Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Got Wine?

It is the season of the grape, and a wine gathering is in order. Not that you should need an excuse to enjoy this heavenly beverage with your pals. It's just that everything simply seems more potent and poignant during harvest time.

Here are some new spins on the traditional wine tasting shindig: Use blindfolds during a taste test and see how good peoples' palates truly are. Allow the winner of the most guesses to take home an extra bottle.

Make a point to sample some unusual wines– a local or regional fruity varietal. Elderberry, Dry Cherry, or Cranberry can all be fun choices. Be sure to include another that is organic and sulfite-free. See if people can notice the difference in smoothness and acidity. A sparkling Prosecco is always a good bet. Round things out with a complex Grenache or Grenache blend from Spain.

Make a music mix with wine songs, and give each guest a copy as a keepsake. Here is a collection that I plan to use for my own gathering this year:

1. You Go To My Head- Marelene Dietrich

2. I Get A Kick Out of You- Frank Sinatra

3. That's Amore- Dean Martin

4. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant- Billy Joel

5. Bottle of Wine- The Fireballs

6. Joy to the World- Three Dog Night

7. Going up the Country- Canned Heat

8. Red, Red Wine- UB40

9. Old Red Wine- The Who

10. Alligator Wine- Screamin' Jay Hawkins

11. Summer Wine- The Corrs and Bono

12. Elderberry Wine- Elton John

13. Brandy- Looking Glass

14. A Taste of Honey- The Beatles

15. Never Tear Us Apart- INXS

16. Miss You- Rolling Stones

17. This Magic Moment- Lou Reed

18. Champions of Red Wine- The New Pornographers

As to the food, fruit and cheese are a must. Try a cubed piece of Gjetost (pronounced, "Yay-toast")on a toothpick with a red or green grape. This Norwegian cheese looks like a caramel and is surprisingly tasty. Have some rich artisanal chocolate on hand to nibble, and bake a couple of pumpkin pizzas. Yes, you heard me right. Here is my own concoction:

Pumpkin Pizza

2 store-bought crusts of your choosing

1 jar or can of pizza sauce

1 can of organic pumpkin 

Uncured pepperoni slices

1 Italian pepper, diced

Shredded parmesan cheese

Organic hulled pumpkin seeds

Mix the pizza sauce with the pumpkin well and slather on your crusts. Decorate with the rest of the ingredients to your taste. Bake according to crust directions. The pumpkin blends remarkably well with the pizza sauce, and you have the extra salty crunch of the seeds on top. Not only nummy, but pleasing to the eye, as well. Salut!


Photo by marin from





Last modified on
Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


Additional information