Golden Rules for Dinner Parties
Golden Rule 1 - Pair wine with people first!
You may have lovingly prepared the finest Beef Wellington in the world - but if one of your guests only drinks white wine, it probably wouldn't be a great idea to force that great Haut Medoc down their throat! Therefore you may need to consider serving a white wine too!
Golden Rule 2 - light and dry first!
If you're having several bottles of wine for your dinner party - try to serve light wines before heavy full-bodied ones and, if possible, generally serve dry wines before sweet ones.
Golden Rule 3 - Weight is key!
Try to match the weight of the food with that of the wine. For example heavy meat casseroles and goulashes really need a full bodied wine whereas grilled scallops need a light crisp wine. With certain dishes a full bodied white wine may be a better choice than a light red or vice versa - which is why you will often see a choice of wine styles when using the 'What Goes With What' guide.
Golden Rule 4 - Beware of strong sauces!
If you're serving a course with a dominant flavoured sauce - try to match the wine with the sauce rather than the meat or fish.
Golden Rule 5 - same region if possible!
Try to match the dish with a wine from the same region. After all the French, Italians and Spanish have had thousands of years to perfect the art of food and wine matching and therefore know a thing or two about whether something works or not.
Golden Rule 6 - Balance
Pairing wine and food is all about balance - neither should overpower the other.
And finally remember, wine which you enjoy by itself or as an aperitif may taste completely different when served with food.
Food and Wine Pairing - Quick Rules of Thumb
If you would like help picking the best wine to go with your meal, click the following link to start using our handy food and wine search engine.
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As wine is an agricultural product, we can run out from time to time. If we do have to substitute wines either for an alternative or for a later vintage – we will contact you before shipping. However, we guarantee that we will not use this as an opportunity to advertise a good wine and replace it with an inferior one.
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