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What wine to bring to a party?


Imagine you are heading to an informal evening party (not a garden party or BBQ). You don’t know the hosts at all (you are new to the neighbourhood). You need to bring a bottle and you know it is going to be opened that night.

What do you bring (and if relevant, why)?

(Money isn’t an object, but let’s be realistic, it has to be something you WOULD pay for and bring, no magic bottles of First Growths you picked up at the petrol station on the way).

Hopefully this can be a reference for future shopping :slight_smile:

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I have found that bringing a bottle of Delas Grignan-les-adhemar always goes down well, everyone comments how nice it is and the bottle looks quite impressive!


Grignan-les-Adhemar is a really good shout, but I’d go with Les Traverses

I’ve had great feedback from everyone I’ve shared this with, and I think it punches well above its weight.


Very interesting that the first two replies were red wines. I expected white and sparkling to dominate.


Took the Muller Catoir Scheurebe round to a non-wine buff friend recently who said it was the best white he had ever tried! :slight_smile:


I used to bring fizz as well but I find that with the same budget, it’s much easier to impress with a decent red. Maybe it’s just because in every case, people are already few glasses in before they crack open the reds!


I quite like taking wine from lesser-known places as I enjoy seeing people being (pleasantly) surprised by them, so I’d go for either the Graillot (Moroccan) Syrah or my old favourite, the Vinkara Kalecik Karasi (Turkish).

I also love taking a Grüner and a Cru Beaujolais as they’re really versatile and damn delicious!


What timing!! I have this exact situation at one of these ‘dinner parties’ with the missus’ colleagues.

I thought this…

Seemed inoffensive yet says ‘i care’ and won’t trounce the bank or i shouldn’t think need decanting


Did you bring it? I’d be keen to know what it was like.

I’ve a bit of an issue with tintorier grapes to be completely honest, I always get a strong violet note which distracts me from other flavours, but maybe this is just a personal issue (maybe @clint_oxford can comment on whether this is a marker for such grapes in blind tastings?)

Unusual choice, good call! I actually had a very interesting Scheurebe in Nova Scotia, Canada recently from a winery called Lightfoot & Wolfville. I haven’t ever really focused on this grape before, and maybe it deserves more attention. It would certainly be a unique offering.


Its a really good grape that like Riesling is nice at all sweetness levels, without the complexity. Lots of good BA and Eiswein from Austria made from this variety (called Samling 88 there). I think it would be a great variety to do in blind tastings (especially dry examples) as I think it will turn a lot of skeptics onto German wine. Muller Catoir also do wonders with the Rieslaner crossing.

More wine from Canada would be nice. More from Austria and Hungary too! (A great Gruner Veltliner range already)


Macon Villages and Beaujolais Village both show you’re not an idiot, will lift the tone if placed on the side with the other bottles (none of which will be French) and won’t cost a lot.

The alternative is to take my wife’s approach when attending parties held by her running club. She just admits to being a wine snob and takes her own bottle, which she refuses to share. Everyone just thinks it’s hilarious rather than rude. Amazing what you can get away with if you are bold about it. And live in the north of England.


I’d like to revive this post but from the other side of the coin per se .
About a month ago the OH invited an old school friend, his wife and 2 kids over for Sunday lunch . I have never met them and until quite recently the OH hadnt seen his friend in about 16years .
I made the full works , rib of beef, lamb, Yorkshires the lot , who doesn’t enjoy a good Sunday dinner after all :wink:!
Anyway, when they arrived I opened a bottle of English Ridgeview which disappeared pretty quickly and then we opened the bottle of cremant de Loire they had brought along . I am the only one in this house who can actually cook so “proper” cooking always falls to me, so I was obviously consuming a lot less than anyone else .
By the time dinner was served up, the other 3 adults were 3/4 the way down a Chateauneuf de Pape ( can’t remember which one) and another had been decanted . The second bottle was consumed followed by a 3rd …! :scream::scream:
It was at this point the topic turned to wine . The “friend” pointed out that the wines he had drunk over dinner were lovely and he was enjoying lately getting into more wine ! He then recommended this “wonderful” wine he had found in the supermarket . Had we ever tried it ? It’s called Barefoot Shiraz ! :scream:! At this point I was mentally totting up the cost of the wine they and my OH had gotten through over dinner and started throwing the dagger looks when the suggestion of having a gin was mentioned :tired_face::tired_face:!!
So, the question is : if YOU are the host to people you don’t know anything about , what wine would you serve them ?? Do you put a price cap on it ? How do you decide ?


Oh god. The Barefoot Merlot was on the table for Christmas dinner this year. :face_with_monocle::rage::cold_sweat: As there were about 20 of us I could understand the hosts going for a cheaper option to some extent, but that’s a bit extreme! Thinking ahead, I’d brought some wine with me and those sitting nearby were treated to a decanted Weinert Cabernet instead…

That’s a really tricky situation and I don’t think there’s a definitive answer. I suppose it’s about balance. I’d probably aim for the £10-£15 range. That should be enough to guarantee you’ll have something enjoyable, and give you a chance to gauge the room a bit. If your guests wax lyrical about the wine you can always upgrade to something nicer for the second bottle or open something cheap and cheerful if necessary.

I know it’s 8.30 on a Sunday morning, but I’ve now really got a hankering for roast beef and a nice mature Cabernet…


I think there is a sweet spot where people who know wine will be content to drink what you are serving, but people who dont may actually have their eyes opened and will frequently comment on how much they are enjoying what they are drinking. Same with gifts at work - my (relatively new) team at work got chateau pesquie ‘terrasses’ ventoux 2015 at christmas - not TWS but £12.50 a bottle - got a lot of good feedback without being OTT. 2012 ch de fonbel cost me £13 -14 on the table from EP and is a sunday roast staple - goes with most roast meats and at that level of outlay, it is a genuine pleasure to see others enjoy it. For fizz I will always have WS Saumur at hand - everyone likes it and cracking open champagne can feel a bit OTT at an informal gathering. Also structured rose like Tavel is a good compromise if you know there are some anti-red wine people in the party.


This is one of my go to party wines:

And for fizz, perhaps a bottle of the Society’s sparkling samur.


Great question. I see my role as to share the joy of wine with those around me, so I pour whatever I think is a great match in the hopes of them having an eye-opening experience.

There’s a role for Barefoot and its ilk in the wine world. What I might say to that person is that they ought to try and find a way to taste the two side-by-side as I promise them they will be able to tell the difference. The truth is that the most useful wine drinking skill that we develop is not about ‘tasting’ or ‘analysing’ since anyone can enjoy great wine, … the real skill is developing an ability to remember experiences and compare them over time (“this is better than another wine I tasted a few weeks / months ago” is not something you’d hear from anyone other than a wine geek with a developed tasting skill).

A commitment to learning about, buying and sharing quality wine is a vocation - you have to want to make it a priority in your life because, to be fair, there are many other things that could be important to different people, and I can’t say my way is better.

For example, I might be happy to share bottles at a dinner party that cost £20 each, but I will never understand why someone else would spend a large percentage of their disposable income in order to drive a fancy new car (instead of my 10 year old Seat Altea XL), and I am quite sure the opposite is true.


Some years ago my brother gave me, as a birthday present, one share in a Bordeaux winery called Chateau de Haux (sounds very dodgy, I know). It does exist!

It is not a great wine but is an easy drinking claret at a good price (as a share holder you can get it cheaper than open market). I have a fair number of vintages going back to 2000 and happily take it to parties.


Oh my goodness, I would have been extremely disappointed too had I not had the foresight to bring my own. But these days, this is exactly what I do too, or I drive to avoid any disappointment on the wine situation.


And what a lovely idea for a gift regardless of what you think of it. Wonderful!


This is a great versatile fizz and usually there is some about, however post Christmas there wasn’t much knocking about :joy: