On Wednesday my younger sister, Katie, turned 30. We celebrated with my family at my place, with holiday-inspired decor, good wine and awesome Italian food.

We a lot of cake at this party. That was a priority of the day, since my sister has a massive sweet tooth and wanted “lots of cakes”. So her husband picked up 3 delicious cakes from Whole Foods and one from CUB (because Whole Foods didn’t have chocolate chocolate, what?!) and we devoured them. I mean…seriously, I ate two slices of the three cakes and would have gone for a third, but I forced myself to have a little self control.


I set up a wine and dessert table on our entry foyer table and it was a lovely display. We served Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau wine, a red velvet cake, a chocolate chocolate cake and a chocolate peanut butter cake.

My family members aren’t big drinkers and since I’m pregnant I was not able to really enjoy much wine. Though I did have a very small glass and it was divine. The taste was really just a tease because after I wanted to dump the whole bottle in my mouth or possibly swim in it. Have I mentioned I miss wine?

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Not only does the wine taste great but I love the festive bottle, which looked so pretty adjacent to my twinkly lights and holiday decor.

Here are a few fun facts about Beaujolais Nouveau wine:

Every year, under French law, at 12:01 on the third Thursday in November, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released. Harvest celebrations take place all over France with fireworks, fanfare, festivals, and bottles of the new vintage being uncorked into the wee hours. Any excuse to have a party, right? Cheers.

The Gamay grapes that go into Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau are handpicked in the Beaujolais province of France. The fruity, easy-to-drink wine’s light fermentation entices both red and white wine lovers, making it just right for holiday celebrations.

This is a red wine that actually should be slightly chilled before enjoying. Just pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes or so before enjoying.

Charcuterie and cheese boards pair nicely with Beaujolais Nouveau. Cold cooked meats like sausages, ham, pâtés, fresh radishes, gherkins, a good crusty baguette with butter complement the bright fresh flavors. For cheese, anything goes except strongly flavored or heavily aged cheeses.

I also thought it went well with cake. But perhaps everything tastes good with cake? I have another unopened bottle of wine at home and plan to pair it with a cheese board for a party Erik and I are hosting next Friday. Have I mentioned that our December is jam-packed?


In addition to the wine and cake table, my other favorite detail of the party was this Build-Your-Own-Italian-Soda bar. I got the idea from Pinterest and my sister-in-law Nikki of Lovely Scribbles offered to create a chalkboard sign. This really completed the table. IMG_3251

I made a homemade strawberry syrup (very easy…just boil together 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar and a bag of frozen strawberries. Place into the blender and then pour through a sieve to collect the juice and eliminate seeds).

Guests could build-their-own with sparkling water, syrup and a splash of cream.

We also added some dry breadsticks to munch on while we waited for the pasta.

Speaking of food, there is never a shortage for family celebrations.

On the menu:

Bruschetta with toasted baguette

Caesar salad

Broccoli and sun-dried tomato fettucini alfredo


And then of course we had the cakes for dessert.


My sister is mostly a vegetarian so I made a veggie alfredo but placed a bowl of chicken next to it for guests to add their own if they desired.


My aunt made and brought over a meat and veggie Manicotti.


Eating for two?!

Turning 30 is a big deal. It requires good wine, lots of delicious food, a few special touches and of course, 3 cakes.

Happy 30th birthday, Katie! I hope the evening kicked off a fun weekend extravaganza. 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored on behalf of Georges Duboeuf and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.