Your Guide to Hosting the Perfect Festive Catch-Up

Written by
Vintage Cellars
November 20, 2018
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The invitations have gone out! Now it's time to put into play the easy-peasy party template that ensures the host has a good time too.

Time to read: 2 minutes

Evening drinks

Throwing a Christmas drinks party is as Australian as kangaroos and kookaburras. But even the most seasoned host can suffer from nerves. What to eat, what to drink and where to start with the cleaning? You're on your own with the latter, but we can offer a foolproof entertainer's kit to boost your confidence.

It goes without saying that your twilight bar should include champagne. But also factor in prosecco (someone will absolutely want an Aperol Spritz), a nice, polite red (can't go wrong with Margaret River), a good vodka, whisky with wit, an ale for craft-beer boffins, and liqueur for the cocktail du jour, the Espresso Martini.

Food? Keep it deliciously simple: freshly shucked oysters, salmon pâté with as much caviar as you can afford, a variety of dips and plenty of lavosh and grissini.

Hosting tips for daytime get-togethers

Daytime Christmas drop-ins are a special beast, calling for a special kind of curation. For a start, everyone's so busy, busy, busy, they can barely string two words together. You don't want to curtail your guests' shopping schedule, but you'd like to chill them down with some camaraderie, an ambitious ale or two, or a fine wine to toast the season.

The bar's open, so reach for a quality gin and some cheeky craft brews. Wine should be as light as a ballerina (ish!): we'd suggest the Eden Valley Chaffey Bros Düfte Punkt White, a blend of three Germanic luminaries, gewürztraminer, riesling and weiyer herold; a rosé from Provence and a pinot noir such as 42 Degrees South from Tasmania, where all pinot lover’s eyes are focused at the moment.

On the food front, stock up on a good French brie, a reputable salami and the crispest of crackers. Add bowls of plump mixed olives, freshly cracked walnuts and lusciously ripe figs to ramp up the elegance factor. A generous supply of summer berries is a must to have on hand to pretty-up the bubbles or simply to graze on.