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.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

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2 Comments

  1. 11.4.15

    Beautiful! Killin’ the table scape!

    • 11.4.15
      joanna said:

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