Food & Drink

Select right wine for large gatherings

Ah, the dilemma of buying wine for a large group of people. You really can’t justify purchasing something expensive, partly because infrequent wine drinkers probably won’t appreciate it and partly because you want to save it for yourself.

On the other hand, you don’t want to come across as being too cheap, especially if that large group includes close friends or family. And trust me, people will remember that lousy $5 bottle of merlot that you brought to the last get together for a long time.

The solution? Keep things simple by purchasing reliable, well recommended wines that fall within the $7 to $15 a bottle price range. Here are a few selections to consider:

Redcliffe 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (about $9): The initial rush of citrus is tempered by herbaceous/melon flavors that soften the acidic edge and add a bit of roundness to this white wine from New Zealand. Give it a try with barbeque prawns.

Terrazas 2005 Chardonnay (about $10): This lighter style chardonnay from Argentina has gentle pineapple and tropical fruit flavors and hints of oak on the finish. A nice match with salads and poultry.

Ironstone Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (about $9):Beautiful plum aromas, dark berry and cherry flavors and a soft, rich finish highlight this California cabernet. The wine should pair up well with burgers, steaks and a variety of other hearty foods.

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