Potluck Summer

Easy, portable dishes to feed (and please) the crowd are part of our summer entertaining.

Summer is potluck season, when large-format gatherings—like neighbourhood backyard barbecues, picnics in the park for the whole extended family, even class reunions—mean there are plenty of mouths to feed. Recipe developer Monda Rosenberg has come up with three perfect dishes that tick every box when sharing is the order of the day. This isn’t the time for intricate pairings, but we’ve found wines (in extra-large bottles) that work beautifully with these dishes and are versatile enough to cover all sorts of other bases, too. Let the party begin!

Sushi Cake Squares

The subtle pleasures of sushi with a minimum of fuss! Layer the ingredients in a single dish then cut them into squares or triangles.

La Vieille Ferme White

Famously great value, this smooth, silky white blend from Provence’s Côtes du Luberon is easygoing, generously food-friendly and yet surprisingly complex. The grapes aren’t the most famous varieties in the world—Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino—but together they conjure lovely aromas of tropical fruit and poached pear, with enough acidity to keep everything fresh.

Cheese-Topped Summer Ratatouille

Tangy chèvre tops a medley of baked garden vegetables. Served warm or at room temperature, this dish does double duty as a vegetarian main or a substantial side.

Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais

The archetype of an everyday Beaujolais, this wine offers come-hither aromas of cherry and strawberry with full, honest, fresh flavours and decent length. Tannins? Acidity? Not really, but that’s why we love Beaujolais. The trend is to chill it for a short time in the fridge, and that’s a good idea on a hot day. Serve it with a range of foods, from charcuterie to salmon to our yummy ratatouille.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp

Irresistible desserts come into their own any time from brunch to supper. Use whatever fruit is plentiful and ramp up the crispness factor with a cookie topping.

Martini & Rossi Asti

Here’s a true classic, enjoyed by generations of wine lovers who look for sweetness and light. Sparkling—almost frothy—and with only 7% alcohol by volume (ABV), it’s virtually a confection, offering aromas of honey, apricot and Muscat grapes that carry on into the flavour. Try it with all sorts of desserts, especially fruity ones.