Have you ever sat through a slideshow of someone’s vacation? What about when you scroll through photos on a friend’s phone and see what great places they’ve been? Worse — when all of your friends take off with their families for the summer and you don’t see them again until Halloween. I have a solution!
This summer, our travels took us to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My friend Casey told me I HAD to try the wine from the award winning Prairie Berry Winery. Her suggestion for me? Red Ass Rhubarb.
Our well behaved children (bribed with Sprite and flatbread pizza) joined us at the Prairie Berry East Bank location for a dinner from the Epicurean bar and kitchen. In case you were wondering, Red Ass Rhubarb, a semi-sweet wine, pairs well with menu items: Stagberry Salame, Kick Ass Compote, Big Ed’s Gouda and Rustic Bakery Flatbread. I’ve decided that the BBQ Chicken flatbread pizza pairs well with EVERYTHING. My children found that their sparkling Sprite paired well with the grilled cheese and pizza on the kids menu.
After our delicious sampling of wines, we decided a stroll along the Sculpture Walk was necessary fun. Our family loved using the sculpture walk map (find printed versions in the brochure boxes attached to historic light posts on Phillips Ave) to learn more about the works of art they identified on our walk. On the way back to the car, my little ones decided a stop at the splash pad along the river, outside of the Hilton Garden Inn (201 E. 8th St, Sioux Falls, SD). It was about
this time that I had my big idea.
Bring a taste of your travels home and ask a group of girlfriends to do the same! Plan a get-together at the end of the summer to welcome friends back home and send summer out in style.
That night, I sent out a message to the friends I had parted ways with for the summer:
While out and about on your summer vacations or even stay-cations, grab a bottle of wine that’s local to where you are. Stow it away and bring it over on August 16th along with an appetizer to share. I’ll have sweets & treats. We’ll share all of our summer fun and drink some wine.
Tips for Hosting a Vacation & Travel Wine-Down
- Let your friends know you’ll be hosting a Wine-Down early enough so that they can make plans to hit up a local winery or grocery store while traveling.
- Set a date before summer travel begins so that everyone knows if they’ll be able to participate.
- Print off copies of a United States map for each person and let them cut out the section of where their wine is from. This makes a great label.
- As the host, share cheeses, desserts and snacks from your travels.
- Decide early on if you want to invite your guests to bring photos from their travels. If you decide to include this, set a limit per guest. I suggest five.
- Consider giving away an extra bottle of wine to one guest — play a fun game like pin the cork on the bottle or spin the bottle to select a winner.
- For an extra fun spin, ask guests to bring two bottles of their wine selection and have a wine swap — each guest selects a wine to take home. Draw numbers and take turns choosing to avoid any conflict.
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