For those celebrating summer, we know that throwing a dinner party is high on the list, that’s why we want to help you with a drink pairing that will lift any party to a different level! 

Pairing drinks seems like a lot of work, but it really isn’t and plus, if you follow our quick guide, you’ll be stress free and equally in the know – so if anyone asks “that’s nice, what’s this?” you’ve already got the answer! 

If you want a quick guide to a stress free summer party, then check our blog for our recent post but for now, let’s talk party pairing drinks.

Drink pairing

Starters 

“Everything depends on what you serve for your starter, that’s why you need something that can please the tastebuds straight away” Alex Lawlor. “So we say, go generic and think of something that isn’t prosecco – although if you want, you can still have prosecco, but there are lots of other choices out there.” 

Yes there are, you want Pét Nat wine. Pétillant Naturel, or Pét Nat as it is otherwise and mainly known is not anything that is particularly new. It has been around longer than champagne and prosecco but it hasn’t had the best reputation for many years, but things are changing. 

Long story short, the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes. So what you have is a naturally fizzy wine that on average is, lighter in alcohol, a little sweeter than your normal wine and can go with lots of different starters. Mezze boards through to soups and warm buffets. 

Maison 54 Pét Nat, The Naturalist 2016 Pet Nat, Pet Nat VdF 2017, and F Fuchs Und Hase Pet Nat are all Pét Nat varieties that you can find and definitely need to try! (Yes they’re a little more expensive but these are naturally fermented!)

Mains 

“Your mains in the summer should be something that everyone can enjoy whilst also keeping you stress free. That’s why we say that a bbq is the perfect answer to keeping things simple – as you can prepare a lot in advance as well. Salads, side dishes and even what you’re going to cook with marinades that pack flavour.” 

With this in mind you want to go down a few different routes. 

The first is the obvious; white wine. Drink pairings would be nowhere without someone putting a list together of, “The Best White Wines With your Summer Food”. (We note the irony) For your grilled fish, like the lobster and prawn menu we recently catered there are some great choices you want to look out for. These include wines such as; Pouilly-Fumé, Chablis, Dry riesling, and Muscadet! 

The other school of thought is to go with a red that you can chill! Not only do they taste fresh and are perfect for the warm weather, but also, they unleash a different flavour profile. They become slightly more acidic, they heighten fruitiness and release an unbelievable aromas! Plus, a chilled red can go with fish as well as your carnivores in the family. 

Drink pairing is easy here; look to chill pinot noir, gammay, beaujolais and cab franc. If you want an Italian style red, then you want a dolcetto or a barbera. The only tip we have is, chilling and not getting them totally cold. All you need is 15 – 30 minutes in the fridge to bring the temperature down, but not totally cold that you take away from the wine flavour itself!

Desserts 

“Desserts can be tricky for a drink pairing, but one of the things we’ve noticed over the last few years is people moving towards bitter cocktails with lower sugar levels and even moving away from gin.” 

That’s right, gin, whilst popular more so now than ever is perhaps not your best drink to finish. You can stick of course with your chilled wines – which is always the easiest choice, however, we think that you can do one better. 

Bitter cocktails that are low on the sugars could the solution you’re looking for. Negroni, black manhattan and a moai spritz are the drinks that you want to try this summer for your drink pairing dreams to come true!