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Art opening wine

Betty Jan 3, 2007 11:43 PM

I'm having an art opening the first of March, and am thinking of getting 2 cases each of a red and white. Of couse I want to cover all the bases of tasty, crowd-pleasing, and as cheap as still meets the first two requirements.

We'll be having a baked brie with brandied cherries, and I suppose there will be some chevre-pesto involvement, maybe some smoked turkey, and on the sweet end of things, some sort of pecan things and chocolate.

My first thought is a Chardonnay, then I go blank. We've mostly been drinking Chianti lately, but I really don't know what other people like.

Suggestions? (gee those big cardboard boxes are tempting but don't worry, I won't do it)

  1. s
    sensi63 Jan 3, 2007 11:51 PM

    Where are you located?

    1. c
      chris in illinois Jan 3, 2007 11:55 PM

      Do you have a Sam's club nearby???

      If you do, they almost always have the following:

      J Lohr Cabernet and the Rosemount diamond label Shiraz. Both are under $10 and excellent for the $$$.

      1. TonyO Jan 4, 2007 12:41 PM

        Get away from the Chard and do something like Pineridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier Blend. At $11, it is widely available, food friendly, and tastes like it should be $20 +. For the red, I think Columbia Crest makes a really good Shiraz for $7 that is also widely available. Good luck !

        2 Replies
        1. re: TonyO
          hreisig Jan 5, 2007 02:09 PM

          I'd definately head towards the shiraz/viognier combo as opposed to cabernet/chard. Inexpensive cabs can be a bit rough around the edges, which can be off-putting in a cocktail context. You'd want some nice fatty foods to counter-act the tannins there. The shiraz, on the other hand, has more natural sweetness and a gentle spice, which should pair better with the sweet and smoky elements of the food you mentioned. There are often specials on good aussie shiraz that a good merchant should be able to point out to you (make sure she's tried it first!).
          The viognier will also have a bit more sweetness that will pair well with the foods above. If you can find the chenin/viognier blend, i'd say go for it. Chenin will have a nice acidity and sweetness to really stand out as a cocktail wine, and will be tasty with some fruit as well.
          Trader Joes might have good deals on both, but just be sure to buy a bottle first to try them before plunking down for the whole case.

          1. re: hreisig
            TonyO Jan 5, 2007 03:58 PM

            Agree. If you have a chance to try the Pineridge, it is really excellent (Stags Leap district and their Cab is also excellent but around $50).

        2. e
          eatmeportland Jan 4, 2007 12:42 PM

          Little Penguin is an Australian winemaker -- why do the Aussies like to put little animals on their labels?

          Anyway, I think their line of wines is perfect for this type of event. They are nice, pleasant wines at really reasonable prices.

          I recommend the Merlot for a red (a little more approachable than the Cab), which is around $5.99 for a 750ml bottle, and they also make it in 1.5L bottles for around $9.99.

          They make a Chardonnay for the white. Similar prices.

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