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Katnook Estate

News and Blog

Katnook Estate
16 February 2017 | Katnook Estate

How to host the perfect outdoor dinner party

In these last few weeks of summer in the southern hemisphere, here are some great tips from Monisha Iswaran on how to host an outdoor dinner party - not forgetting the Katnook Coonawarra Wine! 

How to host the perfect outdoor dinner party.   Monisha Iswaran 13/02/2017 

Are you throwing a dinner party and hoping to make the most of the warm summer weather? Turn your patio or back garden into the perfect party venue with just a few small tips and tricks. Making an outdoor party run seamlessly is an art, and planning and preparation is imperative to make sure you have an enjoyable evening with your guest instead of being stressed the entire time. Follow these simple guidelines to help you keep your food, drinks and decor in check, while keeping your guests entertained and happy.

Prepare Prepare Prepare

When you plan to host outdoors, you face nature in its full force, such as the possibility of rain, extreme sun, pests and a whole other host of unpredictable elements that could ruin your party. As such, event manager Lel Brassel Ngo, co-founder of The Party Kit Company, emphasizes the importance of preparation:

“The key, as with any party, is preparation - especially if you’re entertaining outdoors. Not only is the weather unpredictable, there are issues related to pests, food freshness, guest comfort and lighting. Get prepared by assessing your space: ensure there is adequate seating and shade, noting where to store food and drinks safely, and having measures in place to deter pests.

By developing a menu and preparing food in advance, you will save effort as well; think salads, charcuterie, fruit - things that can be prepared in advance, rather than you having to slave over a stove or barbecue when guests have arrived.”

For more party planning advice or to purchase style Party Kits, check out her online store on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Dress Up Your Dinner Table

One aspect of the night that can be done well before your guests start to arrive is the setting up of your table. Your choice in decor can make the difference between a seemingly shabby, thrown together dinner and making your home and garden a stylish party venue.

When planning the aesthetic tone of your table, start with choosing a centrepiece! You might want to accentuate your outdoor environment by choosing something nature-related, like an eye-catching flower arrangement. Other table decorations with an outdoor feel could include small succulents, a table runner filled with moss, lanterns and a variety of candles. Another option is to include a selection of wooden objects, to contribute to the earthy atmosphere in which your dinner is set.

You also need to consider what type of dinnerware you are planning use, depending on the degree of formality you are hoping to achieve. Generally, choosing plates and cutlery that have colour add to the fun, stylish vibe of the table without have to appear stiff and formal.

Be Ready With Drinks

From the moment your guests arrive, you should have drinks on hand to welcome them into your home, particularly as a dinner party set outdoors may be slightly warm at the start of the evening, and you want to keep your guests feeling cool and cheery. Be sure to have a constant supply of ice on hand, as you are likely to underestimate how much will be used throughout the night, particularly if you have a large party of people coming for dinner. You will also want to have a bucket or tub filled with ice to keep the drinks cold and ready for consumption!

Anna Aldrige from Katnook Coonawarra estate winery, suggests how particular wines are perfect for an outdoor summer dinner:

“Outdoor dinner parties usually call for fresh, fruit driven styles of wine. The reason is that the great outdoors usually send us all into an immediate state of relaxation and focusing on a wine’s subtleties is often better suited to indoor dining. Katnook Coonawarra crafts the Founder’s Block range which are fruit forward, ‘drink now with food’ styles of better known varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Keep The Pests From Your Guests

An important factor to keep track of for an outdoor party is the possibility of insects, such as mosquitoes and the like. Firstly, take preventative measure such as ensuring that any pots, containers or gutters that could contain stagnant water are emptied prior to the evening. This will also help to keep your venue looking clean, smart and ready for hosting.

Understandably, you will not want to be spraying insect repellent throughout your evening, as this is sure to dampen the festive mood. Luckily, there are other options you can consider such as plugging in a number of fans to keep the air moving and the bugs at bay. This will also keep your guests cool and comfortable, killing two birds with one stone. You may even want to place a small fan on the table to keep the food items safe from lingering insects. You can also consider other repellent products, such as a gadget that you can set-up in the garden, or bug wipes that your guests can use on their skin for a pest-free evening!

Sweeten Up Your Summery Party

No outdoor dinner party is complete without the perfect dinner party dessert. Sweets For Tilly has some tips for planning the perfect end to your evening meal:

“Light and simple. For those of you who do not like a heavy and over filling dessert, stick to something light such as cookies with tea and coffee. Macadamia nut cookies or vanilla shortbread go great with some herbal tea or coffee, will not leave you feeling too full and will ensure your guests aren’t rolling home.

Add some variety. If you want to mix things up for your guests instead of having just one simple dessert, add a few different elements to the batter. Cookies, cupcakes, or cheesecake cups. This is a great idea to cater to everyone’s needs and gives the option of more than one dessert. Your guests can also eat as much as they want or keep it to a minimum.”

If you want to get more tips on planning a dessert menu, and get inspired by more creative ideas and themes, check out Sweet For Tilly on Facebook and Instagram.

So there you have your guide to pulling off the perfect outdoor dinner party without a single glitch. Now you have no excuse to be sitting indoors during the months of summery weather. Happy party planning!


Katnook Estate
19 December 2016 | Katnook Estate

Gifts sorted!

Let's face it. The holiday season is a time to relax and enjoy the finer things in life. Like Coonawarra wine!

Katnook Cellar Door is open every day over Summer except Christmas day. Our hours are: weekdays 10am - 5pm and weekends noon - 5pm. Check our Cellar Door page for details about the warm Katnook welcome that has made us one of the top Coonawarra attractions on Trip Advisor.

Our online store is always open and ready to freight wine to you anywhere in Australia.  Offering wine priced from $18 through to $100, you are sure to find a style to suit your taste and wallet.  Or grab a gift voucher from our store for that last minute present and let your special person choose their favourites.

Wishing all our wine friends a fabulous Festive Season and summer break.

Katnook Estate
23 November 2016 | Katnook Estate

Katnook hits the high notes with Opera Australia

As another year of Katnook holding the title of Opera Australia's official wine draws to a close, we are super excited about two events remaining on the Opera 2016 calendar.

Katnook is again proud to support Opera Australia's annual free opera concert held 'under the stars'  for the people of Melbourne to be held on Saturday December 3rd.  Then on New Year's Eve, our wines will be served in the Opera House as lucky guests witness world class fireworks to herald 2017.

Pack a picnic, gather some friends and hear Lorina Gore, Sian Pendry, Diego Torre and Luke Gabbedy sing some of opera's biggest hits with the Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria.

Gates open at 4pm, get there early to nab a good spot.  Performance starts at 7pm - check out the program below. Katnook wines will proudly be served during the VIP interval and post performance party.  For more information, click here.


BIZET Prelude to Carmen
ORFF 'O Fortuna' from Carmina Burana
ROSSINI 'Largo al factotum' from The Barber of Seville
BIZET The Flower Song from Carmen
SAINT-SAËNS 'Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix' from Samson and Delilah
VERDI The Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore
BIZET 'Au fond du temple saint' from The Pearlfishers
VERDI 'Sempre libera' from La Traviata


ROSSINI Overture to William Tell
BIZET Seguidilla from Carmen
BIZET The Toreador Song from Carmen
LOEWE 'I Could Have Danced All Night' from My Fair Lady
RODGERS 'You'll Never Walk Alone' from Carousel
PUCCINI 'Nessun dorma' from Turandot


New Year's Eve is the night when Sydney puts on the bling, kicks up its heels and shows the world what a gorgeous thing it is, as a festival of fire explodes across the midnight sky. 

Ringside seats to the greatest show on earth are hard to come by, but we've saved some great ones, and you're invited.  Leave the crowds behind as you enter the Sydney Opera House.

Be entertained at the Opera Gala, featuring favourites by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and more.

Then, with a heart full of song, watch the fireworks the whole world watches. Interval is timed for the 9pm fireworks and the Sydney Opera House stays open well past the midnight fireworks.

There’s nowhere in the world like Sydney on New Year's Eve and there's nowhere closer to the action than Sydney Opera House. Make this your most glamorous and memorable New Year ever.  BOOK HERE.

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