Summer In A Bottle

Talk about inspiration for a supper club menu. You have to love great marketing. When looking for ideas to build a supper club theme around, there is nothing better than a great marketing idea.

Wolffer Estate is a vineyard in Sagaponack New York. You can question the quality of their wines, but you can’t question the quality of their advertising. The whole concept of “Summer In A Bottle” just exudes good times. A Rose wine isn’t normally my first choice, but with that type of marketing, I will buy a bottle or five.

Speaking of great advertising. I love the old Schwab ad that talks about retirement advice and advisors that recommend owning a vineyard. The classic line is: “A vineyard? give me a break”.

Schwab ad: 

Every time I visit a vineyard in the Hamptons I think of this ad. They are great places to spend a summer afternoon, but the wines will not, get you 3 stars in the Michelin guide. They also define the expression “more money than sense”. The owners are not making money; they are investing in a passion.

I once had lunch with a well-known wine maker at a boutique vineyard in the Napa valley. We were talking about the proliferation of vineyards in the valley and I asked if they made money. He gave me a quizzical look and said: “Not really, only the big guys make money, with most of the vineyards it is more about the passion for wine making”. If vineyards in Napa that make really great wines aren’t making money, there is no way the vineyards in the Hamptons come close to being profitable, unless they have great marketing.

A great way to kick off a “Summer” supper club menu is with a seafood spread appetizer.

Check out the recipe 

If you have a food processor and a few simple ingredients, there is no easier way to make a quick first course. I have a confession to make. You can even use leftover grilled fish to make this recipe. You will probably feel guilty when you get complemented on the spread knowing that you used leftovers, but you will get over it.

Inspiration for supper club menus (and/or blogs) can come from anywhere, but “Summer in a Bottle” is a great one.

If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs due out from Morgan James Publishing on January 30, 2018.

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