The holidays are a wondrous time to spend with family. And family time means drinking time! You’re certainly not alone. Every year, Americans double their alcohol consumption when November and December come knocking.
Of course, hosting a party is a whole different ball game. While in-person parties might not be as frequent this year, what with the Coronavirus playing the role of the Grinch, they’ll still happen among loved ones who have been properly screened and fever-free for ten days prior. And, when they do, it’ll be up to you to decide on what type of wine to serve.
Ultimately, there are several variables that influence your choices, including how much money you want to spend and how many people you’re hosting. Once you consider those factors, there are five ways to help you cover all your Beaujolais bases, including:
Offer a variety: Some hosts believe that they need to break the bank in order to appease the wine Gods, but variety reigns supreme. One of the reasons is because holiday parties typically feature all sorts of food and it’s hard to find a wine that goes swimmingly with everything. Your best bet is to get both red and white and stick to vintages known for playing well with others.
For reds, consider Cabernet, Merlot, or Shiraz. For whites, consider Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Riesling (especially if you’re heavy on desserts).
Go all in on White Zin: Oh, White Zinfandel….how cliché! But, hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. White Zin is extremely popular at parties and for good reason – it’s sweet, light, and low in alcohol. As an added bonus for the host, it’s widely inexpensive.
Think inside the box: Okay, okay, a box of wine may be more “dorm room” than “elegant living room” but there’s a reason it gets mentioned. First of all, boxed wine has upped its game in recent years with some brands making it – dare I say? – classy! Boxed wine is also convenient, inexpensive, and the leftovers won’t spoil (even an opened box is good for roughly six weeks). What’s more, tipsy Aunt Mildred can knock it over without ruining your white futon.
Appease the wine snobs: Yes, it’s true – variety, White Zin, and a box won’t satisfy some folks; they’ll believe that drinking inferior wine is akin to drinking water from the Christmas tree stand. For them, it’s always a good idea to have a little something something on standby.
You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a rare vintage, but consider a moderately expensive Pinot Noir or Malbec.
Accept help: One of the best things about the holidays is that everyone is in the spirit of giving. This may be no more truer than when you’re hosting a party as friends, family, and neighbors all offer to pitch in by bringing a green bean casserole, a seven-layer dip, a pecan pie, or a plate of cookies. Some people offer just to be polite but others offer because they acknowledge the overwhelm of hosting a party and they genuinely want to help. So, let them. The less money you spend on things like cheese platters the more money you have to shell out for the bubbly!