There's always a reason to celebrate at Food & Wine, whether it’s harvest or summer meteor showers or a wedding proposal on our terrace. We pride ourselves on creating meals, parties and tasting experiences that leave a lasting impression. One of the things that makes Food & Wine events memorable is our focus on details. At our restaurant, we make sure our parties, lunches, dinners and private tastings capture gracious wine country hospitality in ways you’ll want to replicate at home. This process takes effort, but it’s not impossible; recreating our style at your own celebrations is doable if you keep a few concepts in mind.

When people think about wine country, the word "casual" often comes to mind. We do, however, desire some formality, a sense of elegance. Simple table settings might be adorned with corks to signify assigned seating in an outdoor dining area. Or you might find an Instagram-worthy centerpiece that’s nothing more than a beautiful bowl of ripe, seasonal fruit, such as pomegranates and pears. We like to think of it as casual elegance.

For any entry, we like to balance the flavors between the wine and the dish’s sauce or vinaigrette by adjusting acidity with fine aged vinegars. Aged sherry vinegar works particularly well because it is mellow, complex and subtle—like older Cabernets—and draws little attention from the fading fruit of the wine. Before serving, sip the wine and try the dish to see how the two interact on your palate, seasoning with vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. As salt is added, the perception of acidity in both the wine and the food is muted. The final balancing of flavors is accomplished in small additions of seasoning just before serving until both the wine and food are shown in the best light.