Are you nervous about an upcoming dinner party, where you've been asked to bring wine? If you are completely in the dark about what to bring, here are some tips for your party wine choices.
1. Sparkling Wines
They are perfect to toast with, and they evoke a celebratory tone, but what really makes them stand out is their versatility as food-pairing wines. If you don't want to shell out for true Champagne, look for similar dry or "brut" styles from around the world.
2. Crisp Whites
Select dry wines with higher acidity, like Chablis from France, Gavi from Italy, Pinot Gris from Oregon, or Sauvignon Blanc from almost anywhere. Think of acidity as the mouth-watering component in wine that prompts your next bite, refreshes your palate, and cuts through even the heaviest of sauces.
3. Lighter Style Reds
Although there is a time and place for a bold, extremely dry, red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, what happens if your host is serving halibut? I personally tend toward a Pinot Noir in this scenario because of its flexibility and approachability; however, if you are desiring a slightly bolder red, Spain and Italy are great places to look.
4. Dry Rosés
If the sight of pink wine makes you think of cloyingly sweet White Zinfandel, you are missing out on a true culinary pairing gem. Crisp, dry expressions of rosé, such as those from Provence, France, are vibrant and fresh like a white wine, with the body of a light, red wine, which is why they are so versatile.
5. Dessert Wines
So often, we overlook the opportunity to sip on something sweet at dinner's end. Your selection does not necessarily need to pair perfectly with the dessert, since so many dessert wines are spectacular on their own. Sipping a dessert wine prolongs the dining experience and encourages after-dinner conversation.