I don't know what's better than friends, the sea, and a fridge full of Prosecco on a gorgeous summer day. So a few weeks ago, we gathered a few close friends and hopped on a sailboat to spend a little time in one of our favorite places. Our boat left from the Marina in Newport Beach and slowly sailed down the coast to finally anchor in Laguna for the day.
We packed up the necessities; cameras, bikinis and LOTS of cheese. Since we knew we'd be nibbling all day on some light snacks, we made sure to bring our favorite Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore. It was the perfect light and bubbly addition to our day of lounging and taking a few dips (despite the recent shark sightings... yikes).
Our catamaran was equipped with 2 giant trampolines on the front which we all spent almost all of our time on lounging! It was the perfect place to snack, sip, take a nap and even watch the dolphins.
After we spent a few hours sailing, we finally anchored in Laguna Beach to set up our spread and jump in. I brought my usual; WAY too much cheese, some meat, veggies, olives and a few figs for garnish. It was actually not as much work as it looks like! We left everything packaged and in the cooler until it was time to eat. I set it all out in a few minutes, added a few fresh flowers and we were ready to go. This was actually devoured within an hour if you can believe it!
How to Build a Balanced Cheese Plate!
One thing that I've found after years of serving cheese platters to our friends while entertaining is that you need to have a variety, but not SO many options that it's overwhelming for them. One time we turned our entire kitchen counter into a cheese board. I had to label it all and tell people about it, it was a little too much! So now, I always buy the following:
- a soft cheese (we love brie)
- a mild/crowd pleaser cheese (usually gruyere)
- a "stinky" cheese... something for the adventurous ones;) (you can do bleu or even a flavored goat can get pretty strong)
This works every time! It pleases everyone, guaranteed. I mean... unless you hate cheese or something. Worried about what to pair all of these cheeses with? Whites are almost always your best option. Reds can overpower many of your cheese selections, so sticking with a lighter varietal never fails. And finally, don't forget to finish off your spread with some meat and a touch of fruit. I typically pick up a mix of prosciutto, salami and/or chorizo to offer the same sort of mix that we would with the cheese. And while some people snack on the fruit, I'll be honest and let you know its usually a garnish;) Figs, grapes and pear slices are always winners though!
On our way back, we took more polaroids (so FUN!), played a few games and admired the amazing sunset we were lucky to get that night. The day flew by, and we are 100% planning our next one! If you are in SoCal I'd highly recommend planning a trip of your own. They have everything from larger charters to Duffy boats in Newport. It was such a nice break from talking work, or the usual stresses in life. We were free from any distractions but our group of friends and acting like kids again swimming around in the ocean.
And a reminder... have you guys had the chance to enter Santa Margherita's weekly contest on Instagram?! Here are the details:
- Follow @SantaMargheritaUSA on Instagram and show us how you are enjoying a glass of SMA Wines by uploading a photo, tagging them and included #SMSUMMERCONTEST
- Enter weekly, Thursdays through Sundays only
- Prizes include:
- Weekly Santa Margherita-inspired summer prize packs
- (1) $2,500 backyard makeover Grand Prize
- No purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. Begins 6/15/17 at 12:00:01 p.m ET, ends 8/6/17 at 11:59:59 p.m ET. Open to 50 US & DC legal residents, 21+. Void where prohibited. For official rules visit www.santamargheritawines.com/contestrules. Sponsor: Santa Margherita USA Inc.
Post in partnership with Santa Margherita Wines
Images by Kimi Domino