Hosting The Ultimate Girls Night

Tips from a Certified Sommelier and Serial Hostess

Certified sommelier Jillian Fontana gave us her spectacular tips for hosting a memorable Girls Night, spilling the tea (the wine?) on the elements that must come together to make your next Girls Night In a success. (The dishes were prepared by chef Justine Bouchia).

From Jillian:  Aside from the emotional boost, the beauty of a GNI is in its flexibility. Forget about reservations and wait times, parking and bad service. This night can be as unfussy as you’d like. Rock a messy bun and your stretchiest Lulus, or gussy-up in last spring's gala cocktail dress, but do be a doll and let the ladies know the vibe in advance. 

The Recipe “4” Success:

Nail these four components and you’ll have a GNI for the books.

  • Flowing drinkables
  • Simple yet great food
  • The right music should dancing ensue
  • Moody ambience

Let’s start with my personal favorite: the drinks. As a somm, I always serve wine, but don’t go crazy: a few well-chosen bottles will do the trick.

For Spring, choose one or two easy-drinking yet versatile white wines, rosé, and two reds (one light, one heavier). You can definitely throw in some bubbles as well, whether a lovely Spanish Cava or real-deal Champagne.

White Wines: 

A French Sauvignon blanc, Fournier Pouilly-Fumé “Les Deux Cailloux”, Loire Valley. Pair with: Warm Radish and Snap Pea Crostini with Ricotta and Fresh Mint.

Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes by Hermann Wiemer. Pair with: Smoked Trout Dip served with Endive and Apple.


A full-flavored, Provençal dry Rosé that is not afraid to show its colors: Domaine Houchart from the Cotes-de-Provence, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault. Pair with: Watermelon, tomato, cucumber salad with shrimp and lime vinaigrette.

Red Wines: Soter Vineyards “Planet Oregon” Pinot Noir. Light in body yet dark in fruit, this Oregon red is an elegant contrast to its California counterparts. Pair with: A local cheese and charcuterie board with Arethusa Camembert & Tapping Reeve, Mitica Goat, Jasper Hill Alpha Tolman, imported cured meats.

For ambiance: no need for additional decor, just dim the lights and burn lots of candles. Or, bring the drinks to the patio and get the fire pit going, just don’t forget your portable speaker. 

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