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Mar 27, 2009 03:55 AM

Cocktail Party on a budget -- red and white wines under $10

I have to plan a cocktail party and was given a small budget. Is there a red and a white you would recommend that would go over well for under $10 a bottle? I was leaning towards an Italian red and perhaps a Pinot Grigio. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. We buy a Steenburg Sauvignon Blanc 2008 by the case, it is from South Africa and it is a good dry 'table wine'. Case price runs around $8.50 a bottle at Shawn's in Park Slope Brooklyn.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roux42

      Yes, South Africa has fine values in white--enjoyed a simple, refreshing Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc at $9/magnum, and others as well. Less stridently fruity than, say, NZ versions at these prices. Two Oceans also has a polished syrah at the same price. Italians are tricky; the $10 point gets dicier each year. I find many cheaper nero d'avolas clumsy and boring, while many montepulciano d'abruzzos at this price point, but not all (Zonin, say), are sharp, quenchy drinks for rustic food that often don't seem friendly enough for a cocktail party. Any number of Portuguese reds--Douro, Alentejo--offer pleasant, warm drinking for easily under $10, and sometimes under $8/bottle. Portuguese whites, too, and not vinho verde, either, make it at this price.

    2. Best bet is going to a good wine store and asking the staff what they recommend in your price range.

      For Italian reds, I would go with a primitivo, nero d'avola or a montepulciano d'Abruzzo; there should be some available for around $10 or less.

      I would also look at Spain for both reds and whites; lots of quality juice at your target price point.

      1. Not sure what is available to you locally, but I have found several good Cotes du Rhone under $10.

        1. Quite a few good California Sauvignon Blancs out there for $10 and under. For reds, I'd go for Spanish and Portuguese (my own current house wines).