THE 5 MUST-HAVE WINES at HOME
Written by Joshua Luman
very household pantry and liquor cabinet has a few staple standby items that keep you prepared for just about any situation or occasion. Whether it’s a surprise visit from the in-laws, neighbors stopping by for an afternoon chat or an impromptu get-together after the kids’ soccer game, you know these basic essentials have got you covered.
Like the six pack of beer buried in the back of the fridge or the block of Vermont cheddar cheese and Pepperidge Farm crackers, so too are there several bottles of wine you should always keep nearby. When the unexpected duty to play host calls these five bottles below will have you covered for whatever unexpected occasions might arise in your home.
A bottle of bubbles might be the most versatile wine you can own. And it can be as affordable as it is fabulous. Whether it is a Sunday brunch, girl’s night out, or a romantic dinner, a bottle of sparkling wine goes a long way. Always keep two in the fridge...you’ll be surprised how many people will raise their glass when they hear bubbles are pouring.
Recommend: Tocco Prosecco
White wine drinkers are a hard bunch to please. They tend to be a little ‘love it or leave it’ if it isn’t exactly the style of wine they are used to. It’s either too oaky or not oaky enough, too sweet, too dry or not fruity enough. The best thing you can do is keep handy a bottle of white wine that can split everyone down the middle. Try a bottle of Picpoul, a wonderful grape varietal from France that is sure to hit a homerun with pinot grigio, chardonnay and Riesling drinkers alike. This is a safe bet when it comes to keeping all of your white wine guests happy.
Recommend: Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet
Pinot Noir might be as close as it gets when it comes to a happy medium in the wine world. Pinot pairs great with foods, but it is certainly not necessary. The rich, ripe fruit in this varietal will pleasantly surprise guests that prefer heavier reds like cabernets and merlots. And visitors whose palates prefer a more sophisticated and elegant glass of red will be right at home with the pinot.
Recommend: Definitive ‘Russian River Valley’
Always stock a great bottle of Argentinean Malbec nearby. This is the perfect red for the wine connoisseur as well as the occasional guest that thinks he is one! The prized red grape of Argentina, Malbec is hearty, soulful and beautiful to drink. Adventurous wine drinkers will be delighted by the many flavor layers of Malbec, while more simple and monotonous red wine drinkers will turn there head twice when they discover how plush and full Malbec can taste.
Recommend: Paul Hobbs ‘Felino’
And finally, keep a bottle or two of wine that is special or has significant value to you. It’s your house and your rules. This can be an expensive bottle or simply one that sparks a memorable story every time you drink it. This makes for a terrific conversation piece and your friends and family will certainly appreciate you for serving something that has so much meaning to you.
Remember, find wine that YOU love, and drink plenty of it!