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Wanna Throw a Wine Party? Try these recommendations from Sonal Holland

May 20, 2013 12:50:59 PM

Wines for the Party Season - The WineKart has one for everyone

The New Year is upon us once again, and so is the joyous season of celebration over parties that easily last till early morning in the midst of good friends and wine. I suspect many of us spend hours planning the food, the wine doesn’t get much attention until the last frightening minute. Choosing wines for a party should be a pleasure not a pain. A bit of forethought can set right the mood with the right drinks at the party. The thing to remember is that some people like to drink only white wines, some only red wines, so it is important to have one of each. Looking for wines that are popular will ensure the guests are happy and you win their vote as a good gracious host.

Here are my Top wine choices from The Wine Kart portfolio that are bound to please all palates and leave your guests impressed by your choice. This good selection of wines includes sparkling, white and red, ranging from dry to medium sweet with a variety of notes to be experienced by your guests, keeping in mind their pairing with some commonly served party foods. And with The WineKart’s online menu, ordering wine has never been easier; it is now only a few mouse clicks away.

Champagne has always been and will always remain the ultimate luxury beverage. It is much more versatile than most people would think. Champagne could begin your evening, end your evening and is the perfect bottle to pop at the stroke of midnight of a birthday or an anniversary celebration. Whilst great historic Champagne houses of Moet en Chandon, Roederer and Veuve Cliquot are a tried and tested choice, artisanal champagnes from small owner-growers such as Billecart Salmon and Philippe Gonet are proving to be the hidden gems in a brand-led market. A wine aficionado will heartily recommend these smaller scale hand-crafted champagnes claiming that they come from a wine farmer and not a factory. It is all about the scale of production. Try one to know the difference.

Hand-crafted champagne Billecart Salmon Brut NV pairs brilliantly with classic appetizers such as smoked salmon or butter brushed prawns, balancing the food’s richness and cleansing its oily texture with its high natural acidity.

An aromatic white wine with an inviting nose can be a real winner among the women and the youth. Staglin, Salus Chardonnay from Napa Valley has a delicious toasty and nutty flavour with a perfumed honeyed nose. This wine will perfectly pair the mildly spiced smoked tandoori chicken dishes or the creamy pastas. Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or MAN Vintners, an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa with its grassy herbaceous notes will complement the salad greens as well as any salty cheeses such as feta or goat’s cheese. St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA, a prized creation from the German wine repertoire with ripe peach and apricots, medium sweet notes and mouthwatering acidity are wonderful wines to balance the richness of the pâtés, garlic butter dishes or even the fruit-based desserts.

Roast chicken or turkey, with veggies or fruity sauces require ripe and fruity red wines with low tannins to complement the flavorsome accompaniments. A New Zealand Pinot Noir such as the one from the Saint Clair Winery in the Marlborough region with its ‘feminine’ style and supple tannins would do the job perfectly. Moreover, the perfumed ripe fruity flavor will appeal to the party guests who prefer to savour wine on its own.

For a real crowd pleaser of a red wine, you might try a Californian Merlot or an Australian Shiraz. Plump Jack Winery, a Napa Valley Merlot with its well balanced acidity, is a smooth rich wine that is absolutely beautiful when paired with a variety of foods such as Mutton Roganjosh, Dal Makhani or other curries, hard cheeses and quiches. Tapestry Shiraz from McLaren Vale region of Australia displays a deep plum colour, a sweet spicy nose and rich dark fruit on palate followed by a nice long finish. Delicious indeed!

Let us not forget that the festive season is also a season for gifting and what better gift to give or receive than a bottle of carefully chosen wine. Versatile, crisp Johann Donabaum Gruner Veltliner from Austria reflects uniqueness as well as complements a variety of festive foods. If you are looking to gift a bottle of a sophisticated wine from a highly rated wine estate, the Querciabella Chianti Classico fits the bill perfectly.


An acclaimed wine educator consultant writer and commentator, Sonal Holland is India's most highly qualified wine professional. Sonal holds the Level 4 WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits from London. She is also the first Indian to be enrolled into the Masters of Wine (MW) education program, U.K – the highest academic achievement in wines. Sonal Holland is the Founder & CEO at Sonal Holland Wine Academy - India’s foremost wine-centric institution in India for the appreciation and education on wines to consumers, hospitality and the wine trade. I I +919820056530