What The Hell Sort Of Wine Should You Bring To A Party?

We called on London's best indie vino shops to help us negotiate the minefield of "bring a bottle" dinner parties

What The Hell Sort Of Wine Should You Bring To A Party?

Philglas & Swiggot (Battersea)

Justin says: “If you see the word ‘cinsault’ on a wine label, then buy that bottle. It’s a rare grape that’s having a real moment right now. This from Birichino is from the oldest cinsault vines in the world. If you could say that about any other vineyard with a more popular grape you’re looking at about five times the price. It’s seriously delicious.”

How to cure a red wine hangover: “Drink a Caperitif and tonic. It’s a mysterious South African bottle that’s only just got to the UK, and is this lovely lemony booze. Knock one of these back and you’ll feel right as rain.”

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Planet of the Grapes (Holborn)

Ali says: “Austrian wines got into a whole lot of trouble in 1985 as they were busted for adding a lot of illegal stuff to their bottles. They’re coming back though, so putting this wine from Vienna on the table will make it seem like you’re ahead of the game. It has nine grape variations in it, and goes great with fish. I’m having a glass of this for my lunch today, actually.”

Hangover cure: “Whack a sherry in your Bloody Mary. Honestly, it’s like mother’s milk after a heavy session.”

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The Winery (Maida Vale)

David says: “The guy that makes this German Riesling actually interned for us for a while, so we get a very good deal on the price. I really believe that German wines should have a far better reputation than they do, but they’ve failed to shake off that sweet, sickly stigma. This one goes well with anything, so it’s safe to take to a party if you don’t know what’s on the menu.”

Hangover cure: “Drinking wine? Stay on the grape. It’s deadly to crack into the spirits at the end of the night, which is pretty tempting when you’re hammered. Mixing red and white is totally safe, though.”

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The New Zealand Cellar (Brixton)

Melanie says: “Chenin Blanc from New Zealand isn’t that well-known, but this bottle from North Island’s Gisborne is a little beauty. The producer, James Millton, does all that hippie stuff, like working to the lunar cycles and running through the vines naked. It’s ideal for drinking while chatting before dinner’s on the table.”

Hangover cure: “In New Zealand we have these things called Chocolate Fish. A handful of those, with a meat pie covered in slabs of melted cheese – will bring you back to life in minutes.”

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Vagabond Wines (Fitzrovia)

Chris says:This Riesling comes from Europe’s steepest vineyard, which maximises the amount of sunlight the vines get. German wines like this got such a bad rep in the 80s, and people are still scared to buy into them, but wine buffs know German bottles are massively undervalued. This excellent full-bodied bottle will cut the naysayers at your table down to size.”

Hangover cure: “Drink expensive wines. Mass produced bulk wines have more sulfur added to them, which definitely contributes to that crippling red wine headache. I work to the formula of the more money you spend the less hangover you get.”

Interviews and pictures by Chris Sayer

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