Great company and great wine are two of the finest pleasures in life, merge both together and you have the best of both worlds. You don’t need a birthday or anniversary in order to host a dinner party, you can simply celebrate the wonderful people in your life with amazing food and wine. Here are some great ideas to get you started on your dinner party menu.

Red wine is typically paired with red meat; however, this is not because of they share the same color. Red wine goes superbly with red meat because they have opposing qualities, beef is fatty and has a ‘slippery’ quality, whilst the tannins in the red wine give a contrasting ‘dry’ and bitter feeling.

White wines are better paired with lighter, less intense meats and flavors as this avoids upsetting the balance of your palate. White wine is often paired with meats such as poultry, shrimp, crab, and fish. However, they also go well with mild cheeses, appetizers, and salads.

If you are yearning to become a total wine connoisseur and play around with different food combinations, why not take the time to subscribe to a monthly wine club? This is a fun way to become more knowledgeable about the world of wines and an inexpensive way to get out of your ‘wine comfort zone’.

Within the world of red wines, there is a substantial range to choose from.

Cabernet Sauvignon:  This full-bodied red can be paired with a leg of lamb, grilled steak, or flavorsome portobello mushrooms. 

Merlot: This wine is typically medium-bodied and makes an excellent pairing with roast beef, filet mignon, caramelized onions, and red fruit sauces.

Pinot Noir: This earthy and fruity wine is considered one of the easiest to pair. An excellent pinot noir will go well with brie, venison and duck breast.

Malbec: This tart wine has high acidity and is known for its full body flavor. This goes well with smokey flavors like barbeque pork, spicy mushrooms, or blue cheese.

White wines can also diverge significantly in terms of pairings and notes. 

Chardonnay:  This rich and full-bodied wine pairs well with creamy and buttery sauces. Roasted chicken, lobster, or salmon are excellent proteins to serve with chardonnay. 

Sauvignon Blanc: This wine is quite citrusy and therefore pairs well with salads and herbs. Goats cheese salad is a classic pairing for this wine. It also goes excellently with lemon-herb chicken and raw seafood. 

Pinot Grigio:  This wine is usually light to medium-bodied, dry, and acidic. Therefore, the best flavors to pair with are fried fish or vegetables, seafood antipasti, or pear slices.   

Off-Dry Riesling: This slightly sweet wine makes a beautiful pairing with spicier foods. The sweetness of this white wine works well to balance the spicy notes in Thai food.

Slowly but surely, you too will be able to impress your dinner party guests with an array of top-quality wines and excellent food pairings. Don’t be afraid to try something new, just remember to drink responsibly and have fun!