IIs there such a thing as a good party wine? Well, I don’t mean cool, which is rarely needed at a party, unless you have friends who pour Krog like water (an unlikely scenario for most of us). Instead, I think he means a wine that makes most people happy without breaking the bank. But does this have to be prosecco?
I will not argue. Not that there’s anything wrong with things – prosecco is a good choice in what’s rather called ‘finger food’ – but, with the odd exception like Morrisons’ £6.75 Sorso Prosecco (11%), it’ll probably cost you a few pounds more than a still wine. Inexpensive, as you’ll see from today’s pick below. Personally, I’d go for a bright, fresh, or soft and fruity white rather than an alcoholic red like a merlot.
I find that people drink less if you limit selection, so a pair of the same product often works well. For example, Co-op’s Tilting Tree Sauvignon Blanc would be a decent buy to go with the Merlot in today’s selection (though not as good as the included Welmoed either), while Aldi’s Mimo Moutinho Dão would be a good partner for an aviso. .
Obviously, the most economical way to handle the situation is to ask everyone to bring a bottle, but if you don’t want to end up with a terrible bowl of hops, it’s worth giving guests an idea to stick with. Maybe it’s a pie-and-a-half party, the centerpiece of which could be Felicity Kluck’s pork pie, though no one would complain if it was just hot dogs, or sausage rolls. Or Pigs and Pines, which obviously must include Pigs in Blankets, lackluster beer, and pizza. Or, for a great budget option, have everyone bring along a bottle of cava and an interesting bag of potato chips (Torres’ fried egg potato chips are my current obsession). Gotta love a little alliteration when it comes to the party invite.
A slightly different approach is required when you are the guest. Next, it’s about bringing something that (a) you like and (b) wasn’t given to you (and certainly not by the host) for one of your parties. I think it’s also worth making a little effort to take something interesting, like Aldi’s Castellore Ribolla Gialla 2021 (£6.99, 11.5%) or a similar Marks & Spencer copy in their existing range (£7.50, 12%); Or try the Morrisons’ Cidade Branca Alentejo 2021 (£8, 14%), one of those sweet, flexible Portuguese portuguese that’s a real crowd pleaser.
A bottle of champagne always goes down well, although there is a risk that your host might walk away from it to enjoy alone and in peace. Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny and Lidl’s Comte de Senneval aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but they’re still under £15. More fun might be the 12.5% 12.5% Sparkling 2021 Ferrari, a truly elegant and elegant Italian from Morrisons and Asda at £23. Just don’t open it race driver style.
Four cheap and party-delightful wines
Tilt Tree Merlot 2021 £6 co-op, 13%. Attractive, fruity red from Moldova. Sauvignon is also decent.
Willmoid Sauvignon Blanc 2022 £7 co-op, 13%. If you want a more citrusy New Zealand sauvignon, this Stellenbosch purchase is a great buy.
Memo Moutinho Portuguese Affairs 2021 £5.99 Aldi, 12.5%. Bright, crisp and fresh: no one will know you only spent six treats. A fruity red of the same red range would be a good companion.
Taste the difference Colchagua Merlot 2021 £7 Sainsbury’s, 13.5%. A smooth, velvety chile marlotte that would hit the sweet spot for New World red lovers.