A great music selection can show as much creativity as the menu and wine choices. Here, F&W's Managing Editor Mary Ellen Ward has created inspired playlists for five different parties.

By Food & Wine
October 17, 2011

Wine and Cheese Party

Wine and Cheese Party

Wine-themed songs like UB40's Eighties hit "Red Red Wine" and "All the Wine" by indie rock group The National.Summer Grilling Party

Summer Grilling Party

Odes to summer like Angélique Kidjo's "Summertime" and other feel-good songs like U2's "Beautiful Day."Cocktail Party for 25

Cocktail Party for 25

An eclectic list ranging from rocker Pete Yorn's "On Your Side" to indie favorite Rilo Kiley's "Silver Lining."Birthday Bash

Birthday Bash

Celebratory songs like "Birthday" by The Beatles and "These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs.Small Dinner Party

Small Dinner Party

Mellow classics from jazz greats like Nat "King" Cole to the smart lyricism of folk-pop group The Magnetic Fields.