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Wine Time: How to Choose Wine for Your Next Get Together

What's a dinner party without wine? A great wine can bring a party together, but picking out the right one isn't always easy. Here are a few tips to choose wine for your next party.

Keep it Simple: Unless you're a wine expert, the name of the game here is simplicity. You want to choose wines that won't overwhelm the food and that everyone has a decent chance of liking. A good rule of thumb is to choose one red and one white. Here are a few tips on choosing both: 

  • Red Wine: Choose a red that isn't too sweet, acidic, tanic, or light. Most people who like red wine prefer dry, full-bodied options. Merlot or Cabernet are both strong choices. Opt for wines from the US or Australia for less acidity and tannin.
  • White Wine: Again, go for a middle of the road option here. You don't want anything that's too acidic or unusual in flavor. Choose something dry that people are already familiar with. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are both great choices here.

Mix it Up: On the other hand… if you're feeling adventurous there's no reason not to mix things up a bit! Depending on the time of year, number of guests, or type of event you're hosting, give one of these other options a try:

  • Rose: Summer time parties are perfect for rose, particularly if you know you have guests that would enjoy it. 
  • Sweet: Not everyone loves a dry wine. If you think some of your guests would prefer a sweeter option, consider having a Moscato or Riesling available.
  • Sparkling: If you're celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or a holiday, a sparkling wine is a must. Don't feel you have to pay an arm and a leg for Champagne, though. A Prosecco or Cava will be just as enjoyable without costing nearly as much.

Serve Well: Great wine is made even better when served in the right glasses. A sit down dinner party is the perfect opportunity to bring out those crystal goblets, but what if you anticipate your guests will be up and moving around? Serve your wine in unbreakable cups instead to avoid any mishaps that may arise from shattered glass.

Don't Run Out: The only thing worse than bad wine is not having enough of the good stuff. A good rule of thumb is to provide one glass of wine per person per hour of your event. A standard bottle of wine holds four glasses. Figure out how many guests will attend and how many hours your event will last and let your calculator do the rest.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask: Don't know what your guests like? Ask them! Of course, this strategy isn't feasible if you're hosting an event for 50, but there's no reason not to learn your guests' preferences for smaller gatherings. You probably won't end up with a consensus, but you'll get an inkling of what you guests do (and absolutely do not) prefer.

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