Hotel Inspired White Peach Sangria with Harry & David

by heidi on August 23, 2012

Peach Sangria Recipe from FoodieCrush

The weekend started innocently enough. We landed. We checked in. And then, we discovered our gift boxes. And that’s when the party started.

Sweet Riesling, sparklin peach juice, fresh fruit and a few resourceful food bloggers. I smelled Sangria, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

back row: RebeccaKristenJenna, Lorime and  Bridget   front row: Maria,  SandyRachelJessica, and Amy

This was a weekend of food bloggers on a trip to learn about a storied company. Yeah, you’ve heard about these gigs before. Well, this was my first one. The newbie in “the group.” A little trepidatious and a lot honored at being asked to go. I mean who am I? I’m just someone who likes to tell people about cool recipes and food bloggers. I’m not of “their” echelon.

But guess what? They didn’t have an echelon. They were just real. Live. And lovely. And thanks to our hosts, Harry & David and Sandy and Paul, I figured that out really quickly.

And yes, the sangria didn’t hurt either.

Having met some of the group from conferences helped alleviate the nerves, and once I saw the charm of the Ashland Springs Hotel, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable weekend overall.

We were in Medford, Oregon to tour the storied Harry & David. The same company that each Christmas delivered pears to my family in towers of gold-foiled boxes with chocolate for me and my sister and nuts for my dad. Boxes that I would covet and store my keepsakes in for years on end.

But first, we had a dinner to attend.

A very special dinner hosted by a very special lady. Sandy of Reluctant Entertainer, who was anything but reluctant in welcoming a bunch of food bloggers with wine and food and a warm welcome to her home town.

Check out our welcome wagon in this quick video from the evening. Makes me a little homesick for Sandy’s hospitality.

Our amazing hosts’ teen daughter Abby—with Sandy, the queen of the night—made a terrific duo in and out of the kitchen. And really, who better to throw a backyard bash to set the tone of a great weekend? Not that Sandy was nervous or anything, just another evening of entertaining food bloggers.

With a vast background in hosting distinguished soirees to impromptu bar-b-ques, nobody has better advice to pull off the ultimate get together without breaking a sweat. Or at least look like you didn’t.

She somehow pulled it all off with ease. And I wanted to know how.

Here are Sandy’s top 10 tips to easy entertaining: 

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #1: Add an element of surprise.
“With a backyard garden theme, we used tomatoes and vines as the decor thanks to the great minds of some of my favorite florists and our “new-used” red-painted trellis we bought at a yard sale for $5.” (check out Sandy’s DIY decorating post)

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #2: Make it long.
“Instead of several small tables, join two smaller tables with one or two of the same tablecloth to create a relaxed family-style atmosphere that lets the conversation flow.”

Maria is as happy as a pea

Caleb takes his spot in the turtle race. That would be first place.

Josh chills at the pool—in between sprints of chasing after Caleb

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #3: Mingle, mingle, mingle.
“Once your guests arrive, give them a chance to meet, mingle and chat. Or in blogger speak, take photos and document the amazing evening for their readers so they can THEN sit back, mix, mingle and chat—with all devices off.”

Jessica and Bridget share digital laughs while consistently sporting the best hair of the trip.

Pretty Amy is luminescent in the early evening light. Hey her hair looks great too!

Amy and Rachel. How can you not love that face? One of my favorites of the trip.

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #4: Keep things simple.
“Pop open the jar lids of chutneys or relishes for easy appetizers with goat cheese, flat bread, pita chips and fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Move over Vanna, Jessica has a future in hand modeling. How delish does that app look? Guess what? It tasted even better! It’s as easy as pita chips, goat cheese, jarred relish and a fruit topper. Oh and wine. Yes, wine.

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #5: Use what you have.
“Instead of going on a shopping trip for a one-night dinner, I went eclectic and used my 21-year-old wedding dishes and Dollar Store water and wine glasses. And nobody was the wiser! I also used these cute napkin ties from The Hip Hostess to tie the cutlery and napkins in a nice little package.”

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #6: Think outside of the box.
“I used 2 Lowes painting drop clothes to top the table at just $10 each. They’re neutral in color, large enough to cover long tops and clean up with ease. And if they get stained with wine or food spills it’s no big deal. They can be recycled for what they were originally intended for: Dropcloths!”

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #7: It’s all about good conversation.
“Use seating cards to create great conversations. Pair outgoing personalities next to those that might feel a bit shy to bring out the best in everyone a the table.”

Local Medford bread makes for great dipping

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #8: Make it memorable.
“Take photos throughout the evening, create a photo book and have it shipped to your guests to memorialize the evening. Or start a blog and document it for the world to see.”

Kristin is a natural if you didn’t know…

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #9: Don’t try new.
“Cook a recipe you already know or feel comfortable with. I made a simple salad, corn with zucchini from the garden and a baked salmon with jarred relish from Harry & David. Our wonderful friends Minor and Jeannie gave us the best gift for Christmas: Two Sous Chefs for a night of entertaining at our house so Paul and I can enjoy the evening without worrying about cooking and clean-up. We’re so thankful for such thoughtful friends like them.”

SANDY’S ENTERTAINING TIP #10: Send them home with something to remember.
“Every smart hostess sends a little something home with their guests to commemorate the evening.”

Sandy graciously supplied gift bags with Harry & David kitchen timers in the shape of apples. I know every time I use this cute little timer, I’ll remember this awesome night of bloggerness love.

After an amazing feast and great conversation we were on our way, touring our way through the orchards of Harry & David’s signature pears, The Royal Riviera. Yep, those are the ones you’ll get in your holiday boxes.

700 tons picked per day, in just 28 days which equals 2.9 million pears. All carefully picked by 300 pairs of hands. Again, in just 28 days. I did that math on the bus, so don’t quote me, but I think I’m close.

Harry and David orchard

My favorite quote of the weekend, ” My oven is the sun, my timing is the season.” ~ Matt, the head of the orchards (yes he has a much fancier title but he’s just a lovely simple guy who loves farming and what he does.

Not only were the pears ready to burst thanks tot he 95 degree heat during the day that dropped to the perfect 50s at night, the peaches…oh, the peaches! Straight from the tree and paired with local Rogue Creamery smoked blue cheese. Forget about it. I was in heaven.

A trip to the creamery and a wine tasting at Ledger David made the unusual 100+ temps far more bearable. Yes, my glass is empty. Odd.

I’ve never stayed in a boutique hotel that was so attention to detail and local-friendly as the Ashland Springs Hotel. And I’m betting the comfiest beds in Oregon.

A lovely dinner at Red Lilly Vineyards with plenty of photo opps

And then I was taken back to my Hostess Twinkie packing days (yep, I did that) back on the line at Harry & David and learning chocolate making techniques from their master baker/sweet maker Charlie. Yes, as in that Charlie. But more special.

I sent my packaging prowess to my mom and dad, afterall, I had a box of fruit in my hotel room. Or did I?

Ah, that reminds me, back to the sangria!

White Peach Sangria Recipe FoodieCrush

Like I said, we were thirsty following our flights into town (some of us had been up since 4 a.m.) so a little refreshment was in order. What to do with some extra time between dinner and a lovely gift box? Dum, dum, dum, dum, SANGRIA!

Although I hadn’t come prepared with my Swiss Army knife or a multi-facted Leatherman—I was traveling by plane afterall—I was wielding a big smile and some battable eyelashes which were somewhat disarming to the ever helpful front desk since they happily handed over a very sharp knife and an accommodating Sangria vessel.

Not your typical front desk request, but I usually find myself bending the rules. Just ask my mom.

photo > Dine and Dish

A bottle of Riesling, a bottle of sparkling peach juice, a few slices of fresh-from-the-tree peaches and pears and we were ready to sit down, relax and acclimate. And it went perfectly well with Moose Munch.

I’ve since taken this hotel inspired recipe and adapted it to my own state’s peaches and pears with some cherries tossed in for good measure. It’s a perfect compliment for any get together, so easy to pull together and enjoy. As you can see above, Rachel agreed.

If you’re not into the alcohol, just add more peach juice or mix with another flavor. The beauty of sangria is its flexible. And tasty.

If you like your Sangria a little stronger, add in more wine. It’s your recipe, it’s your choice.

I’m sure Sandy would approve.

Hotel Inspired White Peach Sangria

Hotel Inspired White Peach Sangria

This recipe is ultra flexible. Add in your favorite fruits, or if you aren't into alcohol, leave it out and add more juice. If you like your drink a little stronger, add in more wine to taste.

Ingredients

1 bottle white wine such as Riesling or Chenin Blanc
1 bottle sparkling peach juice, Kristian Regale is what I used
1 peach, sliced
1 pear, sliced
10-15 cherries, sliced
4-5 sprigs fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Serve with ice cubes if you're in a hurry with not time to refrigerate. Enjoy!
http://www.foodiecrush.com/2012/08/hotel-inspired-white-peach-sangria-with-harry-david/

Want to see more? Check out these posts from my fellow traveling bloggers

The Reluctant Entertainer
Two Peas and Their Pod
Eat Live Run
How Sweet it Is
Foodie With Family
Recipe Girl

Disclosure: Harry and David paid for the trip to Oregon, but all opinions about the company and products are my own and I wasn’t compensated for those opinions. I do however love a fresh pear and those peaches…ahhh, peaches.

Related Posts
Ring in the New Year with Champagne Punch
Whiskey Lemonade Recipe with Honey Simple Syrup
Resolution 2012 > A Focused FoodieCrush and Homemade Irish Cream 

Thanks for reading and please keep in touchSubscribe to Foodie Crush and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and check out Foodie Crush magazine and Cookie Cravings cookbook.

44 comments |

Posted in: drinks and cocktails,recipes

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

danielle August 23, 2012 at 7:01 am

This sounds great! I need to give it a try with the amazing peaches I have on my counter right now. Also love the drop cloth to tablecloth idea.

Reply

heidi August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I know it! The dropcloth idea is BRILLIANT!

Reply

Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking August 23, 2012 at 8:23 am

Absolutely stunning pictures! Looks like you all had a fun and memorable time. Thanks for the peachy recipe and the entertaining advice! Love it!

Reply

Michelle August 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

What a wonderful weekend! I always loved their baskets at Christmas too! memory lane :)

Reply

Sandy @ RE August 23, 2012 at 8:41 am

This makes me weepy. Not only was it a fantastic time, with the best company ever, but I love all the bonding that took place. Thank you for featuring my home in such a beautiful way, Heidi. You are so talented! Love you!

Reply

heidi August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Sandy, you are the consumate hostess. Seriously, thank you for all that you did, we all loved every minute.

Reply

Averie @ Averie Cooks August 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

I can’t even imagine how long it took you to write this baby! All these AMAZING pics – thank you, Heidi! Love each and every tip from dont try some newfangled recipe to just crack open some jars of chutneys and love the white peach sangria.

What an amazing trip, group of ladies to share it with, and just from top to bottom, wow wow wow!

Reply

heidi August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Oh, you are too sweet Averie. And coming from the queen of blog photos I appreciate your appreciation :) XO

Reply

Heather @ Heather's Dish August 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

i can only hope to throw a party like this one someday – all of the pictures are perfect and everyone looks STUNNING!

Reply

Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

Great entertaining tips and lovely photos! As for the sangria, please pass the pitcher!

Reply

kelley August 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

Gorgeous photos, H! Looks like you had a spectacular time and I love the all the tips from Sandy- she’s the best!!! Can we share a bottle of this and catch up soon? xo

Reply

heidi August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Yes, yes, yes Kelley! I’m ready to break bread anytime. As soon as your catering gigs ease up :)

Reply

Maria August 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

LOVE your recap! The videos, photos, everything! You captured the trip perfectly! It was fun to travel with you…and we are happy we can still find you 2 miles away:)

Reply

Wenderly August 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

Looks like a magical trip! What a lovely group of ladies! You captured the spirit of all beautifully, I actually felt like I was there. Hope to get to meet you IRL one day! Gorgeous photos!

Reply

Annalise August 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

Love, love, love everything about this post. Your recap of the weekend is gorgeous! A dinner party with Sandy would be a dream! Loving this sangria recipe too, you know how I love me some sangria. We need to enjoy some together before the season’s over. Let’s get together soon?

Reply

heidi August 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

You know you are my Sangria inspiration, stemming from your instagram pic last summer, or was it longer? Anyway, I always think of you when I think of Sangria. And why haven’t we shared any yet? That’s not right. Let’s make a date.

Reply

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes August 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

Love the pics. Sangria is one of my faves!

Reply

bridget {bake at 350} August 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

Your post is beautiful, your pictures are beautiful, your sangria is beautiful….YOU are beautiful! Loved meeting you and getting to know you, Heidi (but you already knew that). ;)

Hope it won’t be long until we can clink glasses again! ♥

Reply

Kristen August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Your sangria pics turned out amazing!
Loved this trip and am officially hooked on videolicious!

Reply

Jennifer August 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love seeing all the pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Delishhh August 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Wow what a post! What a great experience. The food looks amazing, the pictures are great. Love the advice. I fail on #9 :) I always make my guest guinea pigs.

Thanks for putting this together!

Reply

Jenny Flake August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

You are so talented Heidi!! Your photos are absolutely stunning! Lovely trip!

Reply

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) August 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I really, really like you! Your photos, your description of the weekend? Perfect. I can’t wait until we get a chance to laugh and raises glasses again!

Reply

Marian (Sweetopia) August 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Heidi, what a beautiful recap. The description, the photos, the videos, all of it – You are one talented gal! xo

Reply

Rachel - A Southern Fairytale August 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I miss you so much.

My husband laughed out loud when I showed him that pic of me with my tongue out; “yep, that’s you” that’s what he said :-)

Friend – you’re such a gift.

I don’t have words to describe this past weekend, however your pictures… they leave me speechless and thinking that if everyone could just dive into them, they’d know. They would get it.

<3

Reply

Amanda August 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I’ve seen a few mentions of this trip around, such a beautiful evening and what a great time! This sangria looks fabulous too, wish I had a glass right now. So glad you had a great time!

Reply

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } August 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

LOVE the entertaining tips – so relevant and simply perfect! This sangria looks and sounds amazing. What a fantastic and fun trip to be with such wonderful food bloggers. Great post and really enjoyed it!!!!

Reply

Aggie August 25, 2012 at 6:20 am

I love every single one of you who went on this trip!!! What an amazing time! And I am all over this sangria.

Reply

TidyMom August 25, 2012 at 7:01 am

ok, first off………the Sangria pictures are STUNNING Heidi!!
and I love how you captured the feel of your whole trip!!! What a beautiful time you all had!!
thanks for sharing!

Reply

Cookie and Kate August 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

What a fun trip! Thanks for sharing such great entertaining tips. And that sangria? I could go for a whole pitcher!

Reply

Denise August 26, 2012 at 8:56 am

Wow, lucky you! What a great trip and I love how you captures it in words, pictures and those cool videos!

Reply

Jessica August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

your pictures… two words: STUN. NING.

Reply

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles September 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

What a beautiful recap! And I love your version of peach sangria – the cherries are gorgeous in it, and I can only imagine, very, very tasty!

Reply

Lara July 31, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Okay, I can see this was a while back, but I’m eating my heart out. What a weekend! And you women all look luscious and happy to be there in this magic place. The hidden perks of food blogging… h3lls, yeah!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 10 trackbacks }