Wines To Serve At Different Dinner Occasions

Posted on Sunday, 12th October 2014

So you’re hosting a dinner party for a few friends. You’ve sent your invites out, confirmed the menu with everyone’s dietary requirements, sorted the playlist and cleaned the house from top to bottom. That’s everything right? Yes. But wait…what drinks are you going to provide?

Choosing the right wine, to serve at the right time, can really help add to the atmosphere and make a really good evening, become great. If you’re like me though and sometimes struggle to tell your Sauvignon Blancs from your Chardonnays then never fear as we have teamed up with Hard To Find Wines who have helped put together this handy little guide of what to serve and when.

White Wine

White wines are traditionally a lot lighter and drier than their red counterpart which means that you should generally look to serve them earlier in the evening. They are ideal as an arrival drink for your guests or even to accompany a starter and they also work perfectly for toasting a special occasion.

A light dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio can be the ideal accompaniment with any sort of vegetable or with fish dishes. Rich white wines like Chardonnay can also work well with roasted vegetables but primarily they are best with white meats like chicken or rich fish such as crab. Although serving them earlier in the evening is recommended a sweet white wine such as Riesling or Chenin Blanc can be perfect to re-introduce if you are having a cheese and biscuit course or dessert.

Red Wine

With a fuller bodied taste, red wine is well suited to the middle to later part of an evening and will work well with many main courses. The benefit of serving a red wine later will give you time to open the bottle and allow it to breath meaning that you can maximise the flavours before giving it to your guests. Breathing time for wines can vary so you are best to do a little bit of research about the best methods to do it and for how long.

Light reds like Pinot Noir are very similar to rich whites, which is where personal preference comes into it. If you are serving rich fish or white meat then a choice of the two could be your best bet and allow your guests to make their own decision. Alternatively if you are serving cured or smoked red meat then you may want to consider a medium red wine such as a Merlot or a Sangiovese. A big red wine like Zinfandel or Aglianico can also work with red meat and is perfectly suited to a cheese dish as well.

Still can’t decide?

This guide may help point you in the right direction but it is always worth considering what your guests have previously chosen; think back to what they have ordered at a restaurant or if you have ever attended a party hosted by them, what did they serve? If you can’t remember or are meeting a few people for the first time then you could always provide a sample of each and let them decide.

Hosting a party and deciding on what to serve can be tricky so if you are struggling to come up with a complete menu then check out this world map which suggests meals from around the world to try and demonstrates which wine complements them the best.

Note: This is a sponsored post.

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