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Food and Wine Recipe Ideas.
Learn how to make delicious dishes that pair with your favorite Ecco Domani wines

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Entertaining with Wine

Dinner Party

Host the perfect dinner party with these party ideas and tips.

Whether you're sending out handwritten invitations, emails, evites, or just calling your guests by phone, give your guests plenty of time to RSVP. How far in advance you invite them is up to you, but two weeks is a good rule of thumb.

For RSVPs, gently insist that you need a firm answer one way or another. With a dinner party, there is a limit to the number of people you can entertain, and you want to fill every seat. You also need a reliable headcount when you shop for food.

How many should you invite? A dinner party usually consists of six to 12 guests. Many people feel that 6 to 8 guests is more intimate, and this is the optimal size to help create new friendships among guests who don't know each other. Also, strive for a fairly even gender balance. And if most of your guests are couples, invite single people in pairs. A lone single person at a party can feel stranded.

A pre-dinner cocktail hour - or hour and a half - with appetizers is a nice way to kick things off. Wine cocktails, or winetails, are a refreshing alternative to hard alcohol. Check out these winetail recipes for unique drinks to serve your guests. After appetizers, lead your guests to their seats. Like a ballet, the best dinner parties are choreographed. Giving your guests a sense of the beginning, middle and end will help them relax.

Menu selection will depend on your cooking skills, and should not be overly ambitious. The best choices, such as Coq Au Vin allow you to do most of the work in advance. Whether you're serving individual plates or a communal meal served family style, remember to also enjoy your guests' company and let them enjoy yours. Give yourself room to breathe.

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