a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned

Just because it’s fall, doesn’t meant the gatherings need to end — if anything, chilly weather and shorter days are the perfect excuse to gather friends around the dinner table. My preferred way to kick off any sort of party is a well-curated spread of cheese and meats served with wine! Because it’s fall, I’ve been more partial to red wines, particularly Merlot from Italian purveyor Ecco Domani. I find that this medium-bodied red wine has luscious notes of blackberry and cherry, while also being balanced and soft on the palate.

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belatheea fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

For this fall fête, I decided to spice things up a bit, literally. I reached out to my good friend, Ashley of Craft & Cocktails to help me concoct a fall-inspired cocktail using the rich and flavorful Merlot.

Mulled Wine Old Fashioned (created by Craft & Cocktails)

  • 2 bottles Ecco Domani Merlot
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 oranges, juice + zest
  • 1 lemon, juice + zest
  • 6 whole cloves or 1/2 tsp. ground clove
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 3/4 cups whole blackberries, muddled
  • 1 1/4 cups black tea syrup

Start by zesting the oranges and lemon, then combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and allow to summer for 30 minutes. To serve, strain through a fine mesh strainer and garnish with a blackberry and twist of orange peel.

Black Tea Syrup

  • 4 bags black tea
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Bring the water and sugar to boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes. Remove tea bags from syrup to use.

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

In terms of cheese, I’m a firm believer in the ‘more is more is more’ philosophy. I piled platters with all kinds of deliciousness: rosemary-covered manchego, wine-soaked goat cheese, softened brie, and even a stinky blue cheese.

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belatheea fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

I also really love to offer guests great pairing options, so I loaded up my table with favorites like sliced baguette, tons of different kinds of crackers, quince paste, olives, and cured meats. Oh, the cured meats… sigh.

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belatheea fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

Let’s talk about ambience, shall we? I wanted the table to feel casual, but still quite special and seasonal, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. In place of a traditional tablecloth, I instead covered my table with a sheet of kraft paper. I folded the paper into small rectangles to give a bit of texture, too. I also adore candlelight, so I set the scene with mini twinkly lights and looooong taper candles — so romantic!

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

It’s all about the special touches, too. I wrapped natural twine around my glassware and even created my own small centerpieces. I tried to keep everything pretty low, height-wise, so as not to interrupt the flow of conversation. I incorporated many different types of greenery and foliage: twigs of rosemary, tiny sprigs of currants, and golden colored chrysanthemums. To make the rosemary stand out even more, I wrapped mini string lights around them — gotta get that twinkle!

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belatheea fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

Lastly, I wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable, so I added soft decorative pillows to the chairs, along with a throw or two in case someone gets cold (I feel like we all have that friend).

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

What do you think — wanna come to my party?

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belatheea fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

Sources: silk jumpsuit from Anthropologie, entwined gold taper holders from Anthropologie, gold flatware from West Elm, Tola plates from Crate & Barrel, bronze hammered chargers from Williams-Sonoma, pillows from West Elm, napkins from Crate & Barrel, Marché cloche from Anthropologie, and glassware from E. Smith Mercantile.

a fall fête + mulled wine old fashioned #EccoDomani #EccoStyleSociety photocredit: @belathee

photography by Belathée Photography.
recipe by Craft & Cocktails for Jojotastic

This post is a partnership with Ecco Domani. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

  • Beautiful! Killin’ the table scape!

    • thank you so much!! totally honored that you like it :)