"When entertainment was begun, during the Depression, it was supposed to take people's minds off reality. People could sing, dance, act or do anything. It was the type of entertainment that was available." Tina Yothers

I would like to say that entertaining is one of my many callings in this world. Nothing brings me more pride then bringing people together for an amazing party. And being the wine enthusiast that I am I love to bring wine into the mix of things.

My two real passions (well 3 if you count food) wine and entertaining fuse into one great evening that is a true night to remember. For those of you who have ever come to a social that Pax and I have put on you know that I am the first one to put a glass of wine in front of you and keep it full from the beginning to the end of the night (Pax does a good job of this too!). I thought I would pass on my entertaining skills to other fellow wine lovers who I know love a good glass of vino and have fun bringing people together for a good time.

When it comes to wine, serve something that tastes good and gets people talking
This is crucial at any get together. When you are at the wine store deciding on what to serve for your guests, be sure to buy something that is great to stellar in quality (but doesn't cost a fortune) but also get something that elicits a "WOW" response from your guests. This way conversation is never dull, people aren't bored and more selfishly you get to be known as that awesome person that introduced your friends to a great glass of wine.

For instance, the last party I threw I served the Peller Estates Ice Cuvee, which was out of this world and everyone wanted to know what it was, where I bought it, where they could get, how it was made, etc etc. I felt like a star – plus I also introduced other people who don’t necessarily like wine to the wonderful world of sparkling wine - something I love to do as well. (By the way you can get the Peller Estates Ice Cuvee at Vineyards Estate Wines - 228 Queens Quay).

You can even serve something like Yellow Jersey wine (available at the LCBO), which is a talker piece on its own. With this wine you can talk about the creative label, the plastic bottle, the screwtop and the fact that it was named after the Tour de France. Another idea is to serve it in the “O” Riedel glassware – the glassware without the stems – if that doesn’t elicit convo and intrigue your guests nothing will. Plus get to know the stories behind what you serve, from the wine and food, to the music and the glassware. Learn and talk about things like how Maximus Riedel invented the glasses that he wanted someone to say “OOHH” to. How clever of him - but how even more clever of you!

Invent things yourself
Maybe this is one recommendation for the creative thinkers of the bunch but to be honest, it is a lot of fun. For instance at my last party I broke my soap dish in the bathroom while cleaning for the party and was at a loss for what to use. On my walk home the day of the party I came across a big leaf plant. I grabbed a leaf and used it as the soap dish. It got so many comments – and was quite the conversation starter.

Be a unique foodie
Food is always a big part of any get together, especially if you are serving wine. Instead of serving pre made food, take pride in doing it yourself or finding something that is dynamite to serve and to eat. For instance, I invented a few great and VERY simple finger appetizers that went over well with the crowd. This is a relatively healthy alternative to chips and snacks!

Calabrese salad picks
Cherry tomatoes, Bocconcini cheese, fresh basil, olive oil, coarse salt & toothpicks


  • Cut the Boccocini and cherry tomatoes in half
  • Take all the basil leaves off the plant and wash and have ready
  • Place the cherry tomato half on a toothpick, a leaf of basil in the middle and half a piece of Bococcini on the other half.
  • Put in a bowl and spring coarse and olive oil lightly and serve.

Proscuitto wrapped breadsticks (made just like it says)
Proscuitto, breadsticks, olive oil and coarse salt


  • Wrap the proscuitto around 1/3 of the breadsticks
  • Place on plate and just before serving drizzle olive oil and coarse salt on the part with the meat
  • Pickup and enjoy!

Some people look at entertaining as a chore and something they absolutely hate doing. If you can find a way to involve your passion, i.e. wine and food, music, photography etc. into your party it makes your party work for you and allows you to enjoy it at the same time. This way entertaining gives back to you instead of you doing all the work for your guests, and your guests will love the extra effort!

So go ahead and entertain during the holiday season - it is a great way to get your mind of work and enjoy time with the people who really make life worth living.