Friday, November 8, 2019

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting


Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting
Tartan Top c/o// Coated Denim (50% off)

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting
'Tis the season to be hosting and toasting, am I right?! I love a good glass of wine and you all know I definitely love my bubbly!! I have my personal favorites but also feel like I know enough about wine that I am able to recommend solid wines to all of you this holiday season. 

There are two categories in today's post. First, we'll chat about wines that are very inexpensive but drink well and liked by many and are easy to serve to a crowd or bring as a hostess gift. Then, we'll chat about pricier wines (still all under $100, though!!) that are also delicious but will impress your audience or your host/hostess if they really like/know their wines. 

I tried to pick really popular labels so you are all able to find these wines wherever you may live! Pennsylvania has really weird/strict liquor laws (our Trader Joe's and Costco, etc. don't sell alcohol), so my prices are based on the prices I typically see, but I find these prices vary greatly from state-to-state. 

So first let's chat about the inexpensive bottles! 

Chandon Brut Sparkling Wine ($20ish)// I should probably make a disclaimer that for bubbly, I also love La Marca prosecco and it's a really inexpensive but solid bottle of bubbly, however, I wanted to highlight Chandon instead because I feel like that's lesser-known and also one of my all-time favorite affordable sparkling wines. I truly believe this sparkling wine can hold its own against bottles triple its price. This has such a good flavor and truly tastes like French champagne (it's not- it's made in Napa). It's very drinkable, filled with lots of small bubbles, and crisp and dry. Chandon also makes a sparkling rosé which is also delicious and a blanc de noirs, which is also delicious and has a little more full-bodied flavor. 

Duckhorn Chardonnay ($30ish)// I don't really drink chardonnay, but I like to keep this on hand at my house in case I am ever hosting chardonnay drinkers. This is a little bit oaky and has a hint of citrus to it. It's dry and an easy crowd-pleaser for those who like Chardonnay. I also didn't have this on hand at the time, but another crowd-pleasing white is Kim Crawford's Sauvignon blanc. It's super light and fresh plus inexpensive, but again, I am just not a huge white wine person (even in the summer). 

Meiomi Pinot Noir ($20ish)// This is my favorite affordable pinot noir. I prefer Cabernet when possible, but do love a glass of Meiomi every once in a while. Overall, pinot noir is just a really easy to drink red wine. So it's great for those who don't know their red wines that much and just want something smooth and dry. I call this 'pizza wine' because in my opinion, it's best paired with pizza and pasta. I usually always have at least a few bottles of this on hand. 

14 Hands Cabernet ($12ish)// This is a newer one for me but it's SO inexpensive and the taste for the price is really 'wow' to me. It tastes much more like a $20-$30 bottle of wine. It's smooth, full-bodied, and has very subtle fruity notes (but still dry). Another crowd pleaser and so inexpensive!

And this is a bonus because it's my #1 favorite inexpensive red wine and I normally have lots of bottles on hand. We had just drunk our last bottle the past weekend before I took these photos and when I realized I needed more, I ran out to the closest liquor store and they were literally out of it. This actually happens a lot, I've noticed, and that's because I think so many people are finding out about how good this wine is (for the price). It's Estancia's Cabernet ($15ish). So that's why there is no photo of it, ha! It's rich, full-bodied, dry, slightly oaky, peppery, and a little bit fruity with notes of cherry. It has a long finish and is just so smooth to drink. I think this truly tastes like a $50 bottle of cabernet and even people I know who are total cabernet snobs agree that this is a darn good cab. Most of the time, this is what I'm drinking and this is what I'm bringing to parties (other than bubbly, of course).

And lastly, another honorable mention would be Whispering Angel Rosé ($20ish). We did a rosé tasting last summer at the lake and I just realized that I don't really enjoy rosé... shocking, I know. I'll have a glass here and there in the summer, but I'd much rather champagne/sparkling wine/prosecco. However, in the tasting, Whispering Angel definitely stood out to me as the best and I think that's the reason it is so popular- most people love it. I find it to be a more summery drink, but people do drink it year-round, too. 

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting

Now onto pricier bottles of wine. I'm not one to spend a lot on wine unless it's something I absolutely love. So that's why you don't see any pricey white wines here. It's just not my thing and you wouldn't want my advice on that. But pricey bubbly is my love language. 

These wines would be nice to bring to your boyfriend's family or in-laws over the holidays if they know their wine and you are looking to impress while not spending hundreds. I would imagine any cabernet drinker would be pleased to receive a bottle of Caymus! And I'm a huge champagne snob- I collect nicer bottles of champagne, so have it all and I really tried to pick champagnes other than super popular ones like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Moet and go with ones that are still popular but just not as much! 

Caymus Cabernet ($100ish)// This is a really popular higher-end cabernet and is truly delicious. I don't like it when higher-end cabernets have an overly earthy taste (a lot do) and this does not. This is full-bodied and smooth with hints of toasted vanilla, dark fruits like black cherry. This is the kind of wine that I love to just savor on its own but also pairs so well with steaks or a chocolatey dessert. The brand Caymus is very well-known, so it's kind of like Tiffany jewelry- even people that don't love jewelry know Tiffany. 

Duckhorn Cabernet ($60ish)// This is a little 'dustier' than Caymus in my opinion. So for those of you who like that super dry, musty taste, this is for you. It's not strong by any means, so I still really like it. It's rich, complex, full-bodied, dry, and has notes of dark berries. 

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut ($55ish)// This is fresh- it kind of feels like you are drinking 'spring' (which makes me sound crazy, I know). There are lots of fine bubbles, it's smooth, a bit floral, and very pleasant and easy to drink. This is dry and flavorful and a true champagne from France. This is a wonderful gift and I really think the bottle is beautiful, too. 

GH Mumm ($40ish)// I think a lot of people confuse this with Moet because of the similar colors and 'M'. But I love this one (it's harder to find in PA state stores) and it's rather affordable for the taste. This is fruity (dry, though) and smooth, and easy to drink. I find this to drink similarly to the Chandon I featured above but with a little more body to it.

Wine Recommendations For Hosting or Gifting
Just tie with a ribbon and you're all set to head off to a holiday party or gathering! I got this plaid ribbon from Hobby Lobby and it was very inexpensive. You could also slip it in a very cute sleeve like this tartan one (SO cute). 

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3 comments:

Laura Baker said...

Love this! I'm always looking for "crowd pleasing" wines that aren't necessarily my personal taste.

Anonymous said...

Hobby Lobby has the best ribbon!

Kelly said...

I definitely second all your recommendations! My all-time favorite red wine is Barista. It's a red blend with coffee notes. We got it on a whim one day at the suggestion from our local wine store on my 26th birthday, when I asked what would go well with tiramisu. I'm a coffee fanatic and lover of red wine and SOMEHOW this hints at both without being gross or weird!!!

 

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