We've matched six bottles to six kinds of wine and food lovers. By: Scott Jones
Is your dinner party host or hostess a wine connoisseur or a novice? Does he or she stick to comfort-food basics or go all
organic? Or are they just downright hard to please?
Well, we have you covered with the perfect wine suggestions to impress your dinner companions—even the pickiest cook will be pleased with your gift.
Joel Gott, Unoaked Chardonnay, California, 2011 ($18)
This crisp chardonnay packs a two-punch combo. Palate-cleansing acidity easily cuts through a rich casserole, but this weighty white also has enough heft to tackle baked pasta or mashed potatoes.
Lapostolle, Casa Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2010 ($14)
A deep, intense chocolate bar calls for an equally powerful, rich red. The bold tannins in Lapostolle's Casa Cab balance out dark chocolate's bittersweet edge while allowing the wine's red berry flavors to shine through.
Quivira, Wine Creek Ranch Grenache, California, 2009 ($26)
This small Sonoma winery has been turning out top-notch biodynamic and organic wines for almost a decade. Hints of pepper and spice frame their lively grenache. Although this red is easy on tannins, it's still hefty enough to pair with a beef stew or roast duck.
W&J Graham's, Six Grapes Reserve Port NV, Portugal ($25)
For nearly 300 years, Graham's has produced terrific tawnies, with Six Grapes representing one of their original port styles. This sweet, high-octane wine is the perfect partner for pecan pie or fudgy cake but also terrific on its own. Enjoy it like dessert in a glass, and it's sure to warm you up.
Siduri, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, California, 2011 ($30)
Siduri consistently ranks as one of the top pinot noir producers in the U.S., and this elegant red is no exception. Its fresh acidity and smooth tannins make it well suited to drinking with a table of food and friends. A great gift and good value, this pinot drinks like those twice the price.
Casa Santos Lima, Lab Red, Portugal, 2010 ($9)
Loaded with ripe berry flavors, this versatile, food-friendly red is an ideal entry point for those new to wine—it's just as tasty with seared salmon as it is with a cozy bowl of chili. And at less than $10, this Portuguese red is easy to enjoy by the case all season long.