Top 5 have-on-hand-everyday-drinking reds

The problem comes up in our house, what wine do we serve? Being in the wine business, we often have wine, but not the RIGHT wine. We have samples to try but not always delasCdRappropriate ones for a meal. Then we have lovely wines that are meant for the cellar or long-term ageing. But having that everyday wine, that’s ready to drink now, not going to break the bank, will go with everything and will suit many palates, is a rarity in our house. Which set me out to find those perfect wines. Being winter, we often reach for reds, so I will post my finds on those perfect red wines today. These wines are also ideal to bring to any neighborhood get-together, dinner party or other such gathering as they are likely to be enjoyed by many wine drinkers! My top 5 are:

Peter Lehmann Clancy’s 2009 – Made by one of our favorite producers in the Barossa Valley, this blend delivers inviting fruit, garnering reviews that call it “smooth & inviting” and even use the term “slurp.” A wine that is great for larger parties, a casual night at home or to pull out when neighbors or friends stop by.

Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Another Australian gem, year after year I love this wine. I think it is the distinct sweet herb characteristic (could say eucalyptus, but it often reminds me more of mint) that comes through on the nose, as well as the typical Cabernet characteristics that come in a very balanced package. It’s a Cab, but not too tannic or overwhelming – very good with food.

Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2008 – This is one of those wines that goes down almost too easy… Ripe fruits, a rich texture and a dose of spice make this a balanced, harmonious wine that lingers on the finish. Wine Spectator also says it’s “hard to stop sipping.”

Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2011 – This has almost always been a favorite. I say almost because I though 2010 was a bit off… But the wine came back full force in 2011, with the delicious ripe, rich, central California Pinot style that is silky smooth and easy going down. If you love vanilla, clove spice aromas and that silk texture in wine, you will love this bottle.

Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2010 – I have a soft spot for the Rhone, and 2010 was a killer year, so the deals to be had are many. Delas is an excellent producer and this savory CdR is one of those wines you can have with a winter stew or a summer BBQ. It has that savory pepper spice thing going on, with lots of berry fruit to match. Lovely value.

So were you to stock up on a few bottles of red, these wines (all under $20) are the ones I’d highly recommend. You will never feel lost when looking for a perfect dinner wine, a wine to take to a friend’s house, or a bottle to give as a gift. They are the “go-to” winners. Cheers!