If you have a party coming up and plan on serving wine during the event, you need to think carefully about what wine you'll serve. Buying wine for a party is a bit different from buying a bottle to share with one or two friends. There are a lot of palates to please, and you can spend a great deal of money if you're not careful. Here are four tips to keep you on track.
1. Choose a few versatile varieties.
Trying to serve fifteen different varieties of wine can quickly become overwhelming. Trying to make sure everything pairs well with the meal you're serving is tough, and you're sure to end the night with a lot of half-empty bottles. An easier approach is to choose just two or three versatile varieties to focus on. Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, and Malbec are good choices that appeal to most people.
2. Don't spend too much.
While you may not want to serve $2 wine at your party, you'd be silly to spend $300 a bottle, too. Chances are, most of your guests are not educated wine enthusiasts, and they will greatly enjoy the average $20 or $30 bottle of wine. This enables you to buy a couple more bottles, too, which ensures you don't run short on wine halfway through the party.
3. Pair your wine with the food, but not overly so.
There's no need to carefully examine the notes in each bottle of wine to make sure they pair perfectly with the exact chicken dish you'll be serving. But you do want to do some cursory examination of the pairings you choose. For instance, if you are serving a chicken dish as the main course, you don't want to serve only Malbecs that will overpower it. If you're serving beef, Riesling is not the best choice.
4. Set some bottles aside.
Plan on setting out some of the wine you purchase, but also keep a few bottles elsewhere for backup. This way, you don't end up with too many bottles opened and half-poured—but you will have enough wine on hand. You could make your backup bottles a little different from the first ones you put out in case there is someone who is not a huge fan of your initial wine offerings. For instance, you could put out a few bottles of Chardonnay and Merlot to start, but keep a stash of Cabernet in the back room in case it's needed.
For help with choosing wine, contact a company like JJ Buckley Fine Wines.