There is no need to keep a fully stocked bar or wine fridge in order to be a great entertainer. All you need is a couple of specific spirits and bottles of wine and you’ll be good to go.
For the wine, you can never go wrong with sparkling. I always try to have a bottle in my own fridge at all times. Champagne is my preferred choice, but Cava, an American Sparkler, or Prosecco will do the trick as well. Bubbles are great for starting off the night, but also go well throughout the meal and are huge crowd pleasers.
For other wines, have a bottle or two of white on hand, one higher in acid and lighter in body and the other fuller in body. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay fit the bill well. For red, I’d go Pinot Noir or Gamay and then a Merlot or Cab. This should have your bases covered when it comes to wine preferences.
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
When it’s time to get down to spirits, I’d have bottles of vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila and Scotch. Then, make sure you have sweet and dry vermouth, along with Angostura bitters, lemons and limes, as well as some high-quality tonic water. With all this you should be able to make a fair amount of crowd-pleasing cocktails.
Finally, when it comes to after-dinner drinks, pick up a bottle of Cognac or Amaro. These are delicious ways to end the meal.