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Red Wine Selection

If you had to choose 3 of the following bottles of wine to be served at a cocktail party with various hot.cold hors doeuvres which would you choose and why?

Cabernet Sauvignon
E&J Gallo Sierra Valley, California 43
Beringer Collection, California 43
Maison Nicolas, Réserve, Vin de pays d'Oc, France 42
Wolf Blass Yellow Label, South Australia 49
Kenwood Yulupa Sonoma, California 55
Château St-Jean, California 55
Gran Coronas Reserva Torres Penedès, Espana 60

Maison Nicolas, Réserve, Vin de pays d'Oc, France 42
Merlot Sumac Ridge Private Reserve VQA, Okanagan Valley 51
Atrium Torres Penedès, Espana 48
Woodbridge, Mondavi, California 45

BVE E Minor Barossa Valley, Australia 49
McWilliams Hanwood, Australia 49

Pinot Noir
Blackstone, California 49
Bin 99 Lindemans South Eastern Australia 44

Other vines
Negroamaro Mezzo Mondo Salento i.g.t, Italia 42
Tempranillo Coronas Torres Catalunya, Espana 44
Malbec Bodega Norton Barrel Select Mendoza, Argentina 43
Briccotondo Fontanafredda Barbera Piemonte, Italia 46
Syrah Genesis Hogue Cellars Columbia Valley, Washington, USA 55
Carpineto Chianti Classico, Italia 55

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  1. if those numbers are prices, go somewhere else!

    nothing on that list or the white list is anything but dull and ordinary and most anen't even that good.

    best on the list is probably the wolf blass yellow label cab.

    1 Reply
    1. Assuming that you are locked into the group above, and without knowing what the served apps. will be, I would choose the Atrium Torres Penedès, Espana 48 and the Briccotondo Fontanafredda Barbera Piemonte, Italia 46.



      1. You're north of the border aren't you? I'd recognize liquor control board pricing anywhere.

        1 Reply
        1. re: skaboy

          Ouch! This is what our northern neighbors pay for wine? None of those bottles should cost more than $20 US.

        2. Pass on EVERYTHING at those prices . . . and what the heck is the "Sierra Valley"???

          1. Yeap I'm in Canada and locked into the above selection at the Sheraton Hotel.

            Thanks for your relevant reply Hunt


            2 Replies
            1. re: kricha16

              Yes, we know you're in Canada, but are you truly locked into the hotel???

              That said, I'd second the Fontanafredda Barbera, or go with the Tempranillo Coronas Torres Catalunya . . .

              Understand the reaction: in the US (where, admittedly, most but far from all "Chowhounders" reside), Kenwood's Yulupa Cabernet sells for around $10 retail; the Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet sells at retail for $10-12; the Chateau St. Jean Cabernet is $14-17 retail; and so on.

              1. re: zin1953

                Obviously these are wine list prices, not retail prices. That said, there isn't much interesting to a true wine lover. Just because they are easier to drink with a range of foods, I'd follow the advice of Bill Hunt and zin1953 and go with the Spanish and Italian offerings.

            2. Darn, that is unfortunate.

              I might pick Hogue from WA, Carpineto from Italy and the Tempranillo from Spain...not because they are stellar wines, but maybe to highlight such very different styles from different regions.

              1. That's a sad list of mostly very mediocre (but overpriced) wines. If I HAD to choose 3 of those to go with cocktail party food, it would be (in no particular order):
                1. Syrah Genesis Hogue Cellars Columbia Valley
                2. Briccotondo Fontanafredda Barbera
                3. Atrium Torres Penedès

                mostly for their food-friendliness.

                1. Though not in Canada, I have had to deal with the wine lists from the US and also Europe. Many are good, and provide nice options for the budget, but then... there are others. I have had to deal with lists of wines, that I would really not wish to drink, but they were all that was possible. In those cases, I usually go with the one(s) with the greatest latitude of food affinities, and the "lesser of many evils."

                  Good luck, and please follow up with what you chose, why, and how well they went with the food available.