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8 Things You Need to Know about Hosting a Wine Dinner Party

When you’re looking to host a wine dinner party with family OR friends, it’s important that you make the necessary preparations to ensure that the occasion will be memorable. It’s also essential to note that a wine dinner party isn’t just about bringing out a premium bottle of wine for your guests to enjoy. To make the event really special and to ensure the best experience for all your guests, you should make it a point to serve the right kind of wine (red, white, rose or sparkling) for every course.

What is a wine dinner party? 

A wine dinner party may be formal or informal. What’s important in order to make the occasion extra special is to make sure that you know which bottle of wine goes perfectly well with a specific dish. This means that the number of wines to serve depends on the number of courses you are planning to serve.

Ensuring an exceptional wine dinner party experience

Aside from making sure the right ambiance for your dinner, you also need to follow these tips. 

  1. Seek professional help – Don’t really know which wine to pair with which food? Ask a sommelier, a wine expert, to help you plan a wine-centric event. Check wine forums and caterers online, too.
  2. Make every guest feel like a VIP – A great host will make everyone at the party feel welcomed and special. Make sure you’re there to greet family and friends when they arrive at your house. See to it that they’re comfortable as soon as they enter.
  3. Start the night with a bang! The dinner table isn’t ready yet or you’re still waiting for other people to arrive, have a few bottles of sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres to whet everyone’s appetites.
  4. Make the main event unforgettable – It’s important that you know which bottle of wine will complement a certain dish. Aged cheeses, for example, are best paired with vintage international wines, like White Bordeaux, Red or White Burgundy, Rhone, or Chablis, to name a few.
Pairing wine and pizza
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What to serve for a wine dinner party?

Putting together the perfect menu for a wine night with special people can be a lot of work. But with a little help, you can host an eventful dinner with those whom you love.

First course

A wine dinner party should start light. It should be something cold and has high acidity. This is why serving salads with a fresh and fruity bottle of wine or bubbly.

Optional Appetizers:

Smoky three-cheese fondue

Buttered parmesan crostini

Baked brie with figs and walnuts

Roasted fruit and cheese plate

Shrimp scampi dip

Baked ham and cheese roll-ups

Fig and prosciutto pizza

Homemade lobster, spinach, and ricotta ravioli

Wines to pair – 

Chardonnay

Prosecco

Cabernet Franc

Sauvignon Blanc

Red Meritage

Grenache

Syrah

Merlot 

Soup

Not all soups need to be downed with wine because it would seem superfluous. But the right kind of wine will serve as a supporting act to a fantastic bowl of soup.

Optional Soups

Tomato consommé

Fennel and cauliflower soup

Mushroom soup

Thai-style chicken soup with coconut milk

Provencal fish soup

Spinach soup

Butternut squash soup

French onion soup

Chestnut and bacon soup

Wines to pair

Chardonnay

Chennin Blanc

Loire Sauvignon

Gruner Veltliner

German Kabinett Riesling

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Blanc

Roussanne

Viognier

Pinot Noir 

Salad

This course will have an assortment of raw vegetables drizzled with a flavorful dressing. Generally, salad is served before the main course, but in Europe, it’s served with the main entrée.

Optional Salads

Garden salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tart vinaigrette

Nicoise salad

Caesar salad

Greek salad

Waldorf salad

Goat cheese salad

Cobb salad

Wines to pair

Moscato D’ Asti

Picpoul de Pinet

Beaujolais

Riesling

Sauvignon blanc

Gewurztraminer

Verdejo

Lightly oaked chardonnay

Dry rose

Albarino

Main course

You can have two main courses: first is with white meat, like chicken, turkey, or duck; second is with red meat, such as lamb, beef, or venison.

Optional main entrees

Spicy Thai basil chicken

Roasted lamb rack with butternut squash and almond curry

Grilled beef tenderloin with creamy polenta

Walnut crusted salmon with watercress cream

Beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms and French lentil ragout

Grilled beef tenderloin with potato and caramelized fennel gratin

Wild boar ravioli with braised fennel and Marsala cream sauce

Sous vide pork chop

Wines to pair

Cabernet Sauvignon

Sauvignon

Cabernet Franc

Merlot

Sweet Catherine

Chianti

Petite Sirah

Shiraz

Malbec

Priorat

Douro reds 

Dessert

Sweet treats can also be paired with dessert wine, making it a sweet and decadent course.

Optional desserts

Lemon crème Brulee

Raspberry French macarons

Blackberry cobbler

Cheese plate

Fruit tarts and berries

Flourless chocolate cake

Wines to pair

Moscato d’Asti

Asti spumante

Sparkling gewürztraminer

Demi-sec Riesling

Demi-sec Chenin Blanc

Demi-sec traditional

Fruity sparkling rose

Chenin Blanc

Muscatel

Viognier

Constantia

Sauternes

Sciava

Freisa

Brachetto d’Acqui

Conclusion

By taking the time to learn the basics of food and wine pairing will definitely make you an excellent host. Surely, your family and friends will be looking forward to the next wine dinner party you’re going to host. 

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