The Berger Bungalow: How To Throw The Perfect Spring Party + A Tapas-Style Scallop Recipe

How To Throw The Perfect Spring Party + A Tapas-Style Scallop Recipe
Posted on:5.03.2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #SpringWine #CollectiveBias

When Ian and I first turned 21, we were in college and couldn’t afford much. Anytime we wanted to host a party, we would walk down the wine aisle and choose the cheapest bottle of wine possible. We didn’t know anything about wine, our friends didn’t know anything about wine, so why would we get an expensive bottle, right?! Well, times have definitely changed...for the better. We are now both in our mid-twenties and our friend group has gone from uneducated wine drinkers to “currently learning about wine” drinkers and we love to throw parties to celebrate learning about wine and of course drinking it, too! Find out how I throw the perfect spring party below:

How To Throw The Perfect Spring Party

Brainstorm a theme
Since we are all in the stage where we are slowly learning about wine, I thought it would be such a fun idea to have a spring wine and cheese tasting party! I came up with the idea to set out cheese, provide “blind” wine glasses and have our guests try to figure out what region the wine is from. National Chardonnay Day is coming up on May 21, so this is the PERFECT excuse to throw a wine and cheese tasting party!

I went pretty simple and classy with our decorations. I used mostly white and marble decorations, but the great thing about spring is that color is in style!!! I love using pastel colors for spring - pinks, light blues and yellows are perfect.

Pick your food
When shopping for the party, my first stop was the farmers market - I wanted to make sure I had the best cheese around, so I picked up some local, grass-fed cheese from one of my favorite vendors. I also picked up a few other items to make a tapas-style dish to make sure that my guests did not get hungry throughout the evening (more information below).

Pick your drinks
My next and final stop was my local grocery store. I browsed the wine aisles and decided to stick with a few spring chardonnays for our tasting. This is where I came across Notable Wines. I automatically noticed that the flavor profiles were on the front of the bottle, which helped me navigate the (sometimes confusing) wine aisle. This really stood out to me because other wines explain where they are from and what style of wine it is, but if you aren’t familiar with that region, how will you know if you are actually going to like it or not? With Notable Wines, you know exactly what taste you are getting just by looking at the front label. I followed the flavor notes and it helped me choose the taste I was looking for.

For our wine tasting specifically, I picked out the Notable: California Chardonnay and the Notable: Australian Chardonnay. According to the bottle, the California Chardonnay is supposed to taste like butter, oak and vanilla. The Australian Chardonnay is supposed to taste like Citrus, Melon and Peach. I set out our cheese and the wine flowed out. Most of our guests were not able to identify the different regions, so this was a fantastic learning experience for everyone. We not only tasted both wines, but also learned some about the regions and different wine types, as well. 

After we had our wine and cheese tasting, I cooked and served our appetizers. I wanted to make sure that my guests had bites here and there to accompany the wine, so Ian created an amazing tapas-style scallop dish on top of a creamy, rosemary parsnip puree. It was amazing - all of our guests love it and it was the perfect pair with our Notable Wine! In fact, it was so amazing that I just have to share the recipe with all of you:

3 Parsnips
3/4 cup of cream
3/4 cup of milk
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
1.5 sticks of butter
1 pound (or more) of fresh scallops
I used appetizer spoons to plate the dish on.


Parsnip Puree:
Step 1: Peel your parsnips and slice them up. Then place them in a pot with your cream, milk, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Step 2: Carefully transfer your parsnips to a food processor and add 1 stick of butter, salt, rosemary and pepper to taste. Puree your parsnips until the consistency is smooth. You can add more cream to the mixture to thin it out, if needed.

Step 1: While your parsnips are in the food processor, add butter into your pan to melt.
Step 2: Add your scallops to the melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Cook your first side for 90-120 seconds and flip. Season your scallop again and remove from the heat as soon as your 90-120 seconds is up.

Plating Instructions:
Place a small spoonful of puree in the base of the spoon. Top with a scallop. Garnish with a few dill fronds.


I hope you enjoy this party idea and amazing recipe! If you are in the process of learning about wine, definitely look for Notable Wines on your next trip to the store and if you need another excuse to purchase some wine, don’t forget that National Chardonnay Day is May 21! Who’s celebrating with me?!

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