All your pressing wine questions answered
When you're told not to bring anything
Dear Miss Wine Manners: I’m meeting my future in-laws for the first time and the occasion is lunch at their house. I asked future husband if I should bring anything and he said there’s no need. I feel rude showing up empty handed… what’s the wine etiquette in this situation?
It can be tricky when you’re told to bring nothing, but I never like to show up empty handed either. In this situation, when it’s warm outside, and especially if you don’t know what’s on the menu – you can’t go wrong with a chilled bottle of sparkling. Who says no to a bottle of bubbly??
If a bottle of vino doesn’t seem like enough and you’ve been brought up to “bring a dish” wherever you go – how about a loaf of freshly baked Irrewarra Sourdough and a pat of Pepe Saya butter. Crisp bubbly wine pairs outstandingly well with warm bread and salty butter. And it doesn’t make you look too presumptuous (or like you’re worried your future parents-in-law don’t know how to cook…)
"Bring a plate and a bottle"
Dear Miss Wine Manners: My BFF has organised a summer BBQ catch up with the instructions “Bring a plate and a bottle” – gah! Could this possibly be any more vague? Can you recommend a safe crowd pleaser – this group of friends consider themselves “foodies” and I’m way out of my depth.
The best thing to do around self-proclaimed “foodies” is to feign 100% confidence. Come prepared with a solid reason for why you’ve brought what you’ve brought and blow their minds with something simple!
White wine spritzers have unfairly acquired a reputation over the years for being “uncool”. Mention the words "wine spritzer," and most people automatically think of Grandma drinking watered-down Sauvignon Blanc, but there’s no need to be ashamed of your love for this most simple of cocktails. The wine spritzer has had something of a resurgence over the last few years and best of all, they're low in alcohol, so they're ideal for day drinking, minus the nasty hangover.
Easy picnic pairings
Dear Miss Wine Manners: I want to take my partner on a romantic sunset beach picnic (ahem – there may or may not be a proposal on the cards here). We have pretty simple tastes, but love good food and good wine. I want to make this a night to remember – can you recommend a great pairing that’s simple, easy to organise and can be a seamless part of a special evening?
This actually might be the easiest question I’ve been asked all year!
Hands down, the ultimate food and wine pairing for a sunset beach picnic is an excellent bottle of bubbles (especially if it’s a… special occasion) and down and dirty fish n’ chips.
Put in a pre-order at your local fish n’ chip shop, pack a couple of real wine glasses (don’t worry about flutes, you don’t need them for quality sparkling) and don’t forget the picnic blanket! Oh – and the ring if that’s what’s on the cards!
Wine and games night
Dear Miss Wine Manners: I’ve been invited to a “Game Night” by a work colleague/potential friend – the theme is “bring a game and a matching wine”. I have no idea what’s expected of me!! I’ve seen the Movie, but that just terrified me further. I really want to make a good impression – please help! How does one match a wine to a board game??
This sounds like a group of people who would appreciate a bit of a deep cut – why not try pairing a game of Pictionary with a Pinot Noir (the wine of artsy intellectuals) or mix it up and dig out the old Twister, to be paired with a light and fruity Pinot Gris (what’s more light and fruity than Twister??)
If you’re looking for a fun food match as well – our Pinot pairs brilliantly with an olive and rocket pizza. Or bring along some homemade (or “homemade”) sushi to munch on with your Pinot Gris, the bonus here is it’s easy to hold while maintaining “left hand on yellow”.
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