Vianney Rodriguez is a two-time author and recipe developer for the Sweet Life. A South Texas native, she grew up believing that food connects people and has set out to do just that through the beautiful art of entertaining.
Why do you choose rosé over other wines?
I’m a huge fan of rosé, with its light, fresh fruity flavor I find myself gravitating towards it whenever I entertain, plus it always adds a festive splash. I am enamored with Llano Rosé ; made in Texas, this wine hits every entertaining requirement that makes me this hostess happy. With its lovely shade of pink, Llano Rosé is sophisticated, but affordable. It’s super food-friendly, which means I am free to serve it at a relaxed backyard BBQ or an over-the-top dinner party.
As the “hostess with the mostess,” tell us about your latest soiree.
With summer coming to a close, I wanted to celebrate all the beauty of the season with one last dinner party. I teamed up with Llano wine to host an epic rosé dinner with some of my favorite local creatives and yes, I even gave it a title: An evening of Amigos, Comida y Vino.
The event was graciously hosted at Wildflowers, from Corpus Christi, a store whose focus is promoting locally made goods. We wanted our guests to be transported to a beautiful, lush Texas garden for an evening of friendship, laughter and plenty of amazing made in Texas rosé wine.
Dinner party décor, why is it important?
I am a true believer that you eat with your eyes first. I want my guests to feel they are special and everything from my decorations to my food reflects that. Theresa, from Wildflowers, decorated with vintage cut crystal, pressed glass goblets, silver plate chalices filled with eucalyptus, garden roses, snapdragons, tulips and xerographica at the base. She even had tall glass vases with eucalyptus branches cut from her own trees.
What foods pair well with rosé?
Rosé pairs well with so many things – chilled salads, chicken, seafood dishes and pasta, —or is perfect all on its own! My menu for this dinner consisted of Chicken Salpicon, Roasted Tomatillo Garbanzo Salad, and Melon-Cucumber Salad—all served as they pair perfectly with rosé.
The melon cucumber salad was made with honeydew, cantaloupe and cucumber; and dressed in a light vinaigrette, topped with candied pecans, pepitas and crumbled queso fresco.
Supporting women and other creatives seems to part of the Sweet Life DNA. Why is that important to you?
One of my core values is to support other creatives in their endeavors – I am a firm believer in community over competition. I love my community of creatives. For this event, I wanted to highlight as many local Texas and Corpus Christi businesses as I could and that is why I chose Llano Estacado wines, Wildflowers for their décor and location, Hamlin Bakery for dessert and Jala Pena’s Salsa for the salsa bar.
Cover: A beautifully decorated tablescape by Wildflowers in Corpus Christi. Photo Jason David Page
Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Read more about Vianney Rodriguez in Gabi’s earlier article: “5 Texas Latinas You Need to Know.”