You’ve chosen the right trousers, done that clever thing with your hair, and applied just the right amount of musk should things get cheek-kissy before the burrata. But then you’ve shelled it all with a dusty bottle of Mateus rose dragged from the back of your housemate’s shoe cupboard at short notice.
Remember: you never get a second chance to make a first impression — and a first rate bottle is your guarantee of a second invite. (Which is all that really matters, right?) So, here’s what your dinner party bottle says about you.
Laurent-Perrier Rosé (in the box)
You’re in love with the hostess and she, well, loves spending time with you too, it’s just that she and Lawrence are sort of having a thing now, so can we just talk about this later please, okay?
Well, this’ll show bloody Lawrence, you think, as you whip out the LP that your mother gave you £60 to buy this morning (“girls love grand gestures, darling — your father once bought me a racehorse”).
But Lawrence and the hostess don’t even notice the bubbly — they’re too busy smoking your cigarettes and giggling in the kitchenette over the wok. I mean, how funny can Thai green curry actually be?
Echo Falls Sauvignon Blanc (room temperature)
That’s fine, honestly, really, don’t overthink it. I’m sure no-one will notice. Perhaps we can find you a straw.
Château Léoville Barton, 2000
You could have sworn Jack said you were having beef Wellington, but, yes, look, those are definitely chicken fajitas. Well, this is going to pair terribly, you think, as you meekly place the Leoville on the counter among some Isla Negra and a couple of dusty Smirnoff Ices.
‘We really should decant it,’ you want to say, but you don’t because, honestly, it’ll be fine. You excuse yourself to the bathroom for a couple of deep breaths and a stern word in the mirror: ‘Goodness, man, try to have fun, it’s just wine, after all,’ you say with a shake of the jowls. And you’re almost convinced. Until you return to the table to discover that someone’s used the claret to make a pitcher of sangria. (Nice mustard cords though, old chap, and good of you to make it despite all that hereditary gout).
Espresso Martini (pre-mixed)
I remember my first dinner party.
A craft gin (no label)
“Actually, Clapton and Sussex have quite a lot in common”, you tell Arabella. (Namely a glut of ex-public school boys, a premium on investment-grade thyme, and a lingering sense of superiority).
Your gift to the hostess is a bottle of cloudy craft ‘jenever’ that you bought from a market stall that morning using a new cryptocurrency that’s pegged directly to the price of sustainable tupperware. “No, no, you don’t mix it with tonic’ you say with a soft, pitying smile. “A bit of turmeric water, however, will really bring out the top notes of lemongrass, protest poetry and homemade fringes.”
Beavertown Smoked Porter (3 pack — you drank one on the way)
Yea, nice one Marcus, this will pair perfectly with the tuna ceviche, fella, thanks for coming pal — can’t wait for your next Soundcloud mixtape.
Ciroc Peach (magnum, ¾ full)
“Let’s get this party started!” you cry, pouring out shots into two egg cups for a couple of girls seven years your junior. Now you just need some Bakermat on the Sonos, a quick trip or six to the bathroom (marble countertops are such a bonus), and the vague promise of a guest list at Mahiki Kensington, and we’ve got a Tuesday night on our hands! Am I right?
Find out if modern dining is just incredibly naff…