Events, Food, Wine

Make California Wine the Star of Your Oscars Watch Party

Wow your guests with a next-level menu of fancy bites and Golden State sips at your Oscars party.


The 95th Academy Awards broadcast — you know, the Oscars! — is set for March 12. That means it’s time to celebrate the winners and the state’s iconic film industry by toasting with California wine at your Oscars watch party. The glamour of the awards calls for a next-level menu that pairs Golden State wines with fancy finger foods and small plates. Best of all, guests can enjoy the party spread from the best seat in the house — your comfy sofa.

California wine and the Academy Awards are a perfect match. Not only is the state home to Hollywood and the world’s most famous movie studios, some of the industry’s top luminaries — Oscar winners themselves — are also California vintners. This includes legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Inglenook) and director-producer John Lasseter (Lasseter Family Wines), known for his work with Disney and Pixar. Musician John Legend (an “EGOT” because he has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award) is also the man behind LVE Collection wines, a collaboration with Napa Valley’s Raymond Vineyards.

Here are some red-carpet recipes for elegant watch-party appetizers and bites, paired with an array of Golden State sips

strawberry dessert

Best Seasonal Star:

Strawberry Shortcake Orange Blossom Stack

Every party needs a good dessert, and we’ve got you covered. Add a bit of bright California citrus flavor to every delicious layer of this dish.

We recommend pairing with a glass of California sparkling rosé or or California Muscat, but it will work with any of your favorite dessert wines too.

crab tostadas

Best Healthy Version of a Classic:

Dungeness Crab and Avocado Tostadas

Elevate your gathering with a little crab. Light and fresh, these California-style tostadas are sure to be a crown pleaser.

Enjoy with California Chardonnay or California Sauvignon Blanc.

oscars party beef carpaccio

Best Spin on a Timeless Classic:

Beef Carpaccio Crostini

Thinly sliced beef is paired with fresh and crunchy cucumber as the perfect complement to raw prime beef.

Enjoy this new take on the classic dish with a glass of California Cabernet Sauvignon or California Pinot Noir.

oscars party pimento cheese

Best High-Low Food Fusion:

Gougères with Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a Southern classic and it’s especially delicious when paired with fancy French cheese puffs. Both the pimento cheese and the cheese puffs can be made days in advance and then assembled right before guests arrive for easy entertaining.

Serve with a glass of California Chardonnay or California bubbles.

oscars party carrot hummus

Freshest Newcomer:

Carrot Hummus with Spring Vegetable Crudités

Blending carrots, chickpeas and tahini produces a hummus with a vibrant California twist. Cook the carrots first to heighten their sweetness, then surround the fluffy spread with a garland of crisp spring vegetables for dipping.

Pair with California Sauvignon Blanc or California Chardonnay.

oscars party rice paper rolls

Best Performance of Prawns in a Starring Role:

Rice Paper Rolls filled with Pepper-Dusted Prawns and Matchstick Vegetables

These light veggie spring rolls are crunchy and spicy, with a hint of sweetness.

Pair these healthy, flavor-packed bites with California sparkling wine or California Pinot Gris.

oscars party chocolate board

Best Finale:

Chocolate Grazing Board

There is no wrong way to make a chocolate board. Plan to have 2-4 ounces of chocolate per guest, plus a variety of fresh and dried fruits, nuts and dips. For the chocolate, we recommend going with 70% dark chocolate, a lighter milk chocolate and a white chocolate.

Pair with California Cabernet Sauvignon or a California red blend.


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