It’s a common misconception that buying and serving wines is complicated. It’s not. It’s just that the wine world is often shrouded in myths and rumours. So forget what you’ve heard, and follow these simple tips below:
There’s no need to splash out
The mistake that most people make is to splash out because they are entertaining. Don’t. Instead, the secret to a dinner or drinks party is to get the order right. A single glass of champagne/sparkling wine to start will invigorate, then an easy drinking wine before food will build an appetite, full-bodied wines should be saved for food and a dessert wine will round off the meal nicely. It is as easy as that.
Sparkles add fun
Sparkling wine or champagne is a great aperitif. But you probably don’t need us to tell you that big name champagne labels will add to the cost. Instead, go for a value sparkler and we guarantee that your guests will be just as happy! But as sparkling wine/champagne is very acidic, if you are entertaining with food, serve one to two glasses maximum to avoid killing your guests’ appetites prior to eating.
Choose your pre-dinner drinks carefully
If you are serving food, your guests will probably be drinking on an empty stomach, so choose wines that are soft and gentle. A neutral or fruity wine such as Pinot Grigio or Australian Riesling will work well, as will a soft or fruity red like Merlot or Syrah. It’s probably best to avoid serving an acidic wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a heavy red like Cabernet Sauvignon as they can be too harsh on their own. Instead, these are best saved for food.
Change your wines to match the food
To get the best out of your wines, you should change your wines as you progress through a meal. Generally, wines that taste great on their own will be overwhelmed by food. Also, try matching the weight of the wine with the weight of the food, so while a crisp Sauvignon Blanc may taste great with a starter of Calamari, a Spanish Rioja will go far better with roast lamb for example.
Don’t forget dessert wines
Make sure that you have a bottle of dessert wine to hand, as this is goes a treat with cheese and dessert.