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How much wine / alcohol should we serve at a party?

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Like so many things in life, wine is best enjoyed in moderation and in good company. Nothing ruins an evening faster than one of your guests overdoing it and getting drunk (not to mention the ensuing embarrassment and arguably humor that would come of it).  Yet on the flipside, a glass of wine goes a long way towards making guests feel relaxed, it helps conversation flow, and let’s be honest it makes everything better.

There is no easy answer to this question, most will say half a bottle a head. If your budgeting for a big party and serving cheap wine, go with this. For smaller occasions follow your gut. If you will be serving mixed drinks take it into account, one bottle in four with the main course should suffice, and of course don’t get cheap wine, nothing ruins a meal like a bad wine. (look out for a blog coming soon with suggested food pairings).

Here is the general rule I follow for a party: mixed drinks to start. Have 2 standard ones. (you don’t want to be stocking too much booze) Rum or whisky based, (coke works well with both, and vodka (straight or with 7up). That’s it. You won’t break the bank, and everyone will be happy. This will take you through appetizers and probably first course.

With the entrée, either a red or a white. Something standard like a chardonnay and a chianti. Both are not far from middle ground. Again, the goal is to keep people happy without overdoing it.

After dinner, have scotch on hand. Doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. You can even use the whiskey used for mixing.

The key with all of this is focus on quality not quantity. You want your guests to enjoy the evening, every part of it. The food, the drinks, the company. When done right every party is a success! Remember, life is all about these moments, one day (hopefully far in the future) you won’t remember what it is you had to drink, but you will remember the evenings spent with family and friends, so make them count!

December 7, 2016 |

Wine pairing suggestions

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In my humble opinion the undisputed king of wines is Champagne!  Any meal can begin with a glass of champagne. It’s only for celebrating you say? Every day is a cause for celebration, life is a gift not a given write. So celebrate! Often, in fact always! And not only with a glass of Champagne, but even better, with a loved one!

Sorry I trend to get sidetracked, wine pairing. Not to overblow the importance of having wine with a meal (and yes, I understand that many don’t drink at all, I just got the chills)) a proper wine selection can elevate even the simplest meal to new heights. Not to mention the science that proves wines health benefits, where was I going with this. Let just talk pairings:

General rule: Champagne goes with anything. And I don’t mean cheap sparkling wine that is loaded with sugar. (note to self, write a blog about the different champagnes)

At a risk of angering legions of “experts”, as a rule I either server reds or whites. I don’t like to mix between the two. I pick a path and stick to it. A few simple pairing suggestions:

Foie gras/soft cheese: Sauternes, sauvignon blanc

Oysters/smoky cheese: Chablis, Sancerre

Chicken/lamb/goat cheese: Chianti

Steak/aged cheese: Cabernet Sauvignon (California being my choice these days)/Bordeaux

Indian food/spicy food: Syrah

Popcorn: Chardonnay (because Netflix and chill calls for wine)

Hot dogs/fries: Beaujolais

White fish*: Riesling

*Key things to remember, you don’t want your wine to overpower your food, it has to compliment. This is especially important with fish. You can’t drink a bold white wine with delicate fish, you will taste nothing but wine (not that I’m saying its necessarily a bad thing). The inverse is also true, a wine that is too mellow will get buried.

All this to say, I lied. Having someone else pick pairings for you is impossible; so I not going to try. Wine is a journey, maybe even an odyssey. The further you go the more you learn. Like with all great journey’s there are no shortcuts, what I can tell you is learn to taste with your senses not your wallet.

Take in the aroma, the different layers of taste. (ok quick sidebar: tannins on the palate, sweetness on the tip of the tongue, salty on the front sides, sour on the back sides and bitter in the back)

A whole world will soon present itself, enjoy the ride, remember to share the journey with others and never overdo it!

December 7, 2016 |
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