If you never know what wine to serve when hosting a dinner party, you aren't alone. Lots of students tell us they spend a lot of time and money on building an amazing meal with layers of flavor and then end up serving some random inexpensive wines with the meal without really knowing if they complement the food. If this sounds like you, these tips will help you get the food and wine pairing part of your next party right.
This easy, appealing white wine is from the Loire Valley ($25) and has off-dry flavors of ripe apples, honey and brisk acidity which make this world favorite wine a delicious cocktail and complement to light dishes.
I find this wine to be a tried and true winner. It goes with a lot of different dishes I cook, from BBQ to a roast. In fact, I have a bottle in my refrigerator chilled all the time for impromptu guests or a glass of wine for watching TV. I recommend having it on hand for any occasion.
This Italian sparkler from Adami ($19.50) is a world favorite for delicate, dry and refreshing flavors, perfect to pair with international antipasti and light dishes. Guaranteed to add festivity to any occasion. It's also extremely popular with guests at The Chopping Block.
At first you may think “Another Prosecco… haven’t we had enough of that cheap Champagne?” But wait, this Prosecco is not just your Sunday morning brunch Prosecco, this has definite layers of flavors and can hold its own with any meal you make. I find this sparkling wine to be a nice surprise to my guests who were expecting to have a red wine with the meal but instead they get a glass of bubbly. Every time I serve this with a meal, my guests love how it brings life to my entrees, desserts and overall mood of the evening. Don’t pass this one up; trust me, your friends will love it.
This isn't wine, but for an after-dinner cocktail, I always go with an Old Fashioned. Let’s get real though, after cooking all day and hosting guests all night, the last thing you want to do is to make a batch of craft cocktails. Luckily, we carry Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mix ($19.95) in our stores. The gentlemen's cocktail is recreated by using classic bittering agents like gentian root and cinchona bark along with burnt sugar, spices and a bit of orange peel. Aged in Willett bourbon barrels to allow the flavors to come together and ramp up the intensity. It is super concentrated so a little bit goes a long way. Best with aged spirits, like Journeyman's Last Feather Rye Whiskey ($51.95), which is organic and kosher. Stir 1 part No.1 + 4 parts rye in a glass with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
Adding this mixer to your rotation of night caps will impress all of your guests, even your avid Old Fashioned drinkers. I bet they won’t even know it’s a mix!
These three must-have libations will complement any party and impress even your most refined guests!
If you want to get your wine knowledge up to speed quickly, join us for an upcoming wine class:
- How to Pair Food and Wine Friday, August 31 6pm Merchandise Mart
- The Vineyards of France Thursday, September 6 7pm Lincoln Square
- Culinary Heaven: Wine and Cheese Pairing Thursday, September 13 6pm Merchandise Mart
- Blind Wine Tasting: Unveil the Mysteries Saturday, September 15 4pm Merchandise Mart
- The Noble Grapes Tuesday, September 18 7pm Lincoln Square
- How to Bluff your Way through Wine Monday, September 24 6pm Merchandise Mart
- War and Wine: Grand Cru of Wine Classes Thursday, September 27 7pm Lincoln Square