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...
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.