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Wines to get the Party Started

Would it really be a party without wine? Of course not! Read on for my essential guide to serving the perfect party wine….

First, you will need to know how much wine to buy. Bear in mind that you will get 6 small glasses (125ml) from a typical 750ml bottle. Then you will need glassware to serve the wine in – plastic tumblers just aren’t the same. If you have more guests than wine glasses, you can often hire glasses from your local wine shop or if you regularly host parties, you could even consider buying some inexpensive glasses to use for parties – Ikea is always a good option for this. Wine glass markers are helpful to prevent your guests from accidently mixing up their glasses. These can be bought cheaply from eBay and Etsy, or you could even get creative and craft you own using coloured string.

Now for the actual wine. For me, it wouldn’t be a proper party without some bubbles, so I always ensure that I have a few bottles of fizz chilling in the fridge ready to crack open. Obviously, Champagne is the ideal choice, but if like me your budget doesn’t stretch that far, try some Crémant as a great alternative. This is a French sparkling wine that is produced using the same method as Champagne, but not in the Champagne region of France. Local grape varieties will be used in each region and if you choose a ‘Crémant de Bourgogne’ (sparkling wine from Burgundy) the grape varieties will be the same as in Champagne. You can pick up a decent bottle of Crémant in your local supermarket for around £10.

Assuming that it isn’t a dinner party that you’re hosting, it is wise to serve light and fruity style wines that aren’t too high in alcohol – you want your guests to remember the party! For ease of serving, I always invest in a few boxed wines, this means no messing around with corkscrews and guests can easily serve themselves. Although boxed wines once had a slightly inferior reputation in terms of quality, there are now some great quality wines available to buy online. My favourites are and Try to choose fruity, easy drinking styles such as Pinot Grigio or Vinho Verde for whites and Beaujolais, Rioja Crianza or a young and fruity Merlot for reds.

If you’re feeling adventurous, a cocktail or two always goes down well at a party. My favourite wine-based cocktail is a Hugo - fresh, fruity and always a crowd pleaser. This is my recipe: fill a tall glass with ice and about 3 mint leaves, add 3 parts elderflower cordial followed by 1 part soda water and 6 parts Prosecco. Garnish with a slice of lime. You can even add 1 part gin along with the mint leaves if you like.

Cheers to a great party!

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