How to select a case of wine

Selecting a case of wine is a fun experience. Of course, if you know where to look and what to look for.

Yet we all need some inspiration from time to time, so I have categorised the suggested cases of wine according to your potential scenario – be it a dinner party with your colleagues, something more formal, or even a special occasion.

Let’s start with something pretty much usual – your workweek. What do you drink with your dinners?
Right, I hear, that depends on what’s for dinner! True that, so what are the most common options?

Fish-based

It’s rather difficult to suggest a case without knowing how you are going to cook and serve your fish. Yet if you want a top class white wine case with some variety of styles, this 6 bottle one is for you: for under £116 (ouch, that is quite steep) you get two bottles of the best in class Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014, two bottles of an even lighter, but top quality Pinot Grigio from Friuli and two bottles of full bodied oaky Chardonnay that is creamy, fruity and powerful.  It is a hit, but you get it by ordering online at Majestic Wine with a discount of £35 (already applied).

Poultry
I like matching light or medium bodied reds with your chicken, turkey or poussins, simply because there is this heavenly roundness in your mouth when tannins in your red wines marry with protein in your poultry. It is science, not art! This case of 6 outstanding Burgundy wines is highly recommended for a feast. Priced at £93, it contains 3 whites and 3 reds, which were carefully selected to match the lighter or more robust styles and tastes. One of the reds is organic and biodynamic, so you will be drinking extra good stuff!

Pork

I do not eat Pork often, well, apart from cured meats like jamon serrano; yet it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a well cooked pork dish – be it a grilled chop, or something more robust, both technically and flavour-wise. Pork offers a wide variety of flavours – from simplistic and tender grilled ones, to the dishes requiring rich sauces, including cheesy ones and spicy ones. I had a good look around and this times turned to Sunday Times Wine Club, their 6 bottle Clearance wine case is exactly what your party will love. It has Riesling, if your pork dish is slightly spicy, but also rich and powerful reds to match full bodied flavours of pork if it is closer to jamon style. Castillo de Almansa Seleccion is a glorious Spanish red, which is normally £17.99, and if you buy this 6 bottle mixed case, you get that one for just £9.99, that is what I call a deal!

Red meat and game

I am so much into red meat and game; well the same says my GP, so I am limiting it to something special. This reflects with the same approach to wines to match – they should be rich both in flavour, but in character as well. It was quite exciting to search for a case that will contain a selection of top red wines with different stories, character, flavour, but having some important things in common – an unmissable quality and distinct flavour. I am happy to share it with you – the offer exists! Check this 6 bottle top red wine case by Majestic Wine: 2 bottles of top class Rioja (from Alta region), 2 bottles of more mellow, but super elegant Bordeaux (from St-Estephe) and a bombastic flavour explosion of an Ozzie Cabernet, delightfully named ‘Sexy Beast’ (I can only imagine a reaction at the table.That’s what I call sparkling conversation!)

Vegetarian

This is not going to be easy, don’t you think? Vegetarian menu can be very light and fresh, yet this is more or less a typical everyday menu; if a veggie eater wants a feats, they go for something spiced- aromatic or just flaming hot. I will not be matching wines with the latter – hotness is just not a great friend to alcohol (even beers); yet fresh dishes can be easily matched to this approachable 6 bottle case of white wines by Majestic Wine– even the lightest can be easily matched to Muscadet (it is light, refreshing and clean); whereas a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Colombard will offer more fruit (think sweeter spice or fruity notes in your dishes); to finish off with your more robust vegetarian main course there are two bottles of Chardonnay, bursting with peachy flavours (and bit creamy as well, so you can get away with a richer sauce!) – view it here, it is only £41.94.

Asian-inspired (presumably intensely spiced)

If you are thinking Thai, Chinese or Indian, then forget your beers, you can try something more adventurous – off dry whites! You won’t find mixed cases with off-dry whites as they are a bit too niche, but you can construct your own and include a few bottles of these intensely perfumed, honeyed, and aromatic whites with just a slight touch of residual sugar (it will counteract with spiciness of your food and create a wonderful sensation!) – have a look at this flavoursome Gewurztraminer from Alsace – it is not overly sweet, so don’t worry, but rich on tropical fruit flavours. It is quite expensive at £17.99, but currently on offer – if you buy two bottles, you get 33% off, so it will be just under £12 at Majestic Wine!

Comfort food

Rich, bold, comforting – these are the dishes we cook for the cold winters, sitting near the fireplace and enjoying a company of the closest friends. These dishes are predominantly meat-based, with some notable exceptions of a fish pie and kedgeree. My experience is quite limited with good matches with smoked fish, my latest trial with rose wines wasn’t very successful I must admit, so I will leave these options to beers and ales actually. As for other types of comfort food as stews, casseroles and pies, they are demanding something robust, flavourful and potentially with a bit of spice, as they can be rich, but lacking spice as a dish.  My first recommendation will be to opt in for these wonderful 6 bottles of Rioja – order it as gift as it comes with the wooden box and contains wonderful Rioja Crianza Marques de Caceres. It is priced at £82.94 at Majestic Wine and can only be bought online – hurry up!

If you are sold on Rioja idea, but not sure about buying 6 bottle of the same wine, I can recommend these 6 bottles – an Explorer case, which contains two bottles of Rioja Reserva 2010 CVNE, one of my favourite wine houses in Spain, amongst others. It is just under £50, which includes a discount of £25, so it is an amazing deal!

Ok, let’s move on to something less mundane – dinner parties!
So have you thought about the menu?

Is it balanced with fish course, meat course and a variety of flavours and textures?
Try this case of 6 bottles that represent some French regions off the beaten track. At £52 it won’t break the bank, but instead give you an opportunity to serve 6 distinct styles of wine in one evening, how exciting! Starting from Muscadet (the lightest and the most crisp of the whites, moving on to Chardonnay; and from a lighter red, which is Saint Chinian to a more robust Cote du Rhone one and finally to something full-bodied, rich and mulberry fruit intense.

Is it more sort of a tapas-themed with a lot of nibbles and finger food?

This can be so much varied and range from very light nibbles to robust tapas and ‘raciones’ – tapas style main courses, so it makes it really difficult to suggest some sort of universal case of wine. Yet this concept can accommodate pescaterians (fish diet), vegetarians and meat-eaters just fine, – just add the variety of tapas dishes! I think I have just found a case for you – this Party Case from Majestic Wine delivers in so many ways – it has 2 bottles of Prosecco to get your party started (as a welcome drink, but also good with oysters), 2 bottles of a nice Sauvignon Blanc to start with and then 3 bottles of good Chardonnay (fresh and vibrant, no oak involved!) to be served with salmon canapes and dishes. On the red front you get 2 bottle of plummy and brambly Malbec, and 3 bottles of Rioja Reserva 2010 CVNE – a great intensity Rioja, so typical with strawberries and vanilla flavours.

Is it more of a Sunday roast thing, where you have a large piece of meat and loads of veg and gravy?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Is it just another comfort food example? Well, yes and no – it is incredibly satisfying, but also prepared with a lot of herbs, spices and of course the show-stopper, gravy! One of my favourite Spanish reds that always deliver on flavour intensity (to match the gravy in this case) is Muga Rioja Seleccion Especial. It is now sold in a wood box and 6 bottles of this matured wonder costs £137, but there is a reason behind the price and the unique taste. Imagine carefully selected grapes turned into a wine must and then matured 6 months in stainless steel vats, then 30 months in small oak barrels and then further on a year in bottle? It is a truly remarkable job!

Again, if you are not sure about getting a case of 6 same bottles (even though so unique in flavour!), you can opt-in for a 12 bottle mixed red wine case that will cost you £80 (£40 off already applied) and feature some popular BBQ reds that will go as a treat for your roast lunch – 2 different kinds of Malbec (3 bottles each), 3 bottles of rich and spicy Cote du Rhone and extremely powerful, but fruity Australian Shiraz.  Majestic Wine offers this case, as they put it, for food lovers who like powerful, but spicy reds. I cannot agree more.

Ok, maybe not a menu in sight yet, but have you thought about a cuisine?

Spanish

I have suggested a few Spanish mixed, red and white cases, but I remember my recent journey to discover good Spanish wines actually started with Laithwaite’s: their Mature Reds of Spain case, which features 5 Gran Reservas and a very smooth red from Valencia, which was a hit with my friends. They were expecting something heavy, but instead got a burst of strawberry-plum flavours, bits of vanilla, yet it is so juicy and round, it can be drank on its own. If you are thinking of a summery garden party with white wines, opt-in for their Fresh Spanish Whites case, which has it all the popular Spanish whites – Albarino, Rueda, Verdejo.

British
Want to try what Britain has to offer? You will not be disappointed! This case of 6 delicious English wines is on sale at £69 and contains 1 bottle of sparkling wine, 1 bottle of rose, 2 bottles of white and 2 bottles of red wines. Apart from drinking local, you would be also drinking lighter wines – only one is at 13% abv and majority is actually as low in alcoholic strength as 11%! Have a look at Waitrose Cellar.

Portuguese

Portuguese cuisine is very diverse – you can mind fish dishes, simply grilled or with a robust sauce; but also flavourful meaty ones, that would be close to what you expect from Spain, but not just. I did try salt cod, a selection of seafood and a few different pieces of cured meat, so if you are planning something along the same lines, you should opt-in for both red and white case, for example this Laithwaite’s Portugal Mix, which features pale and refreshing whites, dark ruby robust reds. The wines are made  from both International varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, but also from indigenous grape varieties like Touriga Nacional. It is a powerful gem of Portugal – if you are a fan of red powerhouses, you should try it!

French
Nothing scream French more than Burgundy – it is elegant, flavourful, light, and has this little ‘something’. This mixed case presents 6 different bottles (3 whites, 3 reds) that represent both the diversity of Burgundy, but its style as well. At £71 it is well priced (Waitrose Cellar).

Italian
My suggestion is to opt for the moderately priced at £79 for 6 bottles of Italian red wine (Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont) from WaitroseCellar – it offers elegance, fruit and also powerful character respectively, so you can start with Veneto and finish your main course with the one from Piedmont.

Are you expecting guests with very different tastes?

Get this case of 6 reds – you get light styles together with bold and rich ones, so everyone can get to drink wine they love. For £55 you get a bottle from Puglia, bold Cabernet Shiraz from Western Australia, Carmenere from Chile, French Roussillon Villages, Pinot Noir from Germany and French Carignan. Available from Waitrose Cellar.

Or is it a special occasion and you need a lot of bubbles to complement your exquisite menu?
A unique selection from Waitrose Cellar with 12 bottles priced at £150 consisting of two bottles of Champagne, two bottles of top-notch of Spanish outstanding red from Priorat, also Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and award-winning Lebanese Chateaux Musar. Whites will not disappoint much – two bottles of a Kiwi classic, Sauvignon Blanc; and two bottles of South African Chardonnay. A truly amazing selection with an included saving of £52 will be a good match for a top class balanced dinner party.

Sparkling wine cases
It can be as simple as buying 6 bottles of Prosecco (why to carry it when you can order it online?), or more extravagant as Veuve Clicquot and Moet and Chandon – Majestic Wine has it all on one simple page, visit it to check the offers out.

I hope now you can find a suitable case of wine for your party. I will ensure this list is updated and revised, so you get the best deals and most suitable cases of wine. Enjoy!

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