When it comes to my favorite value wines to bring to a party, I find myself coming back again and again to the MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc and the Tres Picos Garnacha from Borsao. From South Africa, the MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc has surprising richness for being so humble in price. It’s a taste of how well Chenin Blanc does in South Africa, arguably second only to France’s Loire Valley. And it gives you the opportunity to make extremely corny comments like, “It just got easier to find a good MAN.” (Guilty.) Comes sealed with a screw cap, which is always a plus at a party.
The Tres Picos, from Spain, is 100% Grenache (which the Spanish call “Garnacha”). It reminds me of a pumped-up, supercharged Cotes du Rhone. Plenty of rich, juicy fruit but enough depth and interest to keep it from being one-dimensional. Though, unlike the MAN, you will need to rustle up a corkscrew prior to enjoying.
The MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc is great with salads, seafood, and tofu tacos.
I like my Tres Picos with a classic burger.
What are your favorite value wines to bring to a party?
Well, since you asked, my favorite wines to bring to a party…
I am very partial to Chateau Redortier’s red Beaumes-de-Venise. So much so that it has become our “house” wine. I’ve gone through cases and cases and still love it. Cost is usually $15 – $20
In the summer I’ll bring a Cuvee du Golf de St.Tropez rose in the classic sexy bottle. Delicious on a warm day, and for me it has tremendous sentimental value. It is also a pleasant surprise for those that have never tasted a Provencal rose. Cost usually $12-$15
In the winter I try to bring a bottle of bubbly, often a “cremant” rather than champagne. I find that an inexpensive cremant is often comparable to a bottle of champagne that may cost twice as much. Also, so many here in the States don’t even know about the cremants so you get to do a little storytelling.
P.S. Where did that burger come from? It looks damn good!
I love rose from Provence, especially when it comes in the hourglass bottle, which is what I think you are referring to. And I drink a lot of Cremant. From the Loire, Alsace, Burgundy, Limoux.
The burger came from a place in Seattle, Built Burger, that no longer exists. They had great, creative burgers and their classic burger was a winner. Hmm, reminding me again that the classics never go out of style.
Thanks for the Beaumes-de-Venise recommendation; will look for that bottle. And I appreciate all your thoughtful comments.