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It's in the Stars

We love parties...all kinds of parties. Throw in some after-hours excitement—like an ever-darkening sky, a splash of stars, and the romantic, shadowed corners of a candle-lit deck—and you’ve got a capital-p PARTY on your hands!

Since nighttime’s always the right time for a Chandon celebration, we’re sharing some “wow-factors” that are sure to make your under-the-stars soirée bubble and delight...just like the Chandon wines you’ll be serving your happy guests.

Everything’s Illuminated
When the sun goes down it’s dark out there. No worries--there are plenty of ways to keep things from going Goth. Start with something out of the caveman party book and play with fire. We’re thinking big old bonfires. Outdoor firepits. And candles, candles, candles. Line a pathway with tea candles tucked into paper bags weighted with a little sand, or placed into colored glass votives or vases. Set floating candles to sail in buckets of food-colored water, or place a small flotilla into your swimming pool--and switch on the pool lights for some great ambient glow. (Be sure all fire sources are kept safe from people, pets, and flying objects, and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.)

But wait, there’s more! Neon glow-light sticks, necklaces, and bracelets will light up your guests as they light up the night. Twinkle lights can illuminate trees, bushes, or store-bought branches for an enchanted-forest look. Go for Christmas in July by stringing tree lights like garlands. And strew glow-in-the-dark stars on the lawn, on tables, and along pathways. It’ll feel like the heavens came down to Earth just to brighten up your wonderful nighttime party.

A Little Night Music
When Stephen Sondheim named his musical play A Little Night Music, he was letting himself be inspired by Mozart's Serenade No.13 for strings in G major: Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Well, since a little night music is exactly what your party needs, why not send in the clowns and play the entire soundtrack? Then mix things up with a night-centric playlist that includes everything from Amadeus himself to Wilson Pickett’s In the Midnight Hour, Clapton’s After Midnight, and Hendrix’s Night Life. Play every rendition you can find of Here Comes the night—try Van Morrison, Beach Boys, and the Animals to start. Don’t forget Bob Seger’s Night Moves, Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night, The Five Satins’ In the Still of the Night, Patsy Cline’s Walkin’ After Midnight, and the Bee Gee’s Night Fever. Of course we could go on all night...but isn’t that the point?

Smiles on a Summer Night
It’s dark. It’s warm. You have a clean white sheet. Or a white shower curtain. Or a plain white wall. So...isn’t it obvious? It’s backyard movie night! Set up your screen where everybody can view it from the chairs you set up (if you use a screen or shower curtain, weigh it down with a taped-on curtain rod or clip-on tablecloth weights.) Buy or rent a high-def projector and hook up some speakers. Then slip a great summer movie into your DVD player, pass around some warm popcorn with flutes of chilled Chandon, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

If the whole movie set-up idea is just too daunting, don’t let those white sheets go idle! Use several to cover the lawn, toss around some cozy pillows, and start some group star gazing. The person who identifies the most constellations or shooting stars wins a toy telescope. And if you have the budget for it, hire an astrologer to give readings. Your guests will be thrilled to know the starry, starry night is really all about...them.

Glow Al Fresco
Nighttime party food is just like daytime party food—only served and eaten in the dark. So invite some LEDs to brighten things up. You can put them in everything from helium-filled balloons to beach balls. Stock up on some glow ware for the bar: everything from tumblers, martini glasses, and Champagne flutes to straws, ice cubes, ice buckets, and shakers...all perfect for sparkling Chandon serving and sipping. Then slip some glow-bowls and serving trays onto the table, each piled high with bright flavors that are as warm as the summer night. Think exotic, like Indian-spiced chickpeas. Latin-spiced wings. Piquant salsas and homemade tortilla chips. Hoisin-ginger glazed chicken skewers. They may not glow in the dark, but we promise: the satisfied glow of your guests is all you really need.