With summer well and truly in the rearview mirror and along with it, socialising with rooftop cocktails on balmy evenings and al fresco dining with friends, the colder months call for an entirely different tack. The cold temperatures make venturing out for friends and family get-togethers distinctly less appealing which prompts a simple but elegant solution for getting your food, drink and good conversation-fix – the dinner party.
The ultimate dinner party, of course, requires a touch of careful planning – curating a guest list, planning a menu, setting an eye-catching tablescape, creating the perfect ambiance, and of course, your gathering would not be complete without infusing the evening with some top-notch wine. After all, wine is meant to be shared, and, combined with great food and conversation, is one of life’s great pleasures. But what will really set your evening apart in the style stakes is in taking inspiration from some special occasion-worthy bottles that have a story to tell.
When it comes to a celebration of pioneering beginnings from which to draw inspiration for an upscale evening of fine dining at home, Mission Estate’s unique and diverse array of wines have a poignant connection to both heritage and future legacy. Here, we share some creative tips for perfecting your entertainment space with aplomb using the impeccable style and craftsmanship of the most coveted wines of New Zealand’s oldest winery as your inspiration.
Going Green with Gaia
If hosting your dinner party as sustainably and ethically as possible is front of mind, then Mission Estate’s The Gaia Project wines are the perfect accompaniment. The recently launched Gaia Project wines are the culmination of Mission’s many environmental practices and ethos of sustainability from vineyard to glass. From one of the best Rosés yet to hail from Hawke’s Bay to an expressive and vibrant Chardonnay to uplift your guests’ appetites, these beauties are “kind on nature and wild on taste” with every aspect of Missions’s production being managed to create wines that minimise the impact on the environment.
As inspiration for styling your table setting, go for unique and original items that are made consciously and ethically, and always keep in mind how many times you can reuse an item to minimise waste. Seek out entertaining items made from conscious or natural materials such as reclaimed wood, recycled paper and plant fibres like linen, flax, cork, organic cotton or hemp. For texture, which is so important when it comes to curating a multi-dimensional tablescape, think tactile chargers, woven placemats and layering the softest of table linens to lend different dimensions to your dinner party setting.
A Perfectly Pink Affair
For a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe, not to mention a wow-worthy meal and wine pairing, you simply cannot go past the Mission Jewelstone Rosé, flaunting delicate aromas of red berry fruits and fresh strawberry. For a sophisticated Rosé dinner party experience, this coveted drop is the jewel in the crown of Mission’s Rosé offering. An elegant pale Provençal pink, it is also the perfect inspiration for an entertaining space celebrating pink blooms, from pale blush hues to bright and bold hot pinks arranged in low set rose-gold vases.
Decorate your table adding a French finishing touch as inspiration. Whether it is an elegant dinner with friends or colleagues, or a more casual catch-up with your closest circle, this is the perfect opportunity for your dinner to be adorned with fine silverware, crystal glassware and porcelain plates, beautifully yet very simply set. Opt for your fresh floral arrangement in small, personalised vases, which will also help divide the tablescape for the meal – one arrangement every four guests. Embellish your tablescape further with pretty linens folded into swans and flowers in shades such as Eau de Nil or powder blues, to work with the total look. Consider adding a custom element to your Rosé dinner experience in the way of elegant name cards tied to each wine glass, which are passed out to your guests as they arrive.
When you factor in the Mission Jewelstone Rosé’s super food-friendly, easy-to-drink nature alongside its looks and aroma, it is no surprise this beautiful wine is a popular dinner party choice and crowd-pleaser. With complex red forest fruit and subtle sweet spice notes imparted from barrel ageing, a bit of body and a little pillow of texture, the Jewelstone is the ultimate reminder that a Rosé can be so much more than an aperitif. In fact, its versatility offers you all sorts of meal options, from more delicate fresh salads or charcuterie to meatier dishes such as duck, chicken, lamb served pink and salmon.
Understated Refinement à la Huchet
If you are planning an extra-special gathering such as a significant birthday or an anniversary, you will be wanting to pull out all the stops on both the ambiance and culinary fronts. An upscale arrangement of fresh blooms, a tablescape with a coordinating colour palette set with a luxe linen tablecloth and some candlelight are the makings of a magical and memorable evening alongside a show-stopping main course your guests will love.
For milestone events such as these, you would opt for nothing less in terms of a wine pairing than Mission Estate’s most premium range of wine, Huchet. Named in tribute to Cellar Master Brother Cyprian Huchet who cultivated the wealth of knowledge that drives Mission Estate’s wine-making prowess today, this collection of “icon” wine not only rewards the palette with something very special but also looks the part.
The limited collection, offering a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay crafted from only the most exceptional pockets of grapes Mission’s winemaker has deemed worthy, also expresses Mission Estate’s impeccable craftsmanship on the bottle’s front label, which displays a work of art with ethereal angel wings – the perfect finishing touch to a table-setting epitomising classic timelessness and an appreciation for refined style.
In keeping with a milestone occasion, channel opulence with gilded chargers and flatware alongside clear ruby or peacock blue glass plates and sparkling globes to hold the Huchet reds. Or complement the Huchet Chardonnay with delicate fare, minimalist crystal wine glasses and rhomboid-shaped dinnerware finished with contemporary flatware, muted pastel napkins and an abundance of fresh white blooms in cut-glass bowls such as roses, lilies, hydrangeas and orchids centre stage.