A perfect party case

As the holidays get underway, the invites roll in – for parties, dinners and all the festive cheer that goes with it. Often that cheer includes beverages, some of which are WINE. And so it is that I’d love to pass along my recommendations for a “perfect” party case. This includes bubbly, whites and reds. For the holidays, the focus in on sparkling wine and red wine, so I usually limit the white selection to about 2 or 3 bottles. Here is how I break it down.

Bubbles: 4 bottles
For a value pick, go with Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rose Cava (formerly known as Cristalino). Though the Brut Cava is great, we like the rose for it’s extra depth and lovely hue. And it’s under $10.
Care for a splurge? Since it’s still a party, we’ll keep it reasonable, but one of our favorite bubblies for toasting the holidays among friends and family is the Schramsberg Brut Rose 2007 (yes, I love rose bubbles). We had this at Thanskgiving dinner and it was fan-tab-u-lous. If pink is not your thing, you can do worse than opening the crowd pleasing Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. It always goes over well.

Whites: 3 bottles
I like going with a little heft and holiday spice. That means a heavier-bodied white. For value, there are some great Viognier under $20 from producers like Cline, Yalumba and Bonterra. For the splurge, go with Rombauer Chardonnay – even if you don’t like it, someone will! It’s big and luscious.

Reds: 5 bottles
It’s what people drink in cold weather and at parties. So stock up on those reds. My favorite, of course, is the Perrin Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Rouge 2009 vintage. Wrote about it before and I’ll say it again – great wine for food, by itself, winter or summer, all around lovely value. And that’s my value pick. For a splurge, the Louis Martini Napa Valley Cab 2007 - under $30, and great with food or for all those Cab lovers.