What’s it like hanging out with Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough? Let’s put it this way: When these two busy actresses found themselves in the same city at the same time, they made it a point to throw an elegant house party together.
There is a wide variety of wine varieties.
from their own line.
“That’s the beauty of our relationship,” Dobrev (“The Vampire Diaries”) said of the former “Dancing With the Stars” pro. “Whenever we’re in the same room, it’s like no time is passing and we’re all out. So, of course we love the reception.” In fact, she adds, at Hough from Nebraska (where she currently is filming a movie there) upon their return to New York City, the two plan to coordinate a Friendship Day and Holiday Gala. (Dobrev is currently in New York with her boyfriend, famed snowboarder Shaun White.)
Fresh Vine Wine is a natural extension of friendship. Officially launched in 2019, the collection features premium low-carb, low-calorie, low-sugar and gluten-free wines from Napa, California. “The idea was born because we all have active lifestyles, but it’s hard to find the balance between having a good time and having an 8 a.m. Pilates class,” explains Dobrev. “We learned that you can blend the right grapes and not lose flavor. Now that’s all we’ve got.”
Dobrev admits she and her best friend of the decade — they were introduced through their mutual hairstylist! ——They are all Type A personalities who know that love is in the details. “We all really, really, really love having a plan and taking into account every single thing that comes with throwing a party,” she says. “We’ll prepare and send out e-invitations, then follow up and make sure everything is perfect. If one of us doesn’t have enough bandwidth for something, we’ll cover each other up. It’s so cool to have a partner who’s also your best friend.” All right.”
To get the party started, Dobrev and Hough created a holiday party to-do list for CNN Underscored. Yes, they even checked twice.
Hough chose the bottle for this season because “it’s perfect for any toasting occasion,” she says. “Its fruity, sweet and persistent bubbly character underlines the bright flavors. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.” Meanwhile, Dobrev picks up fresh-from-the-vine wines for heavier meals like Thanksgiving Cabernet Sauvignon, because its rich, mellow flavor blends beautifully with turkey, cranberry sauce, and other holiday garnishes.
In the post-pandemic world, decorative wine charms are a “fun way to make sure everyone knows whose glass is theirs,” Hoff said. “My guests love them. Everyone has learned more about germs anyway.” She opted for a six-piece rainbow-colored set by designer Joanna Buchanan.
“I have a million!” Dobrev confessed. “Someone needs to intervene on me, because every time I go out and see a beautiful board, I have to buy it. My kitchen is overflowing.” She’s in her favorite Williams Sonoma (Williams Sonoma) with a variety of cheeses – think blue, goat, “sharp” cheddar and gouda that she heats up in the oven before guests arrive – plus blanched whole almonds , Biscuits And Jam. This one is made of acacia wood and includes bamboo dinnerware accessories.
To complement all the tackiness, Hough picked up this “beautiful” stainless steel bowl from Michael Aram, which also happens to be a sophisticated table centerpiece. “People love to snack!” she explained. But instead of high-calorie guacamole or ranch dip, she added hummus.
Listen now: Dobrev insists that her sleek Sonos speakers are essential to creating a unique ambience in every room. “You can customize each playlist on your phone, making it easy,” she said. Her top pick: The Spotify Supper curated by chef Mario Carbone (after his namesake restaurant in New York), featuring classics from Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Otis Redding.
“When I throw a party, games are a must because it’s a fun way to meet people and break the ice, while also having a good time,” Hough said. Because Trivial Pursuit is so 1998, she chose this latest adults-only entry — players match fun titles with a wild photo card. Designated judges choose the winner. The core game includes 360 title options and 75 thick glossy photo cards.
light candles. Lit a bunch, actually. “More and more!” Dobrev raved. “Adding candles allows you to lower the lights in your place and set the mood with this romantic vibe. That’s 100% a big deal for me.” She has a soft spot for French brand Diptyque’s Baies/Berries scented candles: “They’re gorgeous, smell great, and make a room look chic.” Don’t forget to blow them all out before the night is over.
The partners agree that the Riedel wine glass, used in most high-end restaurants, is the clear winner in this category. “It’s OG!” Hough said. “They laid the groundwork for enhancing the meaning of varietal flavor through glassware.” Seconds Dobrev, “They’re really well-made and beautiful. When I see the sign, it reminds me of the good old days.” She reckons she has About 16, depending on the occasional accidental drop.
Cleaning up after a party can be a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Dobrev jokes that her sister-in-law is a teacher in Greece and swears by Greek philosophy that Windex is a panacea. “For the surface, I use the whole Windex product,” she says. But for stubborn wine stains on carpets and couches, she sprays Folex. As she puts it, “I found it magical.”