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Real Parties

Get Inspired by Elle and Jon Feldman’s Summer in Sancerre Party

Before heading out for several weeks to study French in Sancerre, France, Elle Feldman bid her friends and family adieu with a themed outdoor party, complete with a robust cheese board and even a sommelier.

By Tessa Cooper

Jun 2019

Elle and Jon Feldman Springfield MO
Photo by Tessa CooperElle and Jon Feldman hosted their "Summer in Sancerre" last summer in preparation of their trip to Sancerre and the Loire Valley in France.

417 Home: What inspired you to host this gathering?
Elle Feldman:
This was a party to learn about the wines of Sancerre and the Loire Valley. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the wines of the Loire as prep for the four weeks I was about to spend there taking French language lessons. And why not invite friends to join in on the fun? We’ve learned a lot about wine over the years from Aaron Rozeboom, a sommelier with Vintegrity Wine and Spirits. He knows so much detailed information about wine, and he’s fascinating to listen to. We learn so much when he talks about wine, and I wanted to learn as much as I could. Learning about wine is a hobby for [my husband] Jon and I, and we wanted to learn more about the wines of the Loire Valley, and he’s the most knowledgeable person to learn from.

Friends clinking glasses of wine at Elle Feldman's summer garden party

To keep with the theme, guests were asked to wear light, airy fabrics to mimic summer in the French countryside.

Wine tasting notes

Elle provided a place for guests to make tasting notes throughout the party.

Photos by Tessa Cooper

417 Home: What can you tell us about the theme of the party? 
E.F.:
The theme was a Summer in Sancerre. I knew I wanted it to feel clean and crisp with linen and pretty simple garden flowers. I asked the guests to dress in linen because linen tunics, dresses, shirts and blouses are irreplaceable in summer when in a hot and humid climate. It’s typical attire in the French countryside. It’s classic, comfortable, casual, light, crisp, flowy and the most refreshing fabric to wear in the summer. The decor was also simple. We moved our vintage barn-wood table to the outdoor patio for the wine tasting. We just hauled the table out and topped it with simple French flower pots filled with simple green Mediterranean summer herbs and the most popular summer plant in France, potted red geraniums. It made for an instant quaint garden party.

French cheese board

A French cheese platter filled with cheese and buttery French sable cookies.

Olive spread

Spread of bread and crackers garnished with tapenade, chutneys and olives.

Photos by Tessa Cooper

417 Home: What food did you serve? 
E.F.:
I created a French cheese platter filled with cheese and buttery French sable cookies I had just brought back from a recent trip to Normandy, France. I kept the food easy, letting the wine guide my choices. We noshed on French cheese, meats, nuts and cookies. We also ate bread and crackers garnished with tapenade, chutneys and olives. 

Aaron Rozeboom Sommelier with Vintegrity Wine and Spirits

Aaron Rozeboom, Sommelier with Vintegrity Wine and Spirits giving the background of the evenings wine selection.

Selection of wine from Sancerre and the Loire Valley in France

Selection of wine from Sancerre and the Loire Valley in France.

Photos by Tessa Cooper

417 Home:  How did you choose the wine to serve? 
E.F.:
I asked Aaron to coordinate the wines. I asked him to create a wine tasting for 10 to 12 people with wine education of wines from the Loire Valley, specifically of the wine regions from Tours to Sancerre including Pouilly, Fume. 

Elle Feldman toasting friends at her French summer garden party
Photo by Tessa CooperElle Feldman sees summer as the perfect season to have friends and family over to share in great food, wine and company.

417 Home: What was your favorite part of the evening? 
E.F.:
We love to host wine tasting parties, and we knew this house would be the perfect backdrop for a summer garden wine party. Summer is the most perfect time to have friends and family over to share great food and great wine. I felt inspired by my surroundings, the wine and my French travels. I loved sharing my love for French wine and food with my friends and seeing everyone have a wonderful time learning about the wine while getting to know the other guests. Moving a party outside casts magic on everyone. The food tastes fresh, the wine tastes crisp, the sun sets and everyone’s mood is light. It was a lovely night, the food was great, the company was better and the wine education was fantastic. This is the stuff summers are made of.