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Only 15 Minutes to Wine

Imagine receiving an invitation to join a new friend and a friend of hers on the roof for wine, but you must absolutely arrive within 15 minutes of getting the invitation.

Oh, and the complete stranger doesn’t know you’re coming and is supplying the wine.

Here’s how to show up with something while not making yourself wild (or worse, late!) with preparations.

A white platter containing a broken up dark chocolate orange, dried figs, dried apricots, smoked cheddar, feta cheese, and cherry tomatoes. My contribution to an invitation to drink wine on the roof deck in 15 minutes..

First things first, as soon as you get in the door (because you certainly weren’t in your home when you got this invitation), set a timer. For me, this was 11 minutes of the 14 I had left. Adjust accordingly, and respect the timer. Absolutely no “just one more thing.” Try, in fact, to beat the timer.

Grab a platter and any dried fruits you have in your house (at least that are in easy reach). Grab at least one and no more than three kinds of cheese, a cutting board and a knife. If you have anything else that looks like easy finger food, especially dessert-y finger food, grab it too. Grab a box of crackers.

Preparing the fastest cheese, fruit, veggie, and chocolate plate ever. Including photos, took 10 minutes.

Plate anything dry and easy to plate first. In my case, this was the chocolate orange (dark, of course), the dried figs, and the dried apricots. If you want, take a moment to make it look good on the platter, but do not get all perfectionist here. There’s no time and it’s not fun. And, frankly, the differing colors and shades will be enough to look good even if you don’t help.

Next chop more cheese than you think you need. Slice it reasonably thin, and roughly cracker shaped. If you, like me, are also using a crumbly cheese, try to make the crumbles a bit big, but don’t worry too much. People will eat it no matter the size of the crumbles.

Clean and then add any fresh finger fruits or veggies. Don’t take time to chop anything at this stage. Baby carrots or cherry tomatoes are good. Full size carrots or broccoli or bell peppers are a bad idea.

Box of crackers. Platter of fruits, cheese, tomatoes, and chocolate. Most importantly? A wine glass! (Also, the travel mug is water.)

Finally, and this is really important, grab yourself a wine glass. Do not expect the person who doesn’t know you’re coming to supply you with one. Otherwise, maybe you won’t get wine!

Plating the above and making sure I had a wine glass, the box of crackers, and some water (not a requirement, but I like to do so) took me 10.5 minutes. I was upstairs right on time, and thus didn’t keep anyone waiting.

And I got a ton of compliments on my gourmet set-up. You will too, I’m sure.

Half eaten platter of cheese, fruit, tomatoes, and chocolate. Someone else also brought cheese. And she brought a really crisp bottle of Pinot Grigio.

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  1. Jen

    I’m not sure I could have pulled that off! Great job! I probably shouldn’t be surprised that you happened to just have dried figs lying around ready for such an occasion, and yet I’m once again astonished at some of the things that you keep around that I’ve never even thought of buying.

    Speaking of buying, is that a Kirkland label on the wine? Is that Costco wine? Can you get WINE AT COSTCO in Portland? And if yes, shouldn’t it come in casks or those huge novelty wine bottles you see in Italian restaurants?

    • Tasha

      That IS a Costco bottle, and you definitely can buy wine at Costco here, and it’s cheap and delicious and very well priced. And while they sell in Nebuchadnezzars (I think), they don’t require you to buy that big. 🙂

      I normally do not have dried figs lying around, but that’s changing. Not just because of this success, but because I realized how much I like snacking on them! And they’re better than the tortilla chips. (The ones I’m snacking on now because my figs are stale…)

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