Cathal McBride on wine: Stock your cellar for those festive feasts

Thinking ahead gives you time to offer the best balance of crowd-pleasers and interesting talking points in your selection for seasonal gatherings

Wines offer a conversational starting point, so a variation can add to the dialogue of an event

Whether planned or impromptu, gatherings of friends and family are part of what makes Christmas special.

But playing host to guests with varying palettes can be challenging. While you will never satisfy every whim, some guidelines can make your life easier and are worth bearing in mind when it comes to stocking up on wines for the festivities ahead.

With party wines, aiming for universality is important: you should seek to offer your guests a ...