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     Young and old like to entertain their friends and family. Some opt for inexpensive get togethers with snacks, loud music and ask guests to bring their own bottles. Others prefer a more formal setting with hors d’eouvres passed around by servers, and wine, and/or an open bar with a wide range of liquor.

     Family gatherings are mostly informal BBQs in parks or gardens with swimming pools, featuring hamburgers or steaks, grilled vegetables, salads, plenty of beer and a few bottles of wine. Garden parties can be fun, but must be well organized to be successful.

     Well-heeled, older people who like to entertain generally prefer sit down dinners or sophisticated receptions with appropriate alcoholic beverages (namely champagne) and canap├ęs, and/or oysters. If you decide to serve champagne or wine, follow the rules below:

     Chill wines well in advance and have plenty in stock. Serve champagnes at 8 – 10 C, vintage champagne 10- 12 C

     Remove the champagne cork by holding the cork in one hand and turning the bottle with the other, while holding it at a 45 angle. Do not let the cork fly. A pop is sufficient proof that the wine is in perfect condition

     Have sufficient and appropriate (flute) glasses for service

     Play background music only to highlight the quality of food and wine.

     For champagne receptions, choose foods to complement the delicacy and refinement of this wine Serve appetizers in one setting, the main course in another, and dessert somewhere else

     Ensure an adequate supply of beverages including soft drinks and fruit juices for abstainers and drivers in the crowd.

Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu


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