Party Planning for the Rest of the Year — With Wine!

Colors of wineJust because Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year, it doesn’t mean the party season is over. In fact, for many people, it’s just beginning.

You know you’ll be renewing your gym membership after the first of the year, so why not make it really worthwhile by enjoying what’s left of 2015 while you can? There are several more reasons for celebration remaining before the clock strikes midnight on January 1, and wine can — and should — be a part of all of them.

  • New Year’s Eve — Before you pop those corks with Ryan Seacrest or Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, plan a buffet meal so guests can serve themselves and gather around the flat-screen at their leisure. With a number of dishes from which to choose, guests will need wines known for their food affinity. Plan to have a not-too-oaky Chardonnay and an off-dry Riesling on hand, and for red wine fans, open bottles of Sangiovese and Pinot Noir.
  • Company Party — Although some companies now shy away from serving alcohol at their holiday parties, many still do. Wine is a responsible choice because it’s low in alcohol compared to spirits. With so many palates to please, it’s best to go with a bright, refreshing white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, and a smooth, easy-drinking red wine such as Merlot.
  • Holiday Brunch — This is an opportunity to trot out old family favorites and experiment with new recipes. Because of the time of the day (late morning, in most cases), you can feature both breakfast and lunch items. Of course, no brunch is complete without sparkling wine, as it matches nicely with a wide variety of dishes, and refreshes the palate as well. Those tiny bubbles also make it fun to drink.
  • Game-Day Tailgate Party — You don’t have to go to a football game and sit in the parking lot in order to partake of that Midwest and East Coast tradition of setting up a grill outside on a cold fall or winter day. Your backyard will do just fine, and you’ll also enjoy much more pleasant bathroom facilities when nature calls. With grilled fare — from big, spicy brats to thick, juicy steaks — Zinfandel makes the perfect pairing partner.
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