We know you can probably drink a whole bottle, but can your grandmother?
Sparkling wine is served first, instead of a cocktail, before people sit down. I usually start with Blanc de Blanc Champagne as this is a good crisp start to an evening. Anyone can keep drinking bubbles throughout dinner, but it’s more traditional to switch to a white wine after the Champagne with lighter fare and then to a red wine with the main meal.
Although that doesn’t mean that you can’t switch things around and be the daring host; try some lighter red wines chilled with fish like Pinot Noirs or Cabernets and richer whites with meat like aged Semillon or good white Burgundies (Chardonnay). Keep your deep, peppery wines for your spicy meat dishes and then of course for dessert, offer a Moscato or a good Sauternes or perhaps in cooler months a good port or Armagnac.
A full glass is about 180mls, but a proper pour is actually half of that. There are two good reasons for this. First, you don’t want to over serve people. I know most of your guests might have great drinking habits, but your mother-in-law may not. Also, if you’re serving full pours to a party of more than five, you’ll polish off a whole bottle before the 6th person! I always try and work on one bottle for eight people. This gives you the chance to invite a group of eight (that is a very good dinner number and a very lucky Feng Shui number), then you can savour different wines without ruining your pallet or getting over-tipsy.
Set-up your dinner and wines together so they marry; go from lighter fare and fresher wines to heavier fare and richer wines and don’t forget, Magnums look great so if you can pour one of the wines from Magnum, don’t hesitate in the extra investment and it looks excellent at a dinner party. You could always print off a menu and then make it all look very interesting like our Club Vivanova events.