I love it when folks who love good food and good wine give parties, ’cause we all know we’re in for a treat. Now, don’t get me wrong. “Party” to me pretty much means a bag of Ruffles and a container of french onion dip. After all, what else do you need? But if somebody’s going to all the trouble of planning something special, then I’m thrilled to get an invite. Such as my friend Sarah’s 60th birthday party, which was at a local wine shop with food from a great local restaurant. Sarah is a former caterer and a fantastic cook and knows her wines, so all guests were looking forward to a memorable evening — which we got, and then some. The food, from Sweet Magnolia Cafe, featured a Cajun flair with deconstructed muffalettas and the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had. Ever. The fruit and chocolate cupcakes were extra yummy, and the Wine Seller folks had appropriate wines ready for everything you could eat. It was the perfect party, made even better by the fact that my fear of knocking over a wine-bottle display proved groundless. It even inspired me to dream big — maybe for the next party at our house, I’ll add a bag of Cheetos. Baby steps, you know. Baby steps.
When we were in Target the other day and I lost my husband for a few minutes (I was busy contemplating the pretty new blue-and-white dishes because you never can have enough coffee cups), I found him standing in the wine aisle, studying things. Things such as a Box o’ Wine. “How bad could it be, really?” he said, impressed with the pricing that equaled to four normal bottles of wine for the price of one box. So we took it home and tried it. And the answer is, “The more you drink, the better it gets.” There’s no complexity or layers of flavor, and it’s very grape juicey. With benefits. However, as Dear Husband pointed out, it’s okay to say you drank a whole bottle of wine, but you don’t want to say you drank a whole box. So we didn’t. Just.