Ron’s Holiday Party Wine Picks
By Ron James
Mirassou Pinot Noir
You just can’t find a great pinot for under $10, but Mirassou makes the best I’ve found for under $10 and is perfect for a party. This is a very fruity wine with lots of cherry and berry flavors, with decent acidity for a clean finish. Folks don’t expect a pinot for a party wine; it’s sure to be a party favorite, so buy a few extra bottles.
2007 Rockbrook Cellars Merlot
Why buy Two Buck Chuck when for another buck you can move up to a great little wine with enough complexity and character to go up against wines five times the price? Lots of berry flavors with a nice finish. Buy it by the case for the price you would pay for one bottle of premium. I’ve pleasantly surprised a lot of friends with this one. Available at BevMo.
Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel
Again a very approachable wine with the subtle spicy pepper undertones you would expect from this varietal. Lots of cherry and raspberry flavors with a bit of caramel. A bigger wine for you bigger wine-drinking friends. It lives up to Ravenswood’s motto: “No Wimpy Wines.”
Mirassou Sauvignon Blanc
I’m not a shill for Mirassou, but this is one of my favorite sauvignon blancs, especially considering its affordability. It’s a crisp, refreshing and very quaffable wine — a nicely layered wine with subtle mid-tones of honey with perfect acidity for a nice, crisp, clean finish.
Marques de Caceres Rose 2008
A longtime fave for summer or any festive occasion. Berry and cherry flavors with a light floral fragrance. This one will go with most anything you serve.