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Need help! Our turn to host a wine tasting

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We started a wine group last fall. None of the five couples are very sophisticated, One couple did a fantastic job with American wine theme paired with cheeses. It was spectacular. Now it's our turn. We are avid cooks and were thinking of doing something like a recession wine party (wines under $10), with a series of small plates. We like the idea of having some variety, starting with a white and moving to heavier wines. And we will need to have a dessert plate and wine. We have a few weeks to get this together - any help would be appreciated. (we are in NY and can't buy wine at Costco, Trader Joe's, etc.)

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  1. Do the hosts provide all the food and all the wine?

    I'm not familiar with the selection at Trader Joe's. At the Costco near me (Twin Cities), there aren't many wines under $10, but there are plenty under $20. Some "crowd pleasers" for you to consider are New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Argentine Malbec (Costco has Luigi Bosca for $13), and Moscat d'Asti for your dessert (do something with fruit, not chocolate). It's a start.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      Under $10 drinkable wines....Gazella Vinho Verde (white, slightly spritzy, dry pear flavors for the 08, and only around $6-$7; this is from Portugal and means "green wine"). Look for Spanish roses (bought one today for $6) and Borsao Red, also about $6 or $7. Actually, the best strategy for under $10 wines is to look toward the non-trendy wine areas, Chile, Argentina (I've had really good Malbecs for around $10), and Spain and Portugal.

      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Sorry, I misread the original post. I took it to mean you WERE shopping at TJ's and Costco. My bad. So, starting over...

        If you are in NYC, just go to Best Cellars and you will have so much available to you. Niki has some good recs above. I'd still stick with a Moscato d'Asti for dessert. It's versatile enough, priced well, and has low alcohol (which might be welcome at the end of the night). You can find some good Cotes-du-Rhone reds around $10. The 2007 Delas is quite good.

      2. Check Zachy's "Top 20 Best Values From France", you'll find quite a few that are very reasonably priced. Also, they're offering free ground shipping on orders above $100 , but you'll need to confirm that one on the phone.

        http://www.zachys.com/retail/features...

        1. Panarroz Jumilla is a nice red. Pull the cork and let it breathe for 90 minutes.
          DiMajo Norante is a nice wine that might be slightly more than $10. Avoid the 2005 if there's any left on the shelves.
          Berger gruner veltliner will be about $12, but it comes in a liter bottle. Look for other gruner veltliners.
          A friend recommends Chateau St. Michelle riesling from Washington. I haven't had it but it should be nice.

          1. Pobo,

            This is an excellent Chowhound thread on hosting a winetasting party. Jason's comments (zin1953) are particularly helpful. Check it out. Lots of good stuff here:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/498351

            Maria

            1. What about "the varietal that no one has heard of?" Obviously, if there is wine made for it, then someone has heard of it, but you can find all sorts of wonderful wines that are totally out of the mainstream. Think Pinot Meunier with a pork dish in pomegranate and a hint of star anise. How about a Gavi-di-Gavi (Cortese)? You could choose a Grecian Mavrodaphne. The list is almost endless.

              Hunt