Hostess tips to help you sit back, relax and enjoy the flavors of the season


With a new year already mere months away and a chilly, pre-winter crispness in the air, mid-autumn can feel at once refreshing and fleeting, like an all too brief calm before the holiday season storm. But if we take time out to rejuvenate this month – to enjoy the new fall TV lineup, perhaps, or tuck into a good book — we may also find ourselves noticing the subtler markers of this time of year, and reveling in shorter days, cooler temperatures and an undeniable urge to settle in, snuggle up and enjoy the cozy delights of a season focused on warmth, leisure and togetherness.

According to recent media reports from the likes of the Hollywood Reporter, early season pick-ups of fall’s newest television comedies suggest an overwhelming popular demand for good humor; and in a season infused with family gatherings, work parties and all manner of festive fun, it’s no surprise that laughter is currently ruling the airwaves. But whether you’re taking advantage of the pre-holiday respite with a girl’s night in around the TV or a more formal get-together at the office, one thing is clear: the emphasis should be enjoying one another’s company and escaping the stress that all too often engulfs party hosts and average folks alike as the holidays draw near.

Of course, the key to stress-free entertaining is to make everything – the food, the wine, the décor – as simple as possible without sacrificing style. Some of us may have that gift; but for those who don’t, consider Café Merlot as an alternative for elegant yet casual catering that allows you to celebrate the season with effortless panache.

Taste autumn’s bounty with local selections from Café Merlot “Out the Door”

Situated on-site at the historic Bernardo Winery and dedicated to crafting the best in classic, locally sourced cuisine with a contemporary twist, Café Merlot is the ideal source for all your seasonal catering needs. With a flexible, custom catering service featuring seasonal produce picked at its peak from the café’s own micro farm, cChef Joe are every fall party host’s greatest allies. Choose from an enticing selection of entrees for an informal dinner, or throw a Soup and Pasta party with Lobster Bisque soup, Pumpkin Ravioli and a homemade bread pudding to end the evening on a sweet note. Whatever the occasion, and whichever menu items you choose, Café Merlot “Out the Door” will be an asset to your party preparations and, most importantly, a perfect excuse to skip lengthy shopping, chopping, basting and boiling tasks in favor of fresh, ready-to-eat food brought to your doorstep.

This autumn, slow down and make life a little easier on yourself: let Café Merlot indulge your senses while simultaneously freeing up time for the things that really matter. To learn more about our catering packages or to peruse a full menu, visit us online: