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Old Mar 20, 12, 11:31 am   #1
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wine to keep on hand for last minute needs?

Mr. Kipper and I aren't really wine drinkers, but we realize that there are some instances where having an unopened bottle of wine can be helpful. For example, if you have a last minute invitation to dinner or are asked to bring a bottle of wine for dinner. As such, we'd like to keep a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine in stock, at home, since liquor laws in PA aren't exactly consumer-friendly.

I'd love suggestions on a good, yet fairly inexpensive white wine and the same for a red wine. Something that's probably $20 or less/bottle, would store well, and that's in a bottle, not a box.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 20, 12, 11:58 am   #2
 
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Mr. Kipper and I aren't really wine drinkers, but we realize that there are some instances where having an unopened bottle of wine can be helpful. For example, if you have a last minute invitation to dinner or are asked to bring a bottle of wine for dinner. As such, we'd like to keep a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine in stock, at home, since liquor laws in PA aren't exactly consumer-friendly.

I'd love suggestions on a good, yet fairly inexpensive white wine and the same for a red wine. Something that's probably $20 or less/bottle, would store well, and that's in a bottle, not a box.

Thanks!
I generally prefer to keep a bottle or two of something sparkling on hand, as I think it feels a little more celebratory to give someone when you pop around for supper. I am not sure what brands you get where you are, but I like Italian Prosecco, and there is a Spanish sparking rose I like too. Both are under $20.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 1:34 pm   #3
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I generally prefer to keep a bottle or two of something sparkling on hand, as I think it feels a little more celebratory to give someone when you pop around for supper. I am not sure what brands you get where you are, but I like Italian Prosecco, and there is a Spanish sparking rose I like too. Both are under $20.
Here's a link to the PA state store system, so that gives you an idea of what brands we can find.

How long would sparkling keep? Indefinitely? I would probably still lean towards non-sparkling, as I think most people to whom I would give a bottle of wine would prefer non-sparkling.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 3:56 pm   #4
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I'd just go to the store and ask for a recommendation. The shop assistant will know the inventory.

If not, Santa Margherita pinot grigio is around $18 and a nice go-to, though IMO it's overpriced because it has built up a bit of a name brand.

Robert Mondavi makes nice wines.

Bogle is my go-to cheap wine maker...their petite syrah is my favorite cheap red wine but it's not easily identifiable as a cheap wine.

Or...bring beer to friends' houses. Why bring something you don't like? There's nothing wrong with bringing a six pack of good beer.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 4:13 pm   #5
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I'd just go to the store and ask for a recommendation. The shop assistant will know the inventory.

If not, Santa Margherita pinot grigio is around $18 and a nice go-to, though IMO it's overpriced because it has built up a bit of a name brand.

Robert Mondavi makes nice wines.

Bogle is my go-to cheap wine maker...their petite syrah is my favorite cheap red wine but it's not easily identifiable as a cheap wine.

Or...bring beer to friends' houses. Why bring something you don't like? There's nothing wrong with bringing a six pack of good beer.
Some people don't like beer, and I'd rather bring them something they'd like as a thank you.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 4:15 pm   #6
 
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I usually try to find some good Cote Du Rhone (pretty big, crowd pleasing red) on hand for non-wine drinkers that are needed last minute.

Good ones can be had for $15-20, but of course i'm keeping an eye out on close outs, and buy a case or two.. so normally I get them for $8-10 a bottle.. tasty, easy to please, and not expensive.

(as a reference, I keep about 150 bottles at home in a wine fridge, and a few hundred in an offsite storage.. so it's not a HUGE cellar, but I wouldn't need to go to a store if a dinner invite came up either)..
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Old Mar 20, 12, 4:43 pm   #7
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Some people don't like beer, and I'd rather bring them something they'd like as a thank you.
Ah, got it.

In addiiton to the suggestions above, I'd also say that the vast majority of people - including self-described connoisseurs - really can't taste wine and would struggle to legitimately tell an expensive bottle from a cheaper one.

What I'm trying to say is, most bottles that you'd find in a store that cost more than about $10 are perfectly fine and indistinguishable. Just go pick something that costs about what you want to spend and that has a pretty label.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 4:47 pm   #8
 
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the vast majority of people - including self-described connoisseurs - really can't taste wine and would struggle to legitimately tell an expensive bottle from a cheaper one.
True for label/point whores..
not true for real wine lovers who study and enjoy all aspects of wine..

can they accurate pin point every minute detail probably not. but there are good tasters who can nail country, region, varietal etc..
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Old Mar 20, 12, 7:38 pm   #9
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Ah, got it.

In addiiton to the suggestions above, I'd also say that the vast majority of people - including self-described connoisseurs - really can't taste wine and would struggle to legitimately tell an expensive bottle from a cheaper one.

What I'm trying to say is, most bottles that you'd find in a store that cost more than about $10 are perfectly fine and indistinguishable. Just go pick something that costs about what you want to spend and that has a pretty label.
Ah, fair enough. I'm actually looking for an excuse to break open a bottle of red wine that I've had for a few months.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 7:48 pm   #10
 
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A decent California style chardonnay is Chateau St. Jean, which can be had for about $11-14. Most people we've served this to (novices and more seasoned wine drinkers) like it. Another decent one is LaCrema, but that's more in the $20 range.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 7:55 pm   #11
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A decent California style chardonnay is Chateau St. Jean, which can be had for about $11-14. Most people we've served this to (novices and more seasoned wine drinkers) like it. Another decent one is LaCrema, but that's more in the $20 range.
I guess that begs the question of, "Do I need multiple styles of wine, or should I just find one red and one white and stick with that?"
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Old Mar 20, 12, 8:47 pm   #12
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I guess that begs the question of, "Do I need multiple styles of wine, or should I just find one red and one white and stick with that?"
latter IMO.

Also, if you do not have a good area to store the wine you are keeping on hand, open it periodically & cook with it, then replace the bottle.

I agree with emma69, I like giving out bubbly and there are some very good prosecco or cava that won't break the bank.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 5:58 am   #13
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latter IMO.

Also, if you do not have a good area to store the wine you are keeping on hand, open it periodically & cook with it, then replace the bottle.

I agree with emma69, I like giving out bubbly and there are some very good prosecco or cava that won't break the bank.
I figured I'd probably keep the bottles in our basement, which seems to stay about 10-15 degrees colder than the rest of the house. I did intend on opening each bottle every 6 months or so and buying new.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 4:34 am   #14
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I usually try to find some good Cote Du Rhone (pretty big, crowd pleasing red) on hand for non-wine drinkers that are needed last minute.
+1

I also recommend something big and flavorful for non-wine drinkers, particularly from the north, maybe a St. Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage. We also tend to usually have a few bottles of Mederano Tinto on hand for such purposes.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 7:25 am   #15
 
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i like the idea of a st jean chard. it is an everyperson's chard. it should keep for a couple 3 years at below 66F. for a red, i would choose a pinot from california or Oregon. again, fresh year, and it will hold up for 2-3 years at least. i see columbia crest cab on a list. that would be a great choice. another choice would be a catina malbec.(neither a pinot) the press highly rated pinots i see are all nitch wines

the problem is not so much the wine go bad with age, as the cork becomes difficult to remove.

the current house red is some 2005 merlot from argentina. must have been very expensive before the corks started drying out. if the bottle is set on its' side, the cork dries from the top down to the wine. wine and half a cork are still fine.
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