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The best wines for your friends

If you’re entertaining friends, the chances are that you’ll need a few bottles of the same wine. The atmosphere should be warm and informal, so this is probably not the time bring out single bottles of your most expensive wines. For a memorable evening, leave your guests feeling spoiled but relaxed by choosing reliable, delicious wines that won’t blow the budget if you need to buy several of them.

RED WINE: choose a crowd-pleaser

For red, look for a wine grape that’s recognisable and dependable, then find an excellent example of it to show. cabernet sauvignon is a grape that makes consistently decent wine all around the world now, so your guests may be familiar with its full body and blackcurrant, cedary notes. Alone or part of a blend, it’s a safe pair of hands.

Try: Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot from Western Australia. Fragrant, full-bodied and juicy, packed with mulberry fruit and blackcurrant, this wine goes extremely well with cooked meat, especially pork.

WHITE WINE: the great white all-rounder

As far as white wines go, the chardonnay grape is any host’s great, white all-rounder and there are many styles to choose from. To keep everyone happy, go for one with mid-way style and a twist you can talk about.

Try: Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay is a need-to-know Californian icon. Full-bodied, rich and tropical but dry and with a stunning freshness thanks to its unfiltered nature, it’ll please and surprise even the most die-hard ABC’s (Anything But Chardonnay). Drink it with chicken, soft cheese, mushrooms and richer seafood dishes.

SPARKLING WINE: an Imperial touch

Do you feel that your party needs a sophistication boost? Just add bubbles for instant elegance! If your budget doesn’t stretch to vintage champagne, a classic, non-vintage cuvée in beautiful packaging is ideal, such as Moët Brut Impérial: a fine blend of over two hundred crus and the signature cuvée from Moët & Chandon. The other solution that never fails to work, is to choose something that’s just bit different…

Try: Moët Ice Impérial, the first champagne to be created especially to be served over ice. It’s a fun, conversation piece that will add a touch of relaxed glamour to your gathering.