Martha Stewart Holiday Entertainment Tips
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the included links, we may earn a commission.
Martha Stewart knows how to throw a great party and she knows it starts with a great wine. Joined by master sommelier Ferdinando Mucerino, Stewart led a wine tasting from Martha Stewart Wine Co., pairing each glass with an extravagant assortment of cheeses and snacks. While the event, which was organized for American Express cardholders in partnership with Resy, Stewart gave advice on pairing, service and etiquette for vacation reunions. Here are the best things we learned.
1. Think outside the board
While planks are very popular, Stewart had his holiday appetizer spread out on his counter, atop various plates that were lifted by pedestals. âIt’s more than a cheese board,â she said. It’s a “cheese buffet”, and it can be just as festive. (Also: “Make sure you have a knife for each cheese.) As for the props, Stewart pulled out a block of beeswax honey, mostarda, olives, Marcona almonds, raw meat and cold cuts.
One of Stewart’s favorite places to stock up on fine cheeses and deli meats is Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York City. “They have one of the best assortments of cheeses in town and they sell online as well.”
Buy it: Murray’s Cheesemonger’s Picks Cheese Club of the Month, $ 75 at murrayscheese.com
Credit: Courtesy of Murray’s
2. Get a small variety of wines
You don’t need to overwhelm your guests with options, but your bases are good to cover. First “a good white, and a very beautiful light red for those who covet a red wine”. She also recommended two wines in particular from her wine collection to have on hand: the Terra Sara Verdejo 2020 and the Sierre Trails Old Vine Zinfandel 2018. (“Zinfandel is great if you’re going to serve a roast turkey”, she said.)
3. Be creative with glassware
You don’t have to serve your wines in traditional wine glasses, choosing the right glass for whites, reds, etc. Stewart said she collects old wine glasses and her favorite is the bistro glass, the chunky looking glass they use to serve wine. in traditional French bistros. But the glass she chose to drink her white wine from during the event was thinner than your standard white wine glass. âIt’s not traditional, but it’s a very elegant glass,â she said. “I would drink wine from any glass.” (Idem, Marthe.)
4. Pay attention to the temperature of what you are serving
The temperature of your offerings matters, from wine to raw vegetables. If you’re serving crunchy veggies for dipping, make sure they’re extra cold, Stewart said. While for your cheese it is imperative for flavor that it be at room temperature, so take it out a few hours before receiving people. âMost cheeses taste much better at room temperature, especially creamy cheese and blue cheese,â she said. If you are serving a shrimp cocktail, however, it should be “freezing”.
5. Don’t feel pressured to open a guest’s wine
âIf you’re bringing wine to a party, the host doesn’t have to open that wine,â said Stewart, responding to a question from an attendee. “Unless you bring it for a specific dish that is being prepared for the kitchen.” She added with a laugh, “Sometimes I look at a wine that came with a guest and hide it in my closet.” Honestly, we respect him.