Wines to have on hand for unexpected gifts and guests

260x135_HOLbottlestogiveWhen it comes to unexpected gifts, a bottle of wine is an easy – yet thoughtful – way to go. It’s a good idea to have a few on hand for when you need a quick gift. For unexpected guests, you’ll want some wine to serve, whether it’s a couple of friends who stop in on their way to dinner, in-laws staying the night or neighbors stopping by.

Here are a few wines to have on hand and what they are best used for! Oh, and today only, 15% off 12 or more bottles, so stock up on them today!

Unexpected Guests

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs – Your go-to aperitif – Under $20
A perfect bubbly to pull out if you want something sparkling for your aperitif. This often happens in our home – we are about to start getting ready for dinner and then think, should we start with some bubbly? But then move on to the question, do we have any bubbly? Try this wine! It is rich and fuller-bodied, a great wine to start the night or pair with appetizers.

Oregon Pinot Gris – The perfect white wine for aperitif and dinner – most under $20
Yes, a bit of a broad statement, but I think having a couple bottles of Oregon Pinot Gris in your cellar or wine cabinet is the perfect solution for any dinner party. Not only does it make a great aperitif to sip before a meal, it is delightfully food friendly for a starter course or for that guest who only drinks white wine. Versatile. A few great producers are Benton Lane, Elk Cove, King Estate, Adelsheim and Eyrie.

Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – Your dinner red – $25
A favorite Cabernet Sauvignon, showing what Cabs are like from Sonoma Valley. Great mint and herbs on the nose, with other spices and black fruit and cassis. Palate is structured, great acid and tannins balancing out lovely herbal and fruit tones. Great finish. A perfect dinner wine as it is not too heavy.

d’Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz – Your whenever red – about $10
Need a red to pull out for drinks, dinner or a party? This is the one to have on hand. Ripe and expressive and just plain old easy-drinking. A wine to have on hand all year round.

Unexpected Gifts

Gosset Grand Reserve – For the classic gift of Champange – $60
A delicious NV Champagne, this wine is rich and creamy, with toast and biscuit notes backed by crisp acidity. Long, lingering finish. $59.99

Anaba Chardonnay 2006 – For the white wine lover – $25
This is one of my favorite new finds. I love this Chardonnay – it is crisp & complex with delicious layers of fruit and subtle oak. It will make you re-discover quality Chardonnay. Perfect wine to give as a gift to any white wine lover, or for a nice sit down dinner.

Club Claret Collection – for the Bordeaux or old world wine lover
This is a fantastic collection of approachable, affordable Bordeaux, hand-picked by Master of Wine, Anthony Foster. Ranging from $13 – $20, there is a wine in here for everyone on your list. My two favorites are the Château Bel Air La Chapelle Fut de Chene 2005  and the Château St Nicolas Premiere Cotes de Bordeaux 2006. The former is well balanced all around with great fruit and spice and length, the latter is a bit more rustic with a lovely earthy component.

Kathryn Hall 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – For the big & bold classic red wine lover – $75
One of our favorite collectible Cabernet Sauvignon… this wine is delicious. Intense, concentrated, balanced… For the person who loves big, ripe, rich California Cabernet, this is the wine for them.