4 Fabulous Dinner Party Ideas with Wine

Tips: Hosting with Wine

Wine for dinner parties.

It's time to get creative with your dinner party plans! We've got some tips and tricks for hosting four fabulous dinner parties all incorporating great wine ideas!

What’s not to love about a dinner party filled with food and wine? Your friends will love the idea of themed dinner wine parties and chances are everyone will get to experience some new food and wine pairings! 

Homemade Pizza Dinner Party
Everyone loves pizza. And guess what goes with pizza? Pizza loves wine. Dress up your homemade pizza party with wine and salad. Or better yet, add those greens right onto the pizza! Making homemade pizza is easy and you can use different types of crusts, including Naan bread or purchase pre-made dough from the grocery store. Have guests bring ingredients for their favorite homemade pizza and a bottle of wine to reduce the work for you! 

{Rachel’s suggested wine picks}

Red Wine blends pair wonderfully with pizza. Try the Coppola Rosso & Bianco red blend!  Another classic pizza wine pairing is Zinfandel, especially for a BBQ sauce pizza! Try the Coppola Director’s Cut Zinfandel, a complex and well-structured wine. 

Finger Foods Dinner Party for Larger Groups
Everyone loves finger foods and they are the perfect food to host a dinner with! Especially when you have a larger crowd! Your guests can spend more quality time mingling around and visiting with friends while trying different bites of flavorful foods. The key to larger dinner parties is crowd control. Set up different tasting stations around your house that focus on variety and put different wines at different stations. Choose a variety of sweet, savory and healthy bites so that everyone is happy. 

{Rachel’s suggested wine picks} 

For a finger foods dinner party, it’s important to have all different types of wines since there will most likely be many different food flavors. Stock up on a variety of popular, food friendly wines such as this variety of Coppola Sofia sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Not sure how much wine to have on hand? Depending on the size of your party, prepare for over a half-bottle per person. 20 people? 12 bottles. 40 people? 2-3 cases of wine (12 bottles per case). 

Local Ingredients Dinner Party
Regional dinner parties are fun to plan and easy to do when it comes to food and wine pairings. Ever heard the saying, “What grows together goes together?” Italian foods pair well with Italian wine, Greek food pairs well with wine from Greece, and you guessed it, locally grown produce, cheese and other ingredients from Sonoma County go well with wine from Sonoma County! So instead of doing a traditional regional cuisine party that has been done a million times, such as Mexican or Italian, why not try a party themed around all locally-sourced food from Sonoma County!

{Rachel’s suggested wine picks }

Choose a delicious local Sonoma County creamy cheese to pair with Chardonnay. What’s not to love about cheese and charcuterie together? You can’t go wrong with local salami and other meats paired with a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.

Elegant and Posh Dinner Party
I like to keep an elegant dinner party small, usually no more than 6 to 8 people. I like starting the evening off with sparkling wine paired with small bite size appetizers. Keep it simple, such as a nice cheese and charcuterie board. Once seated at your table, serve a starter course, an entrée and of course dessert. Set your table ahead of time, including all of the glasses you will need for different wines. Wine place settings should be done left to right in the following order; red, white, sparkling, water. Also, keep the table centerpiece short so that guests can see each other. Think low candles with scattered flower petals.

{Rachel’s suggested wine picks }

For an elegant and posh dinner party, stick to classic wines such as Coppola’s Sofia

Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. You will need 8 bottles of wine: 2 sparkling wine, 2 white and 4 red. You might have some leftover wine but it’s always best to plan for more so you don’t run out! For meat courses, I especially like serving Cabernet Sauvignon dominate wines such as Francis Coppola Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon or Archimedes.

Rachel Thralls is a Certified Sommelier and is studying to be a certified Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is the owner of FitSomm Rachel.

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