A can’t-go-wrong hostess gift? What to serve with dessert? A wine that everyone will love? We asked Winc’s Wine Director, Brooke Matthias, all the difficult questions.
What’s the perfect goes-with-everything wine to give as a hostess gift?
My favorite wine for a host/hostess gift is a red blend that retails for about $20. Coming from Santa Barbara County, DIME is a Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that’s crafted for any occasion. It’s the season’s go-to dinner party wine, and with its balance of fruit, oak, and complexity, it’s hard not to love no matter what wine palate you have. The bottle design is also very sleek and sophisticated.
What wines are universal crowd-pleasers?
For whites, a crisp and lean Sauvignon Blanc like Diviner has the perfect balance of acid and tropical fruit flavors. For reds, a high-quality bottle of Pinot Noir like Folly of the Beast is always a hit, with its medium body and subtle tannins. Both are very food-friendly picks and made for easy drinking.
Is it true that you should pair a different wine with fish than meat?
Yes! Light and fresh whites and rosés best complement fish, as they aren’t overpowering, while full-bodied reds like a juicy cabernet can handle the umami intensity of heavier meat dishes. However, wine is personal and rules are always made to be broken—so feel free to experiment and explore to find your own favorite pairings.
What’s a great wine to serve with dessert?
All desserts taste better when accompanied by some bubbly! Sparkling wines will pair with whatever sugary concoction you choose to indulge in—from pie to gingerbread to chocolate cake. I would recommend Winc’s Finke’s Sparkling Blend. It has the celebratory feel of Champagne, without the special occasion reputation and price tag.