Wine is inherently social, and there is perhaps no better way to enjoy it than in the company of good friends. An interesting twist on the more informal cocktail party or soirée is to organise and host your own wine dinner. A wine dinner brings together the best of food and wine, and usually built around a particular theme. You could have a wine dinner based on French wine, or Spanish wine, or sparkling wine, or whatever you want: You’re the host, after all!
One particularly interesting take on the wine dinner is to base the evening around one particular producer. Big-name producers from Rioja and Bordeaux travel the world to host their own wine dinners in top restaurants. These are glitzy affairs in the best venues, and the price of admission is usually quite high indeed. A recent Muga Rioja wine dinner in the USA is a great example of the high level of food, wine and hospitality that these events are known for.
If you have the budget for such extravagance, then by all means go for it. Otherwise, why not host your own wine dinner at home? It’s easier than you think, and we’ll show you how. We’ll base ours on Bodegas Muga, too, but you can get creative and pick your favourite producer and follow the same formula!
Host your own Muga Rioja wine dinner
Muga Rioja is one of our favourite Spanish wine producers. The consistent high quality and range of wines in the portfolio make Muga a great winery to focus on for your next wine dinner. In this guide we will run through the essentials of what you’ll need – and what you’ll need to know – in order to host a successful wine dinner at home.
Your event can be as formal or informal as you like, but at the very least you’ll want to invite some guests. Give them plenty of notice in advance, and make if clear if they should bring anything and any other specific things they might need to know. If you want a dress code to be followed, tell them as early as you can. Be sure to find out if your guests have allergies or other special dietary requirements. Be aware of your limits and be sure to keep the guest list to a manageable size!
Wine and Food
It’s not a wine dinner without wine, and it’s not a Muga Rioja wine dinner without some Muga Rioja! Wine and food should go hand in hand here, as you want one to enhance the other. Read up a bit on food and wine pairing for some inspiration, and plan the wine list and food menu accordingly. We suggest serving a different wine with each course:
- Begin with a sparkling wine. Muga Conde de Haro Brut is a good bet for an aperitif. Serve with light nibbles upon your guests arrival.
- From there, plan your menu in whatever way you want. One tip is to start with the younger red wines, like Muga Crianza 2012, and work your way up to the Reserva and Gran Reserva levels, such as Muga Prado Enea 2006.
- Don’t be afraid to throw a surprise in there somewhere: Muga Rosé 2015 makes for a refreshing palate-cleanser at any time during the meal, and could also be an idea with certain desserts.
- Above all, trust your instincts and do what feels right. You are the host and it’s your dinner, so don’t hesitate to throw in your own special flair with the wine, food, or both!
Finally, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind.
- Have plenty of clean wine glasses available. Even better if you can get the right glasses, such as Riedel Sommeliers Champagne for the Cava and Riedel Sommeliers Tinto Reserva for the reds. It is customary that each guest have a glass for each unique wine, so keep this in mind: Each place you set should have as many glasses as there are wines to be served.
- Above all else, don’t take things too seriously. Wine is social, remember? Have fun!
Have you ever hosted or attended a wine dinner? Tell us about your experience!