Spare a little thought for your next party host as putting together the ultimate shindig aint easy when it comes to choosing the menu and drinks.
They may look like a picture of calm on the outside but you can be fairly sure that stress levels are through the roof catering to all tastes and diets, which has only got more challenging in recent years as our eating habits change. Have you ever tried cooking for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores and the gluten sensitive not to mention pescatarians and fans of the ketogenic diet all at once? It’s a minefield, not only for the hosts but their guests too.
Wine is no different. At any serious party there are at least half a dozen different kinds of wine drinkers floating around, each with their own sometimes very specific tastes. Some guests are easy going and, let’s be honest, they are just happy for a free feed – that’s me by the way. But then there are the more picky drinkers and you’ve got to be on your game to keep them amused – the fate of any party depends on it.
We are not just talking about the old red, white or sparkling question, but catering to individual tastes, and personalities too. You might be surprised to hear that wine tastes depend on many things. Biology – did you know that 5% of your DNA is actually devoted to your sense of smell and there are huge differences between us? So one person’s favourite drink can be another’s absolute nightmare. Oyster anyone? Personality also has a big impact too – are you a wine radical or more on the conservative side?
Some people also seek comfort in wine – they drink what they like and don’t like to veer too far from a small range of wines. No need for Pet Nat here and back up a truck full of Barossa Valley Shiraz as you know they’ll give it a good nudge.
Then there are the more wine adventurous types – every glass is a chance to dive headfirst into the world of wine and the odd disappointment won’t put them off jumping into something new and whacky whenever they get the chance.
So we’ve put together a little guide for the six major types of wine drinkers you may need to please at your next knees up. From Golddiggers to Wine Tourists – we’ve got all your bases covered.
You will find this guy at every party and as the average guest age hits fifty this group will increase in number exponentially. It is the bigger the better for Mr Shiraz so Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale are your go-to regions for a luscious shiraz, which is a good match with that T-Bone Steak that has just come off the barbecue.
Some people just love sparkling wine – it is like everyday is a celebration. And what better way to enjoy it than with a thin flute of delicious bubbly. If you are looking for quality, keep an eye out for cooler regions; the colder, the better.
The Wine Snob
Now this is a tough one and the ultimate wine challenge. You might even need to do a little research on their likes and dislikes just to get a handle on what you are dealing with. Wine Snobs do love a wine with a big score from the critics so don’t be afraid to get a little advice.
The Gold Digger
You know the type. A bottle of wine is only as good as the bling around its neck. Trophies, awards and gold medals are all that is required to get a wine across the line. Trophy Winner for the Best 5 year old red at the Central Queensland Wine Show – get me a case. The good news is that these wines are generally easy to track down at any wine shop, and you can always pass the buck on to the judges for any disappointments.
Wine Tourists are often the most fun when it comes to wine. As a host they make you think a bit and step off the beaten track. Low sulfur, low intervention wines and Pet Nat are a good place to start. It’s all about the journey for these true wine lovers so feel free to step outside of your and their comfort zone. You’ve got nothing to lose and they’ll thank you for it.
Every party has a quaffer or two – those wine drinkers who are not too fussed about what they are drinking, as long as it is wet. While there is no need to spend up big, there are plenty of delicious and inexpensive wines out there to choose from.