1 Red, 1 White, accessible yet stunning
Situation: Business open house for high-falutin' associates of venture capital firm.
Food: assorted finger foods - classics like smoked salmon, gougeres, trout salad on endive, puff pastry straws, et cetera.
Goal: Impress the attendees with one red, one white that is a far cry from the typical Yellowtail/RedTruck/SmokingLoon boring choices.
Budget: up to $15-ish
Suggested option already is Casa Silva 2005 Reserva Cab & 2005 Sauvignon Gris, though the latter is proving very difficult to locate on short notice.
Thoughts? Thank you!
Best suggestion - find a good wine store, tell them your budget, tell them your purpose, and see what they recommend. It's difficult and often pointless to identiy specific wines because what really matters is what your local retailer has available to sell to you.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, though, in that price range I think the most interesting and best quality wines will be Spanish or Rhone.
There's a thread here on best wines under $15 that may be helpful ->
I agree with the suggestion to find a good wine store you trust not to just shove something upon you... That said, if it was me:
White: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Albert Mann or Trimbach Gewurztraminer (more like $17), or a good Prosecco (a sparkling Italian white -- Adami and Nino Franco 'Rustico' are two good examples but there are others, as well).
Red: Something from Spain, Southern Italy, or a good Barbera. Maybe the basic Morgante Nero d'Avola (Sicily) -- should be easy to find and would fit the bill nicely.
What are their tastes (i.e high-falutin' associates of venture capital firm) and what is your professional goal for the evening?
Wow...tall order...Impress the high-falutin' venture capitalists who are likely to have extremely high disposable incomes and expensive wine tastes with wines that are $15 or under?
Your appetizers ARE classic, and all go well with Champagne, so perhaps a reasonably priced "grower" Champagne, or a high-quality domestic sparking wine like the Roederer Brut Premier, both in the $22-$30 range. A Marsanne or Oregon Pinot Gris for the white, and Southern Rhone red might also work well.
Your goal may be that you and your company impress, and the wine merely keeps your guests around long enough for you to do so. Rather than having them flee immediately because you're serving what is, at least in their minds, plonk. Good luck.