We’ve all heard of fondue parties — retro gatherings where people dip different foods into melted cheese or chocolate — but why aren’t we all hosting fondue parties?! I’m on a personal mission to bring them back, you guys, and I have to admit, my first attempt was a huge success. I’d been dying to have the team over for a fun “Welcome Fall” gathering, but nothing felt especially inspiring to me… that is, until the lovely folks at Skinnygirl® Cocktails reached out. With the help of their tasty wines, I had the girls over for a fun afternoon full of fall flavors, new experiences, and lots of catching up. Want to host your own fondue party? I say “fon-do it!” Here’s how…
*photography by Ashleigh Amoroso
First things first: get your buffet table situated (but rather than positioning your table against a wall, leave space all around it). Guests are going to be surrounding and reaching across your buffet with long, sharp objects! Give them plenty of room to hover in order to keep things comfortable (and safe!).
As soon as cooler temps roll in, I want to enjoy all my drinks hot. I say adios to iced coffee, iced tea and iced cocktails, and instead opt for their warm counterparts. For this party, a mulled wine was the only way to go.
We combined Skinnygirl® California Red Blend with apple cider, orange zest, orange juice, and tons of seasonal spices, then brought the mixture to a boil and let it simmer until guests arrived. And serving this drink couldn’t be easier: just set the pot out with mugs and a ladle, and let friends help themselves!
Get extra autumnal by garnishing each glass with cinnamon sticks and an orange peel.
Every head turned when Camille came through with one of our fondue spreads.
Choosing serving pieces for this party was easy — all you need are fondue pots (we found some amazing vintage ones on Etsy) and plenty of wooden cutting boards.
A few fondue rules of thumb (according to Wikipedia)…
- Tradition says that if a man loses his bread in the pot, he buys drinks all around, and if a woman does, she must kiss her neighbors.
- Most people recommend that each morsel be put in the pot only once (no double-dipping!) and that the dipping fork be used only to transport the food from the pot to one’s plate, not to eat.
Lots of people serve fondue over a burner in order to keep the cheese mixture warm, but honestly, we ate ours so quickly that the dip didn’t even have time to cool! If at any point the cheese starts to thicken, whisk in more white wine to thin it. We loved using Skinnygirl® Chardonnay.
Wondering what all those chopped up fix-ins are? Here’s what we served alongside our cheese fondues:
- broccoli florets
- pretzel buns
So what exactly is in cheese fondue? We served two kinds: a Smoked Gouda Fondue and a Classic Party Fondue.
We watched as Camille officially slipped into a fall state of mind. Fondue? Check. Mulled wine? Check. Double-breasted wool coat? Check.
Of course, we had to follow all that savoriness with dessert, and this one was a no brainer. This chocolate and coconut cream fondue was everything.
We served it alongside:
- clementine segments
- pretzel sticks
All that snacking and wine had us ready for a nap, so we did the next best thing and curled up on my couch.
What’s better than a party so casual that guests kick off their shoes and sit on the floor?
Fondue just might have to become an annual tradition in our home… Cheers!
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