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Best Easy Entertaining Recipes For Dinner Parties

Wine and dine your friends and family in style with these easy entertaining tips, including simple recipes and their ideal wine matches – best enjoyed for any occasion, and any time of year!

Australians love nothing more than playing host or hostess and sharing our table with good company. It’s a big part of our relaxed, easy-going natures, and the great food and wine culture that we’ve cultivated here over the decades.

Yet despite this, who hasn’t pulled their hair out at some stage, thinking “what should I make for my guests?” The secret to entertaining well ultimately lies in keeping things simple.

Sure, you can go all out and plan an eight-course degustation menu, or a wine tasting party in your home – which, frankly, is a great idea that we’ve got you covered for in another guide – but when time is short and you just want to short-cut to the good times, these easy recipes will upgrade your entertaining game in no time at all!


Tips For Planning A Dinner And Wine Party

When entertaining, it probably goes without saying that you’ll likely serve more wine than you would over the course of a typical dinner. You might wish to serve a different wine to best match each course of food you’re serving, for instance.

If that’s the case, give some thought to the order in which you serve your wines. Often, there’ll be two types of wine at the table – perhaps a white wine with the entrée and a red wine ready for the first course.

A typical wine serving progression might look like this:

  • Serve white wine before red
  • Serve lighter-styled wines before more full-bodied expressions
  • Serve dry wine before serving sweet wines
  • Serve wines with simpler palates before serving richly flavoured and complex styles

Naturally, this is just a guideline. You can feel comfortable, for instance, serving a very light red wine like Gamay or some Zinfandel before a rich, full-bodied Chardonnay. It’s simply about aiming for contrasts, while ensuring wherever possible that the wines are aligned with the foods you’re serving, and that no one style dominates the other.

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Easy Entrée Recipes

Roasted Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe

This roasted sweet potato hummus offers a real mouthful of flavour, bolstered with garlic and spice. An excellent dip to serve with asparagus, olives, prosciutto and a white cheese when enjoying a simply-prepared charcuterie or sharing plate! When choosing a wine, opt for a subtly dry Rosé with a backbone of nervy acidity.

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Stuffed Figs Wrapped In Bastourma

The sweet and savoury nature of this stuffed figs recipe calls for a lighter-bodied red wine with a red fruit core and a gentle, savoury nature – making Pinot Noir, Grenache, and a lighter-style Sangiovese all great choices.

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Prawn Tostadas With Chipotle Mayo

Imagine the sweetness of prawns with just a gentle kick of spice and you’ll immediately understand why this simple prawn recipe ticks the boxes for a great starter plate. When pairing with wine, look for a light-bodied and fresh white wine such as Semillon, to make sure it won’t clash with the heat of the mayonnaise.

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Vegetable Pakoras With Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

The fried batter crunch of this popular Indian entrée needs a wine that has enough acidity to cut through the pakora’s outer shell and harmonise with the herbaceous green vegetables inside – and we think a Sauvignon Blanc fits the bill perfectly!

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Easy Dinner Recipes

Chorizo Mushrooms

The chorizo in this delicious recipe gives this dish an Iberian feel and the mushrooms call for something earthy. Grenache, one of the classic Iberian red varieties, is a natural partner to chorizo, and has enough savouriness to pair beautifully with the mushrooms.

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Quick Banh Mi

A simple dish, yet one that is utterly filled with flavour. We suggest serving a wine that contrasts with the flavours featured in this banh mi recipe, and think a savoury Rosé is just the thing to pair with the layered flavours, herbs and spices of this Vietnamese classic.

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Fish Tacos

A meal of delicate fish and punchy tomato salsa requires a lighter-bodied white wine that not only pairs well with the fish component of this tasty dish, but that also has enough acidity to complement well with the tomato. Our pick? Vermentino – it offers just the right balance of elements to keep everything working together, without one thing overpowering another.

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Easy Dessert Recipes

Fruit Salad With Thyme-Vanilla Sugar And Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Bursting with a spectrum of bright and fresh flavours and just a tickle of sweetness, this lovely fruit-driven dessert finds its ideal match in a delicious Moscato, which almost mirrors the flavour character of the fruit salad.

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Chocolate And Raspberry Brownies

If you love red wine, this is one of those desserts that pairs beautifully with a full-bodied Shiraz. An even better pairing, however, is with a liqueur Muscat, which has all flavour intensity and sweetness you’d expect, counterbalancing the power of the chocolate in this sublimely delicious recipe.

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More Tips For Easy Entertaining

  1. Our tip on the best wine to kick everything off? A Sparkling white wine, the ideal aperitif and party starter!
  2. One rough-and-ready calculation to ensure everyone has enough wine to enjoy for the occasion is to plan for one full bottle of wine per guest – or, depending on how many wines you’re serving, one bottle of each wine per four people.
  3. Make sure there’s plenty of water on the table for your guests, to ensure everyone stays well hydrated.
  4. Depending on what wines you will be serving, make sure you’ve got your glassware game on with our guide to wine glasses!

More Great Food Guides

Naturally, when it comes to entertaining with food and wine, the possibilities are almost endless – but we’re here to help you in your planning, with a range of great food and wine pairing guides to explore, including the basics of food and wine matching and the ultimate guide on how to make an amazing cheeseboard in no time at all.

Looking for the ultimate wines to serve at your next do? Wine Selectors has the largest expert-selected range of mixed wine cases available in Australia, so make sure to explore our wine shop – every wine we stock has been assessed as being of medal-winning quality by our expert Tasting Panel, made up of wine show judges, wine educators and winemakers, as well as a master sommelier.

Let their taste – and yours – be your guide, and happy entertaining!

Published on
6 Jun 2024


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Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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