Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party
Drinks & Home + Entertaining

Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party

Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party

Are you planning a dinner party? Well, you've come to the right place. While there is no single “best” wine for every dinner party, the ideal choice depends on several factors and we've listed them below along with a comprehensive guide for choosing wine for your next party. We hope that this Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party post inspires you.

Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party

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Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party


Is it a seafood feast, a hearty pasta dish, or something else entirely? Knowing the main course helps you pick a wine that complements its flavors and doesn't overpower it.

  • Seafood/Light Dishes: Opt for crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or a dry Rosé.
  • Rich/Meat-Based Dishes: Fuller-bodied reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Zinfandel would work well.
  • Spicy Food: Riesling (off-dry or sweet) or Gewürztraminer can balance the heat.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Dishes: Consider versatile options like Pinot Noir, Gamay, or Grenache.
  • Light and spicy dishes: Crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
  • Seafood: Light-bodied whites like Chardonnay or Pinot Gris, or even a sparkling wine.
  • Rich and creamy dishes: Fuller-bodied whites like oaked Chardonnay or Viognier.
  • Grilled meats: Medium-bodied reds like Pinot Noir or Merlot.
  • Bold flavors like stews or roasts: Full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.


Lighter wines like Pinot Grigio or Rosé are often preferred in warmer months, while richer options like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec might be better suited for fall and winter.

Dinner Party Themes


If you know their palates, you can tailor your selection accordingly. Do they prefer bold reds or crisp whites? Are there any specific grape varieties they enjoy? If you know the guests' wine preferences, cater to them. If unsure, stick to crowd-pleasers like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or sparkling wines. Consider bringing a versatile option like Pinot Noir that appeals to a wider range of palates.


For a casual gathering, a crowd-pleasing option like a well-known brand or varietal might be suitable while a formal event might call for something more unique or age-worthy. For a casual gathering, a mid-priced, well-known bottle is fine. For a more formal event, you could consider a higher-quality bottle or a lesser-known grape to impress.

Best Gifts for Wine Lovers


Wine prices can vary greatly, so set a comfortable spending limit beforehand. Choose a wine that fits your budget, but remember quality often trumps quantity.

Tips for Picking a Dinner Party Wine

  • Ask the host: If you're unsure about the menu or guests' preferences, directly ask the host for recommendations.
  • Versatility: Opt for wines with broader taste profiles that can pair well with different dishes. Consider dry whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or lighter-bodied reds like Pinot Noir. Rosé or sparkling wines can pair well with a variety of dishes. Consider a wine that can pair with various dishes if the menu is unknown.
  • Crowd-pleasers: Popular choices like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon are generally safe bets, but feel free to explore lesser-known varieties if you're feeling adventurous.
  • Consult your local wine shop: Wine experts can offer personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and preferences.
  • Sparkling wines: Always a safe bet, they're celebratory and pair well with various appetizers.
  • Consider regionality: If the food has a regional flair, try a wine from the same region for a more authentic experience.
  • Bring something you enjoy: If you're unfamiliar with the guests' preferences, choose a wine you genuinely like and share your enthusiasm with them.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment: If you're comfortable, try a new grape or region to introduce something unique to the party.

How to Choose Wine

2023 Top-Selling US Wine Brands

  • Barefoot (over $568 million)
  • Josh Cellars (over $413 million)
  • Yellow Tail (over $378 million)
  • Kendall-Jackson (over $343 million)
  • Ménage à Trois (over $339 million)
  • Kim Crawford (over $318 million)
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery (over $313 million)
  • Caymus Vineyards (over $307 million)
  • The Prisoner Wine Company (over $298 million)
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards (over $294 million)
*List is based on dollar sales, not volume. So, while these brands may be the most profitable, they may not necessarily be the most popular in terms of the number of bottles sold.

Dinner Party Games

Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party

The key is to choose a wine you genuinely enjoy and think your host and guests might appreciate. With a little research and consideration, you're sure to find the perfect bottle to share. Have fun exploring different options and finding the perfect bottle for your next dinner party. Bring a wine you're excited to share and that contributes to an enjoyable dining experience for everyone! We hope that this Best Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party post inspires you. Happy planning!

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