06 May, 2021

When it comes to social gatherings, we all know great food and wine is what brings people together.

However, when it comes hosting a dinner party and being the host with the most, it’s all down to the details. From invites and table settings to food, wine and the best playlist, we’re going to walk you through from start to finish how to throw the perfect dinner party to remember.

Inviting your guests

Inviting your guests is the fun part of hosting! Gone are the days when people would send out dinner party invitations. Instead, round up your favourite people the quickest way possible – through a WhatsApp group! Gauge who can and cannot make it and think about who else you can extend an invite to, to ensure that your night goes on until the early hours.

Setting the table

With your guests’ arrival fast approaching, it’s time to think about table décor. Depending on the size and shape of your table, you’ll want to consider is the height of your decorations. Whilst towering vases or beautiful flower arrangements certainly make for a grand centrepiece, smaller bunches of flowers or shorter candles can still be inviting without having to compromise on conversation.

Let your guests have first pick on where they’d like to sit. Whether it be next to a familiar face or someone completely new, your guests’ choice of seating will ensure that conversation is free flowing and there is never a dull moment in the evening.

Dinner party playlist

The table is set so now it’s time to get the party started. Dinner party music is an easily overlooked part so one thing to remember is make it last as long as possible. Despite being background music, you don’t want your guests to find themselves listening to the same song multiple times.

If you’d rather not curate a playlist from scratch, go for Spotify’s 100 Greatest Dinner Party Songs instead. Its diverse mix makes for the perfect background music as you and your guests get ready for a fun filled evening.

Dark Horse Chardonnay

1. Canapés and tipple

Your guests are nearly here so it’s time to start preparing canapés and wine so they can enjoy some dinner party nibbles as you turn your attention to the main course. Impressing your guests needn’t be stressful. Instead, focus on the recipes that are full of flavour but straightforward so you can enjoy the evening too.

H3: Salmon blinis

Savoury canapés such as smoked salmon blinis are perfect to start. They’re easy to assemble, can be enjoyed in one mouthful and are well paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. It’s lively, crisp and has notes of citrus and pink grapefruit which will complement the richness of the salmon.

H3: Mini beef wellington tartlets

For the meat lovers of the group, mini beef wellington tartlets are always a huge hit. The individual tarts make it easy to devour and whilst sipping on a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Its strong tannins and notes of plum and hint of oak help enhance the flavour of the beef.

2. Main course

With guests suitably warmed up it’s time to bring out the main. It’s nice to offer more than one option to choose from. Chicken as a main course is often popular as are pastas for a meat-free alterative.

One pot recipes

As the host, you want to serve delicious food but also have time to entertain your guests so one pot recipes really make for a fuss free evening. This Olive Magazine one-pot chicken with dates and caramelised lemon is certain to get taste buds salivating with its sweet and tangy flavours. Serve with a glass of Dark Horse Chardonnay whose caramel and oaky notes give an elegant and clean finish.


Pasta is a great dish for any dinner party because it carries so much flavour and cooking a large portion is no hassle at all! For those wanting a meat-free option, this creamy courgette lasagne takes a classic dish in a whole new direction and will be sure to satisfy even the meat lovers at the party! Pair it with a glass our zingy Dark Horse Pinot Grigio whose crisp and elegant notes will certainly be a conversation starter around the table.

Side dishes

Every main meal should have an accompaniment of side dishes to balance textures, flavour and add colour to a plate.

Glazed carrots

Glazed carrots are a classic side dish, which can complement any meal. Preparation is simple and only a handful of ingredients are required. Choose carrots with an assortment of colours to create a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite. Get them ready ahead of your meal or cook alongside your main.

Roasted mixed vegetables

Roasted mixed vegetables could not be simpler to whip up. Chop up your favourite veg, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil before popping into the oven for around 30 mins or until soft (depending on how big the pieces are).

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

3. Desserts

No dinner party would be complete without dessert! From palette cleansers to something a bit richer, there’s sure to be something that appeals to all.

Strawberry granita

Desserts don’t always need to be rich and heavy so if you’re looking for a lighter option, frozen based desserts such as a strawberry granita is always a good choice.

As a berry dessert, its fruity flavours can be sweet and a bit tangy, making for a refreshing finish at the end of a meal. Not to mention it goes beautifully with a chilled glass of our crisp Pinot. Our Rosé has a subtle minerality and floral hints, which make this the perfect accompaniment to a granita as it enhances the strawberry flavour.

White chocolate cheesecake

For something a little more indulgent, why not serve your guests a white chocolate cheesecake. You can make it ahead of time and have it ready and chilling in the fridge ready to serve.

White chocolate can work well with white or red. Go for our bold and fruity Malbec as its dark plum and blackberry notes complement the sweetness of the chocolate, providing a harmonious balance of flavours, which your guests can savour as the conversation continues to flow.


No matter how you choose to host your dinner party at home, it’s best enjoyed with the right company. With dinner being a focal point, make sure the food is good but the wine is better. Complement every bite with a sip of the right wine to create and tell a sensory story for the taste buds.

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