Take a drive down South Congress past the historic photo ops and crowded restaurants and you’ll spot The Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery owned by Colorado natives Meredith and Aaron Berman. These two partners in life and in business make their wine out of a warehouse in South Austin, and their brand’s most sought after product has to be their canned rosé (is it any surprise we love them?)
The couple invited us into their charming tiny home (as in, just 400 very well-designed square feet) for a potluck dinner with some of their closest friends. Many of their guests had never met before, so Meredith set conversation-sparking cards at each place setting. Thanks to endless wine and delicious food, the party lasted way past sun down. Scroll through the gallery for a peek inside our favorite tiny house ever, the delicious meal they whipped up for their guests, and meet the four farm animals who share their home!
photography by ashleigh amoroso
Secret to a great dinner party:
Make sure to shore up your knowledge about your guests before the party. Showing just a little bit of forethought for someone goes a long way in opening the conversation and getting to the good stuff. Also, have a lot of wine available. A three-quarter bottle per person is generally a good starting place.
Your must-have entertaining tool:
We always use a wooden cutting board for our parties. There’s something so rustic and comforting about piling food on a wooden surface. We most often use oversized boards for cheese plates with overflowing fruits and BBQ meats. The tray always says, “Devour me like a 16th century feast.”
The entertaining rule you rarely break:
I always recommend to never combine dissimilar groups of people at a dinner party, unless of course you’re serving Everclear.
Your signature entertaining dish:
I hope to one day be one of those women with a signature dish! Until then, I love making salads with heft. One of my dearest and chef-iest friends shared her recipe with me for Sex Salad. It is so utterly simple and innately satisfying. It’s mixed with dark greens; topped with quality cubed white cheddar, crispy bacon, and tart apples; and dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of lemon.
Also, in case you were wondering, no, it’s not called Sex Salad as in “better than sex.” It earned that name because it always tends to crisp some other bacon after eating. It’s not always a guarantee, but it has a pretty good track record among our friends and their counterparts!
Meredith and Aaron’s dinner party was focused around the Jewish ritual of Shabbat. Each guest shared something they were thankful for and passed around challah, a special braided bread.
Meredith and Aaron currently live in a 400 square foot tiny house in South Austin. Their colorful and cozy home is just a short walk away from The Infinite Monkey Theorem, the urban winery the couple owns.
The taste you’re always craving:
I always crave umami. My husband Aaron is all about non-spiced peasant food. His philosophy is, “the blander, the better,” which can be a tough go for us sometimes.
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
I have a playlist for dinner parties called “good good.” It has a smattering of soulful artists like Mavis Staples, Takis Lavidas (in case the party breaks into a belly dance), Sufjan Stevens, Louisiana brass bands, Shovels and Rope, loads of Billie Holiday, Coltrane, Miles Davis, and the rest of their compatriots.
The items always in your refrigerator:
Whole milk, peanut butter, hummus, Sriracha, eggs, and most importantly wine. We’ve yet to make it past our college years.
Meredith and Aaron hosted a potluck-style dinner party with their friends. They provided yummy appetizers and a savory main course, while their guests brought in fresh side dishes and sweet desserts.
Since several of their guests had never met before, Meredith wrote conversation starting questions on the back of each place card to encourage mingling.
The restaurant meal you’ll never forget:
Azafran in Mendoza, Argentina. It was the first time I met the group of girls who would shape a significant part of my life from that point on. We started the night as strangers and ended the night with six bottles of wine for the four of us. After banging on pots in the kitchen with the staff, we chased each other in debaucherous fun all over a wine room much too refined for twenty-somethings who just realized the universe had just bestowed upon them the greatest fortune of cosmic friendship. It was paradise.
Your dream dinner guests:
There’s no one in particular, but we do always love a dinner guest who can weave a great tale and has extraordinary presence. So much about being a great guest is being a great contributor. I always find that those people are what make a dinner party an intimate experience.
Your standard host/hostess outfit:
If Aaron had his choice, he’d be in a Colorado Rockies t-shirt and jorts every day. I can usually get him to at least put on a decent shirt. I tend toward all black. It’s classic, simple and allows you to concentrate on the details of entertaining. I also always like to wear a piece of family jewelry when we entertain. It connects me with the women in my family who are masters at creating sacred spaces for their guests, which is something I’ve always loved watching them do.
Current favorite color palette for parties:
It’s all about the teal, gold, and copper. Or whatever nature gives you to use as natural material that week.
What scares you about entertaining?
We were able to let go of our entertaining fears a long time ago. Like every other newlywed couple, we entertained with the intention and execution of military precision. Now, we’re just a bunch of intentions and plan B’s, but it usually results in something not only beautiful, but also soul satisfying.
Meredith and Aaron share their home with two dogs – Zoe and Olive – and four goats – Richard, Gustavo, Jenny, and Elsa.
Aaron admits that their goats are more like loving pets and lawnmowers than functioning farm animals.
Your entertaining style in 5 words or less:
Come and sit a spell.