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Wine suggestions for my frugal father-in-law's visit...

My FIL is coming to stay with us for a few days, and I'd like to have a few bottles on hand to go with dinner, or just for general purpose drinking. :) Here are the problems I'm facing:

1. The only wine I've seen him drink is Beringer White Zinfandel. Knowing him, this is probably just an old stand-by kind of thing, but it's giving me very little insight into what he might like. I'll probably pick up a bottle, anyway, just so I know we have something he'll like.

2. He's very smart, and very smart with his money, so he'll know (and won't be pleased) if I spend more than $20 a bottle.

3. I'd like to show off my wine knowledge, and perhaps expand his tastes a bit, without looking like a snob.

4. Wine with ties to Connecticut would be a plus, though certainly not necessary.

Thanks in advance for your help. In case you couldn't tell, I'm a little nervous. This will be his first visit to out new condo, and I just want everything to go well.

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  1. Will you be serving the wines with food? If so, what?

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell

      Probably, and I don't know. We'll probably be doing some grilling, maybe some pasta, maybe a clam boil. He eats pretty healthy, so we'll be staying away from cream, cheese, and red meat. :*(

        1. re: theferlyone

          Duck probably means Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck. While the price is astounding, I'm not sure which is worse, the white zin or the TBC.

          1. re: baseballfan

            Why not double up and get Chuck's White Zin ? Think I saw some the other day. Actually, while Chuck isn't a peak experience it isn't bad. At least most of the flavors. The Sauvignon Blanc, while not complex, is nicely crisp. Don't know if the White Zin is as vile as most of its breed.

            1. re: Akitist

              LOL! I didn't know that Chuck even made a white zin. I was put off after trying the chardonnay. Glad to hear the sauvignon blanc is better.

              1. re: baseballfan

                I'm about 85% sure on the white zin. Hadn't seen it before so it may be new. (Ah, yes, Thursday was a great vintage.)

                No comment on the Chard, as i avoid that varietal. As finished by many vintners it's just a little "too everything" for my taste. Which runs to reasonably good, reasonably priced wines, not a peak experience in a glass.

      1. Beringer eh? We used to call that Grin and Bear it.

        Buy a decent rose. It might raise his sights slightly over white zin. You can get them for around $10 almost anywhere.

        Otoh, the reason he likes white zin might be the sugar. Try a Qba - again, you can find them at reasonable prices.

        I'd go easy on item #3.

        1. I *know* there're lots of CT wine producers. I'm most familiar with Chamard (over-priced and over-rated) and Hopkins Vineyards (superb novelty wines). Hopkins has a number of off-dry "barbecue" wines that're simple but delicious. Their "Sachem's Picnic" is what I'd pick to surprise your Beringer lover. Hopkins' wines are very reasonably priced, and most under $20.

          I also like the rose idea offered up by another poster. There are some great roses from the Loire Valley, and from Provence, that are very drinkable and priced at about $15.

          1. Rose is a good idea from a visual standpoint, but many roses are very dry.

            My father-in-law used to love his white zin every evening. A couple of subs that worked with him were a sweeter rose or a sweeter reisling.