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How to Tailgate at Steeplechase Races Like a Winner


October 31, 2017 | Ivy Publications

During the fall in Charlottesville, there are many fabulous events to tailgate at, especially the horse races. Horse races provide the perfect opportunity to gather and enjoy amazing food while watching a spectacular and traditional sport. Each year, the Montpelier Hunt Races hosts a tailgate contest showcasing how best to execute this form of entertaining. Here are Wine & Country’s tips for horse race tailgating featuring the Montpelier Hunt Races:

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation. Break out the silver and fine china to set a spectacular arrangement. Bring your vintage silver wine bottle cooler to keep the white wines chilled and plenty of serving bowls and dishes for displaying your food. While it is perfectly acceptable for guests to use plastic plates and cups from which to eat and drink, serving out of Tupperware is a faux pas.

Embrace a Theme. Whether you showcase the look of the season, such as the table with the leaves and engaging fox head below, or choose to highlight the theme of the event you are attending like the horse cookies and horse cake below, themed presentations are sure to make your table stand out. The perfect tailgate spread incorporates appropriate decor while also providing delectable food, both of which can delightfully feature your theme.

Prepare to Feast. When choosing the food for your tailgate, you want to cover all your bases: beverages, finger/snack foods, side dishes, entree options and desserts. If hosting for a large group of people, it is a good idea to provide gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. If you are planning to stay at an event long enough, it is often a good idea to provide for multiple times of the day (having breakfast and lunch spreads, for example). Tailgating tends to be an all-day or all-afternoon affair, so be prepared to set out different foods throughout the day depending on the time.

We cannot wait to see the tailgate spreads at this year’s Montpelier Hunt Races on Saturday, November 4, and are proud to be both sponsoring and providing a judge for the tailgate contest. We are looking forward to spending a delightful afternoon at the races.

To learn more about the Montpelier Hunt Races, be sure to check out our previous blog post on the event.

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

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