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How to Select the Right Wine for a Special Occasion

Wine makes an excellent, almost universal gift. It’s something that can be bought as a present as well as taken along to and drink at a range of special occasions. There’s also a fair amount of snobbery associated with wine & so choosing the right wine for a special occasion can seem like a challenging task. But before you rush out to buy wine you know nothing about, let us unpack the most troublesome parts & give you a quick guide that might help you to select the right wine for any occasion.

What to Consider When Selecting Wine for a Special Occasion

There are a few ways of looking at a special occasion when purchasing wine. These are:

  • The theme of the occasion
  • The food that will be served (if you can find out)
  • Your budget

Theme of the Occasion

With regard to the theme, here are a few ideas for some of the most popular occasions on the calendar:

Weddings – Here Champagne is the classic choice. It’s festive, celebratory, & pairs well with a wide range of foods. If you want to serve something other than Champagne, a sparkling wine from a different region (such as Prosecco from Italy or Cava from Spain) can also work well, especially if your budget is limited.

Christmas – For the most festive time of the year, buying red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot can work well, as they pair well with hearty meat dishes. If you’re serving seafood or poultry, then order white wine like Chardonnay or Riesling can work well.

New Year’s Eve – In a similar manner to Christmas, Champagne or sparkling wine is the go-to choice for New Years’ celebrations as they are staple seasonal drinks. If you want to serve something different, a light-bodied red wine like a Pinot Noir or a sparkling Rosé can also work well – there are many types of rosé wines online to choose from. If there’s a dinner party you’ve been invited to, try to find out what wine your hosts prefer in advance. If you can’t, take something you enjoy!

Valentine’s Day – For Valentine’s Day, a romantic and elegant wine like a red Burgundy or a Chianti Classico can impress. If you want to serve a white wine, a crisp and refreshing Chablis or a rich and buttery California Chardonnay can also work well.

Birthdays – Here it’s best to choose a wine that the birthday person enjoys. If they prefer red wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah can be good choices. If they prefer white wine, a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay can work well.

Remember that the most important thing is to choose a wine that you and your guests will enjoy. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different wines and see what works best for your particular occasion.


The best wines to pair with food depend on the type of food and its flavour. Generally speaking, white wines are best with lighter foods like seafood, salads, and poultry, while red wines are better with heartier meats like beef and pork.

When enjoying spicy dishes, opt for a wine with a higher acidity, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. This is good to know if you’ve been invited for a curry, either at someone’s house or at a restaurant where you’re able to bring your own booze.

For sweeter dishes, choose a sweeter wine like a Riesling, Moscato or a Gewurztraminer.

Rich and creamy dishes pair well with a full-bodied white wine like a Chardonnay (Boomerang Bay Chardonnay is a bestseller in this category) or a red wine with a higher alcohol content like Flagstone Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you or your host is serving a variety of dishes, consider serving a blend of different wines to complement each one.


If you are working on a budget, here are some helpful categories of wine that you can look for. You should be able to find wines in these categories that will impress & won’t cost the earth.

Prosecco – Prosecco is a sparkling Italian white wine that is light and refreshing, making it a great choice for any special occasion. It is also very affordable and is often used as a cheap, refreshing alternative to Champagne. Di Maria Prosecco is a good option as it’s versatile and flavourfull.

Pinot NoirPinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with subtle flavours of cherry, plum, and spice. It pairs well with many foods, making it a great choice for any special occasion. Pinot noirs are readily available & usually very affordable.

Riesling – Riesling is a versatile white wine that is sweet, light, and refreshing. It can be paired with many different types of food, making it a great choice for most occasions.

Malbec – Malbec is a full-bodied red wine with flavours of dark fruit and spice. It pairs well with many foods, a good fit for many occasions. We recommend the Pascual Toso Malbec 2021 as a good budget option that also has a rich plummy aroma that pairs well with many foods.

Let’s wrap it up
No matter the occasion, selecting the right wine can make a huge difference to the success of the event. With a little bit of research and knowledge, you can make sure that your guests will be able to enjoy a great bottle of wine that pairs perfectly with the food and the atmosphere. So, why not take the time to explore the vast world of wine and find a bottle that everyone will enjoy?

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