Which Wines Are Best Served at a Party?

San Diego is known to have a variety of local wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms.


This means choosing the best wine to serve at a party can be challenging with all the choices available. While we do not sell wine from our San Diego wine cellar, Chateau 55, we know that many do. And while we’re mainly a wine storage facility, we have a bit of experience when it comes to knowing which wines go with which foods. So below we’ve compiled some tips you might like to follow if you’re having some trouble choosing wine for your next event.


What you choose, however, will depend on the foods that you will serve. Read on for tips from our San Diego wine cellar:


White Wines

These go well with so many foods but most especially seafood. Wine expert Joe Campanale recommends Muscadet, a dry and inexpensive white wine that goes best with oysters or when planning a raw bar because of its briney minerality and acidity.


Riesling, on the other hand, is recommended for its ultimate flexibility. It is the white wine for whatever you are eating.


Some examples of food and white wine pairing are:

  • Chardonnay with cheese, cream sauces, and shellfish dishes
  • Riesling or Geverztraminer with cocktail, light fare, or dessert
  • Sauvignon Blanc with fish, chicken, and light foods


Red Wines

With a huge variety of red wines, food pairing will require a bit of choreography.


Light reds, for example, go well with dark leafy green vegetable dishes, while bold reds go well with foods that have a chewy texture, like red meats.


When it comes to aged reds, there is no one formula for food pairing. A bit of experimentation is required. As for fortified wine, serve it with desserts but make sure to match the sweetness first.


A good example of red wine pairing is Zinfandel with red meat, pasta, or pizza. Another one is Merlot with pork, beef, or lamb.


Now that you know your food pairing, time to know which wines make the best options for your party.



  • Muscadet from France
  • Pinot Grigio from Italy
  • Saint-Véran or Mâcon from France
  • Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand



  • Portuguese Red
  • Beaujolais-Villages from France
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
  • Pinot Noir from the U.S.
  • Petite Sirah from California


The Order to Serve Wine

In addition, you also need to know the order with which wines are served.


By variety

White wines should be served before reds, especially during formal tastings. But the rule may be ignored in a casual party.


When serving sparkling wines, this should be done at the very beginning to excite the guests’ palate.


By weight and age

Wine serving should be done from lightest to heaviest, which means a light-bodied white wine should be served before a full-bodied red.


In deciding which one is lightest or heaviest, you need to consider the age. Compared to a young Sauvignon Blanc, for example, an aged white Burgundy will have a more intense taste, so it has to be served last.


Based on sweetness

`The sweetest dessert wines should be served after the dry wines. If two wines have similar intensity and weight, the sweeter one should be served after the other. So, between a dry young Riesling, and a sweet young Chenin Blanc, you serve the former first.


Now you have a good idea which wine goes best with what food and how to serve them. Already have a wine collection? Contact San Diego wine cellar Chateau 55 today for more information on our wine storage units and new state-of-the-art facility.


Tips for Building Your Own Wine Collection

With plenty of local vineyards around and some of the best wineries and tasting rooms, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you wanted to start your own wine collection in San Diego as well. If you’re interested, we’ve listed some tips for research, sources for information, and wine storage units that are available locally in San Diego.


Want to get started on your own wine collection?


You don’t need a ton of money, but there are a few steps you should go through first in order to get off on the right foot.


How to Build Your Own Wine Collection



Your research can run from basic to advanced, with a bit of reconnaissance involved. With all of the local wineries and vineyards in San Diego, you can do your homework online.

  • Basic research involves point scores, credit ratings, vintage reports, tech sheets, tasting notes, retail price, and vineyard location.
  • Intermediate research involves creating a winemaker’s profile, looking into the history of a winery and the region’s wine, aging and importation, and a look into other wine producers and when the vines were planted.
  • Advanced research involves in-depth work such as branding, distribution, exportation, and wine-making ideology.


Develop a Palate

This will provide the answer as to what wines to collect. If you’re interested in a particular bottle or brand, try it out and drink it over a period of time. According to experts, this will teach you more about the wine you want to collect. If you intend to collect a huge variety, then develop your palate for each variety. Check out this article we wrote on wine tasting tips.


Find a Trustworthy Source

San Diego has no shortage of wineries and wine producers. Local shops happen to be one of the best sources for good wine. Now all you need to do is to find a source or two that can supply you with the amount of wine you need and with a consistent quality.


Have Proper Wine Storage

Your wine collection will go to waste without proper storage.


It is important that you have the right system in place when it comes to wine preservation. Chateau 55 strives to provide our clients the best wine storage units San Diego has to offer.


Climate-control, security, and lighting within our San Diego wine cellar are consistently monitored so that your wine collection can age as it should.


Understand the Cellaring Period

The lifecycle of wine will depend on the alcohol content’s volatile nature.


It is important that you know the prime drinking window of your wine collection so you can drink, sell, or trade them at the right time.

  • Chardonnay-based wines have a cellar rotation of about a decade or so years.
  • Nebbiolo wine has a life cycle of around two decades or more.
  • Vintage Madeira and Port require at least 100 years of cellaring.


Do a Periodic Reassessment

Your taste can change over time, so it is smart to periodically reassess your wine collection. Doing so not only helps you consider or reconsider your former choices but also confirm the current state of a wine’s quality.

Take advantage of the Coravin, a tool that lets you test a wine without opening a full bottle.


Start your own wine collection following the tips listed above. For more information on wine storage units San Diego, contact Chateau 55 today!