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When having a party, you no doubt have already spent hours planning every little detail. Then it hits you… what to drink?
Choosing wine that pleases everyone can be challenging, but a few tips can help point you in the right direction.
For starters, you don’t want to choose a wine that is ‘too much’ of something; that is a sure-fire way to have wine that people won’t like. Oaky Chardonnay, or a sweeter Riesling can be polarizing wine styles, and for a party you want to choose wine that all your guests will love.
If you are looking for something celebratory to start the night off with, you can almost never go wrong with a dry Prosecco. They are light frothy fun, and easy on the wallet to boot. If you prefer Champagne on a Prosecco budget, consider Cava – a Spanish sparkler made the same way as Champagne but for a fraction of the price.
With whites, look for light crisp white wines. This style is a real crowd pleaser, and tend to be good across a variety of foods. The ever popular Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is an obvious fit here, as are wines of the Loire Valley from France like Muscadet and Chenin Blanc. If you’d like to try something different, consider Pecorino from Italy – with its floral aromas and elegant fruit on the palate this one’s a winner.
For reds, consider wines that people know… but not from their most famous region. Instead of Burgundy, try Pinot Noir from the U.S. They tend to be fruitier than their French cousins, and a little more body for easy enjoyment. If you want something bolder, try Cabernet Sauvignon from South America. Both Chile and Argentina make delicious wines that are full flavored, but still very much approachable. For something Italian not made with Sangiovese, look to Montepulciano. It is made in a wide array of styles, but what they do have in common is they all are a pleasure to drink. None of these should overwhelm the food that you will be serving.
To make life easy, it is best to go with one white and one red for the evening, and plan for three glasses per guest. And if you are the guest and want to bring a bottle, look to spend at least $20 from a well-known region, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations at your local wine shop. If that doesn’t work, you’d be surprised how often choosing the heavy bottle and attractive label works.