Wine Advice: Entertaining with Wine

Entertaining requires much thought and planning. We often speak of wine and food pairing but it is equally important to consider the occasion being celebrated. Not only is there a wine for every food but also wine to suit all occasions. Whether a birthday, graduation, weddings or special holidays such as Easter and Christmas, all it takes is some imagination and basic wine knowledge. Wine is a versatile beverage making it the perfect choice for special events.

Begin with selecting a style of wine for your special day whether red, white, rose, or sparkling, or if suitable choose a fun and interesting theme, such as wines from around the world.

Wines suitable for pairing with your event need not be overly costly. In fact, you may put more than the usual amount of thought into considering cost simply because of the number of people in attendance and correspondingly, the number of bottles you require.

There is a large selection of wines locally available, wine from regions and countries around the world and if working within a modest budget it is wise to consider wines from a region that is not well known.

The occasion you plan to celebrate dictates the amount of wine required, for example a New Year’s Eve celebration will result in considerably higher wine consumption when compared to wine consumption at a birthday celebration. The general rule is one bottle of wine for every two people however, the type of event, whether a formal sitdown dinner or a cocktail party, has considerable effect on the amount of wine consumed. Consumption is lower when dining as more attention is given to food when compared to standing at a cocktail event where there is less attention to food.

Familiarity with attendees provides a distinct advantage making sure you are aware of the amount of alcohol an individual consumes as well as the type of beverage they prefer. Calculating the amount of wine needed is certainly not an exact science which is why I advise you to purchase a few bottles extra so you needn’t be concerned about having enough. You are able to return wine as long as the bottle is intact and the label undamaged.

Milestone occasions call for festive wines making sparkling wine the optimal choice. Although sparkling wine is often reserved for such occasions there is simply no reason to wait for a special occasion to drink it. Sparkling wines ranges broadly in price. Champagne, the famous sparkling wine from France is costly, so in its place you may wish to consider a suitable alternative. Other French sparkling wines, made using the same method as Champagne, bearing the term Crement, are quite delicious and worthy of celebration at considerably less cost or consider Cava from Spain, a wine also made using the most complex sparkling wine method.

I am a huge fan of rosé and find it suitable paired with a traditional Easter feast.

The colour of rose, ranging from delicate pink to deep salmon makes rosé a beautiful addition to any table. Pairing wine with an occasion is a fun and interesting learning experience that will increase your appreciation and knowledge of wine.

Sit back and enjoy the compliments.

Kate Wagner Zeke, Sommelier (ISG)
Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Wine Educator (SWE)