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Nov 28, 2006 03:49 PM

Wine recommendations for Holiday Party

Can anyone help me choose a red and white for a holiday cocktail party? I'd like to stay at around $15/bottle, and we'll have a pretty eclectic menu--ham, shrimp, smoked salmon, cheese, smoked meats, veggie selections, and desserts. Will also have a full bar and probably champagne. Any ideas for great, easy drinking wines? Thanks!

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  1. for red-- altos las hormigas malbec, from mendoza. great, easy drinking red, totally a crowd pleaser-- and very versatile. should be about 12-13 bucks retail, maybe even less. whites... if it were me, i'd do german riesling... but not everyone loves riesling, and it gets sort of misunderstood if you will. if people can get past their preconceived notions, dr. loosen's dr. l is a fantastic little german riesling. if you're wanting to stay in the more crowd-pleasing realm-- allan scott sauvignon blanc is a great little marlborough bottle... also anything from alamos or valle escondido. the valle escondido chard is quite good, well balanced, and should come in less than 10 bucks.
    i guess the moral of the story is look south of the border for value driven stuff that's easy to drink and accessible to a wide range of drinkers.

    1. When you say "smoke" you're really saying "find me a chardonnay". Ditto when you talk about shrimp and salmon... chardonnay is the obvious wine to match this spread.

      BTW, to "unify" the chardonnay connection in your cheese course, offer some incredible chardonnay-friendly cheeses like Chevre, Brie, Gruyere, Parmesan Reggiano and Comte. Make a smoked salmon and brie dip (for example), a perfect match with a slightly chilled chardonnay... amaze your friends :)