of the Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.