How to choose a crowd-pleasing wine
Virgin Wines tastes thousands of bottles of wine each year to provide you with the best of the world. It is an essential job, as it ensures that customers are satisfied with the wines they buy and their tastes are met. Our talented team has spent decades learning to select and taste wines that are popular with customers. We are here to help you choose the perfect bottle the next time a restaurant offers you a wine list.
You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to select a bottle of wine everyone will love! You and your guests can enjoy every sip of wine at your next dinner party by following these simple steps.
Match your clothing
Certain foods can make the wine taste metallic, harsh, or tannic when paired with them. To stay on top of the game, remember these tips to get the most out of your wine.
Balance is the most crucial consideration when considering food and wine pairing! You must ensure that neither food nor wine dominates the other. Match the intensity of flavor, sweetness, acidity, and body of the wine to the richness of the food.
It’s all about the richness and weight of the food. If you’re enjoying rich meats or game, pair them with a bold red wine like the brilliant, ripe, and Black fruit-laden BentWing Cab from the red soils in Coonawarra. If you do not like red wine, choose a full-bodied Chardonnay over a lighter red like Pinot Noir or Merlot.
The intensity of the flavor is also essential. A lamb shoulder will overwhelm a delicate wine such as Pinot Grigio. Light wines are not a good match with strong-flavor foods. If you are serving a Thai Curry, a dish with intense flavors, then a Riesling would be a good match.
Never serve a big red wine with oily fish. The tannins in red wine combine with the oil of the fish and give it a metallic taste. If you can find a red wine with low tannins, such as a Pinot Noir or Sangiovese, this will pair well with meatier fish varieties like swordfish or monkfish.
Know your guests
You should know what your guests enjoy and dislike. You may be at a table of old-world wine drinkers, big, bold, red wine lovers, Savvy Blanc enthusiasts, or a mixture.
Ask around and make sure you cover all tastes. It’s important to remember that a wine popular with a group of people can be something other than good tasting. Sometimes it’s also about the price and value. Select wines that fit the budget of your group. Avoid unpleasant surprises and disagreements.
Find a middle-ground
It’s not uncommon to find a wide range of tastes – from those that only drink white wine to those who will try anything!
Then, divide the group into two sub-groups: white and rose consumers and Red consumers. Next, narrow the group down. Always start by asking about the body of the wine. If you are serving a heavier white wine like Semillon or oaked Chardonnay, keeping them away from international styles such as white Rioja and oaked Chardonnay is best. Fans of lighter whites and fresh, precise, and fruit-driven styles, like Sauvignon, may not like oak-aged Chardonnay but will love Hot Seat Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Pinot Noir lovers who prefer wines with little oak and tannin will find a rustic Nebbiolo or BIG Barossa Shiraz over-the-top and challenging to enjoy.
The medium-bodied grapes such as Grenache or Sangiovese are a great middle ground between Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Shiraz. You won’t regret trying them. Slither of Sun, a lightly oaked Chardonnay with its forward fruit notes and long finish, or Angove, a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon, can also please a crowd.
Keep to your strengths.
Do not try to be too fancy. A glass of aged Moldovan Babeasca neagra could make for a good dinner conversation. But would it be appreciated by the crowd? Most likely not.
Search for places and names you recognize. Australia has many quality wine destinations, including Barossa and Margaret River. You can start by looking for some of the most recognizable names in wine (think Penfolds) and then move on to other producers.
It is essential to understand the situation.
Choose the right wine if you’re planning a party, fine dining dinner, or anything in between. The price of Champagne can be prohibitive, so try something Australian made from the same grapes.
When the sun is out, fill your fridge with refreshing whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio. Their easy-drinking, fruity profiles make them crowd-pleasers. They also pair beautifully with seafood. Weightier whites or premium reds are usually reserved for special dinners with richer food (Black Pig Shiraz, for example). When the weather changes and it gets colder, a big, brooding red is perfect for curling up and enjoying.