Spring and summer are party seasons. But if you are hosting, party planning can be stressful.
What wines to serve?
How many wines?
What will your guests like?
What if they don’t like your favorite Chardonnay?
What will pair with the food?
And how do you not spend a fortune?
Photo by François Millo
It’s actually easy to pick wines for parties. Here's how:
Start with bubbly. Yes, even if it’s technically not a celebration, bubbles will usher in the party spirit and help your guests unwind. And who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly? Even guests who will later move on to something else appreciate a glass of sparkling wine. Sparkling wine is also very versatile. It pairs well with everything from vegetables to fried foods and even chips. It is also the perfect foundation for cocktails. Try chopping up some fresh fruit and simply dropping a couple of pieces in a glass of Prosecco. Instant cocktail!
Choose less well-known grape varieties. Yes, if you go with the familiar Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, guests will know what they are drinking. But they will also have very definite opinions on whether they like those grapes. By choosing grape varieties that are not well-known, you avoid the all-too-familiar “Oh, I don’t like Chardonnay.” (And how can you not find a Chardonnay that you like in the vast world of Chardonnay?!? But that’s a different topic for a different day). Grapes like falanghina, fiano, moscofiero, dolcetto or negroamaro will seduce your guests with aroma and flavor, taking prejudice and preconceptions out of the picture. So, branch out. Not only will you impress your guests, but you will have fun in the process and learn something. You’ll also discover some real gems that are guaranteed to become your go-to wines.
Include a rosé. Yes, rosé is very popular right now. There is a reason for it: it bridges the gap between white and red wine drinkers. It also pairs beautifully with party foods. And the color alone will put everyone in a good mood and stat the party off on the right note.
To learn more about wine and discover wines for every occasion, come to my next wine class The Building Blocks of Wine: Summertime Sippers. You'll sip, have fun learning, and get all your questions about wine answered.
Thursday, May 21
The Chopping Block Lincoln Square