Top wines for the hol­i­day paty cir­cuit

Montreal Times - - News - By Marco Gio­vanetti

The hol­i­day sea­son is upon us You've been in­vited to lots of par­ties. Anx­ious that it might cost you a for­tune on wine? No need to worry. Read on for lots of great party wines for less than $20

Here is the eter­nal prob­lem - you have a bud­get of $20 per bot­tle, yet you don't want to ar­rive with un­drink­able stuff. With a bit of savvy shop­ping, the two goals are quite pos­si­ble.

For me party wines are a to­tally dif­fer­ent ball game from gas­tro­nom­i­cal wines that I would want to sa­vor at the ta­ble with good food. They need to be nice, but not se­ri­ous. They should be de­li­cious and easy to drink and they must not re­quire nec­es­sar­ily food to be en­joyed. Fi­nally, they should be af­ford­able.

If you lack any knowl­edge what­so­ever about what to bring, here are a few styles that are food­friendly, ver­sa­tile, and drink well with or with­out food.The key is to select wines that can be flex­i­ble with al­most any food and not to weighthy.

Sparkling Wines - Bub­bles are ideal for hol­i­day par­ties. Ob­vi­ously, they set the tone for a toast with and they evoke cel­e­bra­tion, but what re­ally makes them shine is their flex­i­bil­ity as food-pair­ing wines. If you don't want to spend your hard earned $$$ for Cham­pagne, look for sim­i­lar dry or "brut" styles from around the world.

Re­fresh­ing whites - Favour white wines with higher acid­ity, like Picpoul de Pinet from France, Gavi from Italy, or Sau­vi­gnon Blanc from dif­fer­ent re­gions. Con­sider acid­ity as the mouth-wa­ter­ing el­e­ment in wine that cleanses your palate for the next bite.

Light to Medium Reds - There is a time and place for a bold and pow­er­ful wine such as a Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, How­ever, if your host is serv­ing sushi or salmon tartare, what would you bring? I per­son­ally would chose a Pinot Noir; None­the­less, if you want a slightly bolder red, look in Spain, Por­tu­gal, South Africa and Italy.

Sug­gested wines for your hol­i­day par­ties.

Sparkling Pata Ne­gra Cava Brut,

SAQ # 13637799,

$14.35

Fresh with a medium aro­matic in­ten­sity rem­i­nis­cent of lemon brioche and ap­ple.On the palate, this Cava is light with a medium size bub­ble and per­sis­tent fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Smoked salmon ap­pe­tizer

dip

Masi Agri­cola Modello Prosecco,

SAQ # 13572729,

$16.95

Dry and crisp with aro­mas of can­died pear and lemon zest. On the palate, re­fresh­ing and am­ple with lots of flo­ral nu­ances. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Cu­cum­ber rolls.

Whites: Cade­musa Pinot Gri­gio Catar­ratto Terre

Siciliane 2017, SAQ: 13862451,

$11.00

Pretty aro­mas of green ap­ple, lemon with a hint of white nec­tarines. On the mouth, juicy and fresh with sim­ple yet hon­est fla­vors. Sug­gested food pair­ings: Br­uschetta, Sushi or mini fish tacos.

Cono Sur Or­ganic Chardon­nay 2017. SAQ

# 13728885, $15.85

Good qual­ity for the price point. Nose rem­i­nis­cent of mac­er­ated trop­i­cal fruits. On the palate, the wine dis­plays a medium acid­ity with a creamy tex­ture com­ple­mented by a re­fresh­ing yet gen­er­ous fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Mini crab cakes

Win­gara Deakin Es­tate Chardon­nay 2017.

SAQ # 13692510,

$11.00

Round and creamy with soft nu­ances of tan­ger­ine and white nec­tarine. Re­fresh­ing with a long fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Smoked salmon dev­iled eggs

Two Oceans Sau­vi­gnon

blanc 2017. SAQ # 1096730

$10.60

A re­li­able white year af­ter tear that dis­plays notes of fresh grape­fruit, yel­low plum notes with hints of fresh cut grass and ap­ple. Medium body with a good acid­ity with de­li­cious cit­rus flavours. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Shrimp Salad ap­pe­tiz­ers

Fleur Du

Cap Chardon­nay 2017.

SAQ # 00340406,

$13.40

Aro­mas of cit­rus fruits, green tea and vanilla bean. Fresh and creamy with fla­vors of lime zest and al­mond cream. Medium fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Ba­con wrapped scal­lops.

Reds: Enoitalia Lignum Vi­tis Frap­pato Shi­raz 2017. SAQ 13590450

$17.45 Fresh with aro­mas that brings to mind ripe rasp­ber­ries with a hint of pep­per. Medium body with soft tan­nins and per­sis­tent fi­nale that brings to mind men­thol and con­fit vi­o­lets. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Grilled spicy chicken wings

Two Oceans Shi­raz 2017. SAQ 10529910

$10.60

Medium to full body with ripe cran­berry and black fruit tones. On the palate, fruit for­ward with al­lur­ing flavours of mocha and smoke in the fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Mini beef burg­ers.

Dou­glas Green Belling­ham Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2017. SAQ 12383248

$10.35

On the nose jammy black fruit with hints of red bell pep­per and roasted herbs. Rich and struc­tured with firm tan­nins and sur­pris­ingly long fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Taquitos with salsa.

Dornier The Pi­rate Of Co­coa Hill 2016. SAQ # 10679361,

$13.95

Vin­tage tasted 2015. Aro­mas of black­ber­ries, dark cho­co­late and cumin with a hint of black pep­per as well. Hearty with a medium to long fi­nale. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Spicy beef satay skew­ers

Antu Gre­nache

Syrah Carig­nan 2015. SAQ 12882856

$19.95

Ripe and in­tense aro­mas of rasp­ber­ries and straw­ber­ries com­ple­mented by hints of vanilla and cedar. On the palate, per­sis­tent and long with com­plex earthy flavours. Sug­gested food pair­ing: Ital­ian meat­balls.

Happy Hol­i­day’s from ev­ery­one at the Mon­tre­alTimes

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