Din­ner is served

All your favourite peo­ple are round, you’ve got the food cov­ered, the best nap­kins are out and every­one’s hav­ing a great time. The only thing you need now for the per­fect din­ner party is the wine...

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Whether you’re throw­ing a for­mal feast or a ca­sual shar­ing sup­per, here are Naked Wines’ six top tips for tak­ing your din­ner party wine game to the next level...

GREET YOUR GUESTS WITH A SHERRY SPRITZ

One of the best things to come out of the ul­tra-cool hip­ster move­ment is the recla­ma­tion of sherry. It’s not just for your nan any more, and boy does it make a good cock­tail. Shake 50ml of fino or man­zanilla sherry with 1 tsp of runny honey, a dash of pa­prika and ice. Pour into a chilled glass, over ice, and top up with your fizz of choice. Brut cava for a tart fresh tip­ple, or ex­tra dry prosecco for a fruitier, sweeter sip.

SERVE A FRESH AND FRUITY RED WITH YOUR FISH

If you’re bored of serv­ing yet an­other ch­ablis with your salmon or tilapia, why not sur­prise your guests with a light and vi­brant red? A new world pinot noir or French gamay will pair per­fectly with a meaty fish dish, adding some del­i­cate red fruit flavours into the mix. Both will keep the meal bright, fun and flavour­some.

DON’T FOR­GET THE VINO FOR VE­G­ANS

While many more food­ies are em­brac­ing ve­gan and veg­gie dishes, the wine is of­ten an af­ter­thought. It might sur­prise you to know that not all wines are ve­gan. An­i­mal pro­teins are com­monly used as fin­ing agents, but more and more con­sci­en­tious wine­mak­ers are us­ing ve­gan-friendly in­gre­di­ents to craft bot­tles that taste de­li­cious. Try the ve­gan-friendly (and gor­geous) Small & Small Sylvia Re­serve Marl­bor­ough sauvi­gnon blanc with as­para­gus and pea risotto.

CRACK OPEN A BOU­TIQUE BOT­TLE FROM CHILE

More and more ar­ti­san and bou­tique winer­ies are pop­ping up all over Chile, and they are craft­ing some world-class wines. Carmenere (Chile’s sig­na­ture grape) is a smok­ier, softer and more in­ter­est­ing cousin to mer­lot, and if you hap­pen to come across a reserva or gran reserva, the ex­tra time in oak casks de­vel­ops it into an in­tense, brood­ing and choco­laty drop. Keep your eyes peeled for some real Chilean gems.

VEN­TURE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Look be­yond the big names and re­gions, and you get so much more bang for your buck. Naked wine­maker Jorge Caus-Pertegaz gets the pick of the best grapes just down the road from Rioja, treats the wine in ex­actly the same way as a rioja, and pro­duces his Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva. The best bit? Be­cause it doesn’t have the ‘Rioja’ la­bel, it’s a frac­tion of the price.

THE WORLD’S EAS­I­EST PUD

Af­ter gorg­ing on a de­li­cious main course, you might feel that an elab­o­rate dessert will tip you over the edge. A sim­ple pud­ding op­tion is pour­ing a sweet and sticky for­ti­fied wine (Katie Jones’s Maury is a great one) over some goodqual­ity vanilla ice cream. If you want to push the boat out, add some crushed meringues and dark choco­late chunks for an in­dul­gent, sticky mess.

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