It’s that time of year when we all get to eat, drink, and be merry. This nearly month-long celebration season is packed with enough office parties and events, friendly and neighborly soirées, and family gatherings to overwhelm any schedule. Admit it: during this time of year, it’s tough to keep your calendar under control. For every party you throw or attend you’ll need to come prepped with a gift or offering (it’s only customary) or build a great beverage menu to please every guest. The most popular fool-proof option people go with is wine (we can’t say we blame them), but how many people are invited/how many parties are you attending again? Certainly enough to max out your credit cards, not including the gift shopping you haven’t even started yet.
You need some well-chosen bottles that won’t drain your bank account, but won’t be the dud bottle at the party, either.
If you’re strictly making the rounds this year, count out your invites, figure out what will be served (a quick, thoughtful phone call melts anyone’s heart), and plan out one bottle for each gathering. If you are throwing a party, you first need to figure out your food situation — wine pairing isn’t a whole career path for nothing — and you’ll impress your guests with just a bit of thought. Tally your RSVPs, calculate how many bottles you should buy, then set a budget (and stick with it — no going giddy in the wine shop!).
We’ve asked our wine columnists and our Editorial Director, wine enthusiast Colman Andrews, which wines they would sip under the strict budget of $15 per bottle (remember, cost can vary from states to stores). Here are the bottles we’ll be toting to parties and setting at our Christmas tables.
Artazuri Garnacha Rosado 2013 ($9)
Photo Credit: Artazuri Rosado
“Garnacha (Grenache) rosés from Spain's Navarra region are always a great buy. Medium in body, with an aroma of strawberries, this wine has enough spice and fruit on the palate to elevate it out of the ‘summer cooler’ category.” — Colman Andrews, Editorial Director, The Daily Meal
Assobio Quinta Dos Murças Esporao 2011 ($13)
Photo Credit: Esporao
“This blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional is unusually rich and complex for a wine in this price range, with oak and fruit in the nose, a big, grapey flavor, and plenty of weight.” — Colman Andrews, Editorial Director, The Daily Meal