Vin de Paire or "Wine Pairing" is a blog focusing on wine and food and all the incredible things related to them. Vin de Paire is a collaboration of authors and topics to elicit thoughts, ideas and desires in an easy to understand and not too serious format. Read, learn & enjoy. Cheers! (Like to be an author? Contact us.)


5 tips to make your Holiday party easier!

Number one.  Make it ahead…..Choose a menu that can be done preferably a day ahead or at least much earlier in the day.  Trust me; its no fun for your guests either if by the time of the party you’re exhausted from cooking, cleaning, etc all day.


Number two.  Consider some build-it-yourself items.  My favorite this season is the tapenade/dip buffet.  Buy (or make the previous day) a number of your favorite dips like hummus, tapenade, spinach, artichoke, or whatever and use several different types of bread and/or crackers and some store-bought pre-cut vegetables.  Put them out in bowls of different sizes/shapes/colors and baskets of the crackers/breads/veggies and let your guests help themselves.  Chef tip; I like to grill some sliced sourdough baguette and then rub it with a little fresh garlic.  The smoky char adds a nice flavor note to any dip.


Number three.  Scale it back!  In your invitation let your guests know that this year is going to be a little more casual so as to lessen the Holiday stress.  The real reason they’re coming is to chill with friends, not to see what new culinary heights you’ve driven yourself to.


Number four.  Hire a pro.  If you must blow it out.  Hire a caterer.  A good caterer will make everything go more smoothly (hey, he does this every day).  He and his crew can do all the cooking and run your party so that you can enjoy your guests.  Best of all, they will leave your home looking like no one had been there once your happy guests have departed.


Number five.  Get some help whatever your budget.  Can’t afford the top chef and white-gloved staff?  Some caterers will do a drop-off.  That is simply drop off ready-to-serve food from a menu that you’ve pre-selected.  It can make your party day so much easier if you can check the cooking off your list. That’s not to mention much more affordable than having the chef and his staff on-site for eight hours.  Chef’s tip; Always try to find it in the budget to hire just a few staff depending on the size of the party.  If you’ve got 20 or more coming then get at least a bartender and one server.  Having a couple of extra pair of hands is so helpful and having not to do all that cleanup alone is one of the best Holiday gifts you’ll give yourself.






Chuck Samuelson Catering



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