This piece was written for Daily Hive by DJ Kearney, Director of Wine at newdistrict.ca and our resident wine expert.
The giving season is here – the time for a whirlwind of parties, dinners, office gift exchanges, and overall (delicious) indulgence!
You’ll probably have many occasions to bestow a bottle of vino, and receive the added dividend of making yourself look like a savvy genius, with superb taste, sophistication, and high wine IQ.
Whether you are tasked with bringing a bottle to dinner, or you want to show off your wine pairing chops, or choose a fitting bottle to give, you might find some of these tips handy.
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What to bring
Match the wine to the type of occasion
Many of us are bound to be thinking – what wine should I bring to dinner?
Try to do a bit of sleuthing first, like finding out what’s for dinner, or what might be an appreciated liquid addition to the feast. Is it a fancy-pants sit-down dinner, a serve-yourself potluck, or a kitchen party for a crowd? Ask a few questions and then make your expenditure line up.
The value wines that over-deliver: it’s great to have a few tricks up your sleeve that drink like a Ferrari, but cost like a Ford.
This crisply dry Mannara Pinot Grigio from Sicily has universal appeal, with snappy citrus fruit, easy balance, and it works works well with so many foods. Just as awesome is a completely satisfying spicy red, made by Spain’s hottest winemaker.
Al-Muvedre Tinto is Monastrell grown in the sultry heat of Valencia, it’s delicious with a winter braise, or you can just pour it casually at a holiday potluck. You can also just as casually drop the winemaker’s nickname, T-Rod!
If you’ve got to go fancy, go blue chip
When you know you have to open the wallet a little wider for a fancier dinner invitation, go for blue chip grapes and regions that will immediately impress.
For white wine, that’s almost always Chardonnay, and is a well-known beauty from the south Okanagan is madeby Canadian wine royalty, the Triggs family.
Dilemma by Culmina Winery is a super-handsome dinner wine, from the elegant label, the succulent, peachy flavours, and light kiss of oak.
Head to the Napa Valley for a supple, suave Merlot with some snob appeal. With potent plummy fruit, polished tannins and a roomful of trophies, Whitehall Lane’s Merlot will handle any dinner centrepiece with ease.