Drinks

Be the best guest! Tasty dinner party wines on a budget

Oct. 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM ET

Video: Want to impress your host but stay under budget? Leslie Sbrocco, author of “Wine Guide for Women,” and Ray Isle, executive wine editor for Food and Wine Magazine, recommend bringing something crisp and classic. When in doubt, bring something that you love to drink!

You don’t need to spend a fortune to pick up great bottles for upcoming fall dinner parties. Wine expert Leslie Sbrocco and Ray Isle, wine editor of Food & Wine, show Kathie Lee and Hoda wines that will please all palates and range between $8 and $15.

Bring bottles you like! One strategy is to introduce people to wines you personally love.

Leslie’a pick:Juvé y Camps Brut Rosé Cava, Spain $15

As Spain’s most famous bubbly producer, Juvé y Camps has been crafting wine since 1796 and this beauty, made with Pinot Noir grapes, is dry and decadently delicious. It’s a must-buy for the holiday season(one for gifting and one for drinking).

Whites: Bring the classics

Leslie’s pick: 2012 Jacob's Creek Chardonnay, Australia $8 ($15 for magnum)

As one of Australia’s most historic producers, Jacob’s Creek is an icon. This easy-drinking white shows why Chardonnay from Down Under is so exciting right now. Crisp and refreshing, it’s a wine for all seasons.

Ray’s pick: 2011 Hugel “Gentil” Alsace, France $13

This ancient, traditional blend of noble Alsace varieties—Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner— is very supple and appealing, and it goes with everything on the dinner table. 

Reds: Bring wine with a story

Leslie’s pick: 2012 Ravenswood “Besiged” blend, Sonoma County, California $15

A deeply-hued wine for lovers of big, bold reds, this winner is made by California’s Zinfandel king, Joel Peterson. A blend of heritage, old vine grapes including Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane to name a few, the label tells the story of a storm brewing and ravens circling as the winemaker launched his famous brand.

Ray’s pick:2012 Shoofly Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Australia $10

People don't realize that Australia makes all these wonderful wines besides Shiraz and this pretty, spicy, and elegant Pinot Noir from the cool area of Yarra in Victoria is a perfect example.

Bring a tasty dessert:

Ray’s pick: Graham's “Six Grapes” Porto, Portugal $14 (1/2 bottle) Classic and stylish, this dessertwine is one to discover. Dark berry fruit flavors and chocolaty aromas make it a perfect pairing for both sweet dishes and savory cheese platters.

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