We have all heard about ‘after-dinner’ drinks but those with an inquisitive mind might wonder, ‘What about before dinner?’ Well there is just such a thing that we like to call the ‘Aperitif’. An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and is usually dry rather than sweet. Common aperitifs are vermouth, champagne, gin, fino, and or dry sherry.
The apéritif originates as early as the fifth century and is noted throughout time in the 1790s with the invention of vermouth, and in 19th century Italy. There is not one specific drink which defines an aperitif; it is simply marked by the time with which it is consumed ‘before dinner’ to build the appetite and in the literal translation Apéritif is a French word "derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means to open.
While planning your holiday parties and shopping for your wines, plan your evening out in terms of time for both your food and wine for an elevated experience for your guests.
Pro Tip: when you approach your party this way you will add variety to your wine menu and will use less total table wine than if it was served throughout the night.
Guests Arrive | Mingling | Cocktail Hour
Hors d'oeuvre: Charcuterie*Small Bites, thinking of something inspired by Farmhouse perhaps Lamb Lollipops.
Farmhouse Approved Aperitifs: Boyfriend / Revolution / Cranberry Rosemary Sparkles
Now let's talk after dinner. Here is where we talk about the after dinner drinks. After dinner drinks in our culture are typically seen as dessert wines, fortified wines, fine whiskeys and scotch, perhaps a lovely port wine. In the old world this would be marked in time as a digestif, which is typically taken neat and in terms of dessert may have some sweetness to it.
Fun Fact: the word digestif signifies an alcoholic beverage served after a meal, to aid in digestion.
Plates are Cleared | People are still Visiting | Dessert
After Dinner Course | Coffee Course | Cheese Course:
Perhaps a formal dessert, Farmhouse Vineyards Pecan Brittle | Soberdough with FHV Orange Muscat Jelly whipped with Cream Cheese or a charcuterie board for guests to graze on.
Farmhouse Approved Digestifs: Mulled Sangria Wine / Holly Dolly
Also remember to have fun with your parties and drink the things you like! We always say that when it comes to pairing food and wine, all that matters is that you like it.