The days of offering a glass of “red or white” are gone. Sophisticated hosts have learned that variety is the key to keeping everyone at your dinner party engaged and delighted.
As we prepare to host multiple guests in the final weeks of summer, we wanted to know which wines to have on-hand in our Smith and Hanks Wine cooler. We chatted with our local wine purveyor, Steve, who runs the nearby Dylan’s Wine Cellar. More than a local wine shop, this is the kind of place you run into everyone you know searching for the perfect pairing for their evening. Luckily, Steve knows your name and doubles as an on-site sommelier of sorts. He can teach you a few shortcuts to make you look like a wine pro.
“You need to have lots of wine options now, as even the average consumer has a more diverse taste and knowledge of vintages than ever before,” Steve tells us and then gives us some suggestions of the best of bottles to have on-hand.
A Decent White
You need a white that people can agree on and this California Chardonnay appeals to a mass audience.
Butter, a California Chardonnay, was created to give white wine lovers of all ages a rich fruit, buttery, reasonably priced wine.
A Decent Red
Three Wine Company Cabernet-$34
Red is tougher to find something everyone can agree on, but this Cabernet has a nice pedigree and delivers on taste.
From the southernmost edge of Napa Valley, the volcanic soils of Suscol Creek and the attendant micro-climate produce intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon.
A Refreshing Rose
And Why Am I Mr. Pink-$14
Rose has become a staple of summer but you can drink it year-round. This wine with the clever reference to “Reservoir Dogs” comes from Washington State and is the quirky addition to this roster.
A very appealing pale-peach color, this wine brings aromas of strawberry and cherry. The flavors are tart and decisive, with a lingering finish.
A Solid bottle of Champagne
You can always find something to celebrate and with this bottle in your reach, you’ll try to find new reasons pop it open every day.
Laurent-Perrier’s dry style is reflected in this crisp, elegant and fine Champagne. The character is mineral, taut, with a great burst of citrus and white fruit acidity. The ensemble creates a delicious food-friendly wine.
A Sparkling Rosé
Cote Mas- $15
In the mood for romance or want to show yourself some love? This rose is just the thing to perk up any evening.
A lovely pink with delicate and persistent bubbles. Refined scents of honeysuckle, peach and apricot lead way to a soft mouthful of grapefruit and a hint of blood orange.
A Perfect Party Wine
High Valley- $23
Although most wines pair with food, sometimes you need the bottle you can sip by the fire with friends.
The High Valley Cabernet Sauvignon starts with aromas of dried cherry, black pepper, and cedar. The full-bodied flavors and textured finish are enhanced by notes of cherries, herbs, and toasted oak.
We hope you enjoy these picks as much as we do. Have a wine you’d recommend as “essential”? Comment below on what we need to add to our collection.
Steve runs Dylan's Wine Cellar which opened in 2011, in Peekskill, NY. The store specializes in everyday wines and spirits that have top notch quality and that are not mass produced. They also also love “Local” wineries and distilleries and have a great selection of New York craft wines and spirits.