Cities like Mumbai and New Delhi never sleep and parties can easily last till early morning in the midst of good friends and wine. When hosting parties,I suspect many of us spend hours planning the food; the wine doesn’t get much attention until the last frightening minute. Choosing wines for a party should be a pleasure not a pain. A bit of forethought can set right the mood with the right drinks at the party. The thing to remember is that some people like to drink only whites, some only reds, so it is important to have one of each.Looking for winesthat are popular will ensure the guests are happy and you win their vote as a good gracious host.

Here are my Top 5 wine styles that are bound to please all palates and leave your guests impressed by your choice. This good selection of wines includes sparkling,white and red, ranging from dry to medium sweet with a variety of notes to be experienced by your guests, keeping in mind their pairing with some commonly served party foods.

Champagne has always been and will always remain the ultimate luxury beverage. It is much more versatile than most people would think. Champagne could begin your evening, end your evening and is the perfect bottle to pop at the stroke of midnight of a Birthday party. Champagnepairs brilliantly with classic appetizers such as smoked salmon or butter brushed prawns, balancing the food’s richness and cleansing its oily texture with its high natural acidity.

Personally, it is hard to beat fizz at a drinks party. Whilst Champagne end up burning a big hole in your wallet, Prosecco the Italian sparkler will be a cost practical choice. The soft fruity and nutty flavoursofProseccowill complement a variety of starters, nuts and cheeses.

An aromatic white winewith an inviting nose can be a real winner among the women and the youth.Wines made from the perfumedMuscat grape and medium sweetness can perfectly pair the mildly spiced smoked tandooridishes and fruit-based desserts.Sauvignon Blanc from Chile with its grassy herbaceous notes will complement the green in the salads as well as any salty cheeses such as feta or goat’s cheese. German Rieslingswith ripe peach and apricots, off-dry notes and mouthwatering acidity to balance the richness of thepâtés, garlic butter dishes or the creamy pastas.

Roast chicken or other roast dishes with veggies or fruity sauces require ripe and fruity red wines with low tannins to complement the flavor-some accompaniments. A New Zealand Pinot Noir with its ‘feminine’ style and supple tannins would do the job perfectly. Moreover, the perfumed ripe fruity flavor will appeal to the party guests who prefer to savour wine on its own.

For a real crowd pleaser of a red wine, you might try a Californian Merlot.  Itswell balanced acidity, smoothness and richness, pairs absolutely beautifully with a variety of foods such as Mutton Roganjosh or other curries, hard cheeses and quiches.

Let us not forget that the festive seasons are also a season for gifting and what better gift to give or receive than a bottle of carefully chosen wine. Versatile, crisp Chablis Premier Cru from Burgundy, France or a premium Barossa Shiraz reflects class as well as complements a variety of festive foods.