How does the saying go? “A party without cocktails is just a meeting.” Is that right, or did I just make that up? Regardless, in my book this couldn’t be more true, and you probably already know this after reading my big batch cocktails post. What’s a girl to do?
It’s inevitable that with lots of party planning come lots of cocktail needs. So, I thought it would be perfect to create a guide on the basics of drinking wine. Everything from types of wine to where they come from to what glasses to pour them in, and let’s not forget their respective pairings. After all, every stylish hostess needs to know this!
So, without further ado let’s get to it.
My fave! It’s a white wine with hints of peach, honey, and apricot flavors. It is famously known for its sweetness and can be a great alternative to White Zinfandel. This wine usually hails from Germany, although Washington State has also been known to produce.
Simple Pairings: Sushi! Don’t care for it? Then go for Gruyere cheese and crackers.
Featured Wine: PJ Valckenberg Riesling; Price $12- $15
Argued to be the most popular white wine, Chardonnay provides notes of pears, apples and citrus fruit flavors in its most crisp form. When extensively aged in Oak this wine becomes more vanilla and spiced based. Usually found to range from medium dry to completely dry, Chardonnay is definitely a great beginners wine.
Simple Pairings: Crab cakes. When aged in Oak, try cream sauces! Think Nutmeg.
Featured Wine: Josh Cellars Chardonnay; Price $10- $13
This wine incorporates the colors of the grape skin, usually making it a pinkish hue in color but not enough to qualify as a red wine. However, based on wine making techniques the color can actually get as dark as purple. Rosé is made from of a variety of grapes and can come in still, semi-sparkling or sparkling form. Most deem it a summer wine and its crisp, clean flavor is perfection! However, “most” doesn’t mean “all,” so be sure to drink whenever your palate desires. Cause why not?!
Simple Pairings: Melon and Prosciutto. Hummus. Either will do!
Featured Wine: Costieres de Nimes Rosé; Price $11- $14
This famous Spanish red wine accompanied with some Manchego cheese and olives will have you transported to Spain in no time. Rioja is made mostly of Temparnillo grapes and known for its fruity nature. It’s what I call the perfect white wine drinker’s red wine! I know, a mouthful but certainly a must try!
Simple Pairings: Manchego Cheese. Olives (preferably marinated in red peppers!)
Featured Wine: Rioja Vega Rioja; Price $12- $15
Another favorite of mine, this Spanish wine is a medium-bodied one with hints of cherry and vanilla undertones. Made from Tempranillo grapes (just like Rioja) this wine is also aged in oak. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, then you will love Tempranillo!
Simple Pairings: Chorizo. Spanish Tortas or both!
Featured Wine: Capa Tempranillo; Price $13- $16
Italian Sparkling wine! Made in the Veneto region of Italy from Glera grapes this wine usually comes in the form of dry or extra dry. Much like champagne in nature (except with a cheaper price tag), pop the cork and celebrate!
Simple Pairings: Garlic bread. Avocado. Yummy!
Featured Wine: La Marca Prosecco; Price $13- $16
Now where to find these? These wines are totally accessible and can be found at your local liquor store. Any of the featured wines will range anywhere from $10 dollars to upwards of $20 dollars depending on your area. A $15 dollar midpoint will have you sipping your way to happiness!
Hostess Tip: Don’t be afraid to probe the liquor store employees. Ask them questions, tell them what you are cooking, how much you are willing to spend. Recommendations are key!
Glasses to pour them in? Here’s a rule of thumb red wines require a larger bowl than white wines. So, the glasses need to be bigger in nature and this is simply due to the aromas that stem from red wine. However, rules are made to be broken and if you don’t have two different sets, no need to stress. This will never stop you from enjoying these to their fullest!
As for Prosecco, just like champagne a flute is what the doctor order.
As always, I hope this guide inspires you to let your hair loose, turn on the music, and pour yourself a nice glass of any one of these!
Keep entertaining, event fashionistas! Till next time!
This post was written for Vivala.com; to see more of my posts click here.