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Outdoor Entertaining

Contributed by: News Canada

By Samantha Martin (NC) - Spring air invites us outside once again, celebrating outdoor with friends and fresh air after the long winter hibernation. Thinking of having an outdoor celebration, here are some things to keep in mind.

Plan Ahead: Even if it's just a quick list of the things you may need to pick up. A little organization the day before will make the event easier and more relaxing for you. It will also leave you with the peace of mind to sit casually with your friends outside knowing the meat is marinating and the salad is ready to go.

Use Different Dishes: Don't take the good china to the backyard. It isn't worth the anxiety you'll feel every time a plate is moved. If you don't have a casual set of outdoor dishes why not take a look at some of the newer lines of disposable items. Some party stores even carry colour coordinated dishes and cutlery. Your guests will appreciate the casual approach and clean up couldn't be easier.

Wine, Beer or Spirits: We consulted a local winery for some tips on picking the best kinds of wines to serve and asked for some beverage suggestions too. Here's what the expert entertainers at Canada's most award winning winery, Magnotta Winery ( suggested: Pick medium bodied wines with a universal appeal. Consider 1 bottle of wine (750ml) will provide approximately 5 (6 ounce) servings. If you are looking for pairing suggestions, Magnotta suggests either going into one of their 7 winery retail stores (or visiting their online store and tasting for yourself, or use these general guidelines, keeping in mind that seasonings will affect wine flavours:

Outdoor Entertaining

Choose a small variety of mixers, but be sure to stock your bar with a wide assortment of non-alcoholic choices for the designated drivers. Please always remember to be a responsible host when serving alcohol.

Last Tip: Don't forget the plastic drink monkeys or mini umbrellas for the glasses - they are a fun drink indicator and can enhance the outdoor casual dining experience.


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