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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.
Fennel and cauliflower soup
Thai-style chicken soup with coconut milk
Provencal fish soup
Butternut squash soup
French onion soup
Chestnut and bacon soup
Wines to pair
German Kabinett Riesling
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.
Garden salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tart vinaigrette
Goat cheese salad
Wines to pair
Moscato D’ Asti
Picpoul de Pinet
Lightly oaked chardonnay
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
Sweet treats can also be paired with dessert wine, making it a sweet and decadent course.
Lemon crème Brulee
Raspberry French macarons
Fruit tarts and berries
Flourless chocolate cake
Wines to pair
Demi-sec Chenin Blanc
Fruity sparkling rose
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.