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Entertaining with Wine

Brunch

No need to wait until evening to invite your friends over. A laid-back weekend morning is an ideal time to entertain.

Forgo the hustle and bustle of a restaurant brunch in favor of opening up your home to your friends for a relaxed and leisurely mid-day meal - and, of course, a libation or two.

The Mimosa, that utterly familiar concoction of champagne and orange juice is fine, as are Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers. But most of us have been there, done that. A cool wine cocktail of White Sangria garnished with mint makes for a refreshing start.

Brunch can start as early as 10AM, but there's no need to push it. It's the weekend, and your guests may not want to be rushed. Sometime between 11AM and noon is a civilized time to start, allowing the revelry and conversation to linger into mid to late afternoon. Saturday is fine, but Sunday is even better; it's the day most people start looking into the work of the week ahead, and distraction is always welcome.

Brunch should feel bright and breezy, so embrace your view by opening the windows or sitting outdoors if the season permits. If you don't have a view or the weather is dreary, you can easily brighten the room with a fresh flower arrangement. Set the tone with some music, and your guests will be sure to enjoy a leisurely and elegant brunch ambiance.

In terms of sustenance, bacon, eggs, hash browns, and toast are all well and good, but you can do better. Surprise your guests with something unique, such as Smoked Salmon Kedgeree. It's a sumptuous rice and fish concoction that originally hails from India. It was Anglicized in the 18th century, and is still served in England for breakfast. Filling, spicy, unusual, edgy. it hits all the right notes, especially when paired with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. The crispness and floral notes of Pinot Grigio perfectly complement the spiciness of the jalapeƱo and curry.

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