a relaxed wine night with a vegan charcuterie board

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I have been thinking a lot of about self-care lately. With everything going on in our lives, it’s so important to make time for activities that make us happy. One of these activities for me is a girls night-in with some wine and delicious vegan food. While I do like to go out occasionally, I really prefer a casual night at home with friends, wearing a caftan (the most comfortable garment one could wear) & “cheersing” the night away with Böen wines!

It has been a really winter-y winter this year in Southern California. Here in Palm Springs, our winters are typically in the 60s – 70s, sunny, blue skies and best spent outside. This season has been super rainy, gloomy, snowy and rather chilly. I’m not going to lie – I’ve been absolutely loving it! Sometimes when you live in the desert for a long time, you really start to miss the weather. Anyway, there is a definite time limit on all of this weather. I’m ready for the sunshine again!

This past week or so, the weather has been nice so I’ve taken the opportunity to entertain outside. My favorite area on our property is our front courtyard. It doesn’t get that harsh afternoon sun and since the walls are rather high, it isn’t as windy/dusty. If you’ve ever encountered a dust storm during outdoor entertaining, you’ll understand! I love a lot of different types of pairings with my wine but sand isn’t one of them.

Something I have really grown to love in recent years is trying different wines. Part of it could be that we live in California, but another part of it is that it brings friends together. I don’t have any girlfriends who don’t love wine, so it’s a great excuse to gather! I just purchased a few bottles of Böen Pinot Noir wine at a local retailer and this was my most recent excuse to host a wine night.

I’m no expert on wine, I just know what I like to taste, which is smooth and rich red wine. Since I have no real knowledge, I enjoy popping into a local wine shop to discuss and ask for recommendations. The owners at my favorite shop have recommended the Böen Pinot Noir wine to me more than once, so I couldn’t wait to try it! Böen sources from various vineyards throughout selected regions. Their wines are right around $20, and offer a nuanced, layered, and complex representation of the most renowned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wine growing regions in California. Everyone loved it and I was happy to have a new “go-to” Pinot Noir to stock my wine shelf with.

I love this quote from fifth generation winemaker Joe Wagner: “Böen is a translation of ‘The Farm’ and I chose it as a reminder to myself that the wine I make is indivisible from the land it comes from that first and foremost, I am a farmer.” This is why I recommend his wines for your gatherings, alongside beautiful farm-to-table spreads that celebrate plant-based food options.

No wine night is complete without delicious food. I don’t often host large dinner parties with fancy courses. While it really sounds fun, and I’d love to attend yours, my favorite way to entertain is with shareable foods. I like to bring everything out at once and let everyone enjoy what they want at their leisure. Simple appetizers (especially the handheld kind) are perfect but of course everyone also loves a great charcuterie board.

Popular wine pairings usually are not vegan but there are plenty of plant-based options available. For me, I just love strong flavors that can contrast and compliment the wine. Think salty, savory, bitter, sweet, tangy and spicy. Make sure to provide plenty of crackers on a nearby stand.  Here’s what I have on my 100% vegan board:

  • cubed vegan cheeses: cheddar, Monterey jack
  • creamy vegan cheeses: feta, gorgonzola, sun-dried tomato wheel
  • hard vegan cheeses: parmesan
  • vegan “meat”: sausages
  • pickled/brined/marinated foods: olives, cornichons, marinated artichokes
  • fruit: grapes, baby guava, blackberries, kiwi berries, tangerine
  • dried fruit: dates, apricots
  • dark chocolate
  • spreads: olive tapenade, plain hummus, spicy hummus
  • variety of crackers

Ready to host? Find Böen Pinot Noir and Böen Chardonnay in a wine shop near you by clicking here! What will you serve up with your wines?

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