The world is opening up. We’ll soon return to old acquaintances, looking for new locations or “re-imagined” events. What are you bringing when it’s an opportunity to “bring it” what are you getting?
Did this, or something similar to it, have you ever experienced this? You’re leaving your job when you receive a phone call to let they’ve invited you to the new neighbors for a meal and to one of her supervisors to commemorate the latest promotion, or to the new acquaintances who are having a wine tasting party or “can you stop by and pick up some wine”?
Suppose it’s family or friends informal or business after hours or a group of similar wine enthusiasts who are having an event with wine; before you let anxiety, stress, and fear be a constant companion when you go to the shop. In that case, I’ll share a few successful strategies for you to think about and the reasons behind choosing the right wine for the occasion. It’s almost as if I were there with you to help guide you down the aisles of wine.
Get Your Story Straight
The strategy you choose to pursue will depend on your current expertise, knowledge, comfort level, and confidence in wine. Let’s suppose it’s your case. You’re an “average” level wine enthusiast, as are the majority of us who know what we like but may not know why other people like what they want. How do you make them happy?
“Why”? is an excellent place to begin. It helps you think of “the story.” Storytelling is an integral element of enjoyment at a dinner party with guests and food. The thought of “Why” can get you looking for new wines with levels you can discuss with others at your next gathering.
While it’s not an assurance that everyone will appreciate your wine’s flavor or design, they’ll surely enjoy you telling your “Story” of how you chose the wine you’ve chosen. Wine is indeed more than the wine fermented in the bottle. The quality of each wine can have a lot in common with the area it was cultivated in, the winemaker’s name, the winery’s past, or the memory of an event through the style of wine.
A story told by your host that they may have shared with you in the past can serve as a fantastic source of inspiration for your selection of wine. Let’s say they shared with you their experience of visiting a specific wine region or attending a friend’s wedding at an establishment. They may have mentioned an article recently about a winemaker or a winery they were interested in. These are all “clues” to the story you’ll want to share with everyone who is drinking, opening, and drinking the wine with acquaintances.
The story is an integral part of the enjoyment at any gathering. It is an excellent base for choosing the wine bottle you’ll bring.
Other scenarios that go beyond the narratives
Let’s break this down into some distinct scenarios!
“The complete unknown”: I’d suggest sticking to the safest and most traditional options for this situation. If you need to learn about the tastes and preferences of guests or hosts, you’re better off sticking to the fundamentals. Here’s when your sleuthing skills can be helpful. If you’re given clues after the event, you’re likely safe thinking of a main dish that includes chicken or beef. Much like the numerous dinners we’ve attended. If a host’s vegan or planning an ethnic dinner of some sort, it’s likely that they’ll be able to inform you (or anyone else?) be aware of it in advance.
I’d recommend using at least two glasses of wine in this situation. It will appear twice as clever and double as generous with your guests. The first wine to try is an iconic California Chardonnay from Napa Valley’s Carneros or the Sonoma region’s Russian River Valley. You could also, depending on what area you’re in, a smoky Loire Sauvignon Blanc or a smoky Burgundy Chablis. If you’re eating chicken for your main course, You win. You’ve dubbed it. What an excellent pairing!
The other wine I’d recommend searching for this dinner would be a distinct or perhaps “distinctive” Red. Similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon, Boudreaux, or an Australian Shiraz, also from famous regions like Napa, Sonoma, Australia, or France. It would help to consider other California regions known for their regional styles, like San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, or the Sierra Foothills region. As the main meal for the evening will likely include beef and other meats, you have a reason to choose it, and you’ve provided the perfect accompaniment with their tasty beef dish.
Bring an excellent white wine, and an enticing red wine gives you the possibility of starting the evening by drinking the white and proceeding to the red for dinner or even giving it away to your hosts to be enjoyed an additional time. Whatever you choose, it’s the perfect first impression.
“Following the breadcrumbs” What happens if you get clues to the menu through the chef? It becomes an investigation. Look for sources to help you know what a good wine pairing might be. The sources such as Vintec Club, Vivino, Wine Folly, Decanter, or Wine Spectator could offer excellent suggestions on what wine bottle to choose based on the various food items.
Bringing an extra white wine bottle will give you more choices to serve your guests. It can be a good gift idea to surprise your host.
If you need you need assistance finding exciting information or facts, keep in mind this powerful gadget that is always at hand: your smartphone. There are apps available that not only assist you with information such as regions, varietals rating, and price, however, but can also provide tasting notes, suggestions for food pairings, important information on serving temperatures, and the storage of temperatures.
The ONO (Eno) app powered by Vivino is a valuable and free app that allows you to examine the labels of all wines and then instantly access all the details you require to choose the best wine for your occasion, however, to create a compelling story to make your next wine-related gathering an unforgettable, fun and memorable meeting.