Not a Drinker? Here's How to Pick Out the Right Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party

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Even if you are not a big wine drinker, you should still bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party when you're invited to be a guest. It's an easy and appropriate gift. You could choose to mimic George from Seinfeld, who decided that a big bottle of Pepsi was better than wine because he drank Pepsi, but it's probably advisable to stick with a nice bottle of vino.

Rather than just walk into a liquor store and grab the first bottle you see, take some time to choose something that will impress your hosts. Here's a quick guide to help you pick out an appropriate type of wine to bring to a dinner party.

White or Red?

This is totally up to you. There are food-pairing considerations when it comes to serving wine, but when you bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party, it's likely that your wine will not be served with the meal. The hosts would have already planned on a particular bottle of wine, so it's fine if you bring white wine even though the hosts are serving steak or if you bring a nice red Bordeaux even though the hosts are serving fish.

What Type of White?

There are many types of white wine. Some of them are sweet, such as Reislings, and some of them are dry, such as Chardonnay. There are even white wines that are mildly carbonated, such as some Moscatos. You should try and stay away from sweet white wines because they are an acquired taste, and you should also stay away from mildly carbonated wines. These are a bit too similar to champagne. Stick with dry, medium-bodied wines such as Chardonay and light and floral wines such as Sauvignon Blanc. These two wines work well with many dishes.

What Type of Red?

There are light wines such as Chianti, which you might have seen with the iconic straw-covered bottle (fiasco.) While you can get high-end Chianti that comes in regular bottles, you should stick to a French-style red, either Cab Sav or a Bordeaux blend. Cabernet Sauvignon is a very dark, heavy, and full-bodied red. It's a favorite with meat dishes because it stands up so well to powerful flavors. A Bordeaux-style wine is another great choice. These wines come from the Bordeaux region of France and are made of a mixture of several different types of wines. They are very smooth but still retain a nice body. The Bordeaux blends will be mostly Merlot but also have a significant amount of Cab Sav as well as Cab Franc in the mix.

To find Bordeaux wine for sale, as well other types of wine, visit stores near you.