SPRING... Choose to decorate with bright colors to capture spring's arrival. Pick or buy flowers to set your table for a brunch. Include plenty of fruits in the menu. Then select white wines to serve like a crisp Chenin Blanc.
SUMMER... Begin entertaining early on a warm evening in your garden or on the patio. Use fresh-cut summer flowers or summer herbs; lavender, rosemary, basil, mint or sage. Your menu is grilled meats and vegetables coupled with red wines like Cabernet Franc or Zinfandel.
FALL... Decorate your table with freshly picked leaves, corn stalks, small pumpkins, which are attainable this time of year. Since it is harvest time for vineyards, add a few grapes to your display or perhaps artisan cheeses and a variety of olives can surround a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
WINTER... Seasonal greenery would be in order like pine cones, holly and spruce. Add a touch of luxury with ribbon and holiday ornaments. Include a comforting soup on the menu and a spicy food to warm your guests. Serve with a delightful Gewurtztraminer.
Food Presentation notes:
- Less is more! It looks better and they can always ask for more. Plus your guests will have more room for dessert.
- Always plate with an odd number of ingredients, three is better and four is just 2 twos, five is too many, usually (fifth wheel theory). Remember "three is the magic number" like the song.
- Stack it high! Whether it's a salad, pasta or a tower of filet medallions atop of a birdcage of shredded deep fried onions or potatoes topped with a half grilled tomato, drizzled with a reduced balsamic glaze. Get the point?
- Color is very important! Mix your colors, contrast and coordinating of colors like an artists pallet, think seasons or holidays (red, green, yellow, orange, brown, black and white). Gray meat is usually unattractive, brown is always better and tastier.
- Plain white plates work well on top of decorative seasonal tablecloths with contrasting napkins and a coordinated napkin ring.
- Finish it! After plating place drops, drizzles or paint designs of dressings on the bear outer portions of the plate. Sparingly sprinkle herbs or shredded cheese like snow flakes from high above to create the perfect visual effect. Finito!