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Crowd-Pleasing Party Wines

I love a good party. And I love a good wine. Then why do I get so flustered when I have to pick a wine to bring to a party? I don’t want to spend too much, which for me is over $20. But I also don’t want the wine to taste cheap, either. And then what type to choose, especially when you’re picking for a crowd of people whose wine tastes could run the gamut from pink and sweet to dark and leathery. Which is why I totally appreciate our Top Ten Wines list that comes out every summer (look for a new list during the holidays, too).

Basically, our wine guys narrow down everything in our wine department and pick the most drinkable wines of the season.

Pretty awesome if you ask me. But you know what’s even more awesome? They’re all under $15! All of the top ten wines are really good, too. But I thought it would be especially helpful to know which wines are best to bring to a party since we’re in the midst of potluck, hang-out, porch-swing, backyard barbeque season. Here are our wine guys’ party picks:

Bolla Soave Classico

This is the wine that everybody drank in the 70’s. It was one of the first Italian whites embraced in the US, predating Pinot Grigio by 20 years!

Flavor: fresh stone fruits

Palate: delicate and seamless

Delicious with: seared scallops, ceviche, anchovies

Recipe pairing: Shrimp and Mango Ceviche

Cheese pairing: Wellspring Creamery™ Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese

Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnay

With the scent of fruit and honey and an apple-fresh taste, this chardonnay from Burgundy is the perfect summer sip-and-smile drink.

Flavor: caramel apple, green banana, crisp acidity

Palate: round, smooth long finish

Delicious with: sushi, lobster rolls, Waldorf salad

Recipe pairing: Waldorf Salad with Honey-Yogurt Dressing and Fresh Mint

Cheese pairing: Hervé Mons Camembert

Vinum Cellars Pinot Noir

This luscious Pinot Noir comes from a very small producer -- one we know well since he’s a former Whole Foods Market Team Member!

Flavor: ripe cherries, coffee, earthy, oaky

Palate: full-bodied, gentle tannins

Delicious with: grilled salmon, lamb chops, pork loin with fruit

Recipe pairing: Firecracker Grilled Salmon

Cheese pairing: Borough Market Cheddar

Bubo Cabernet Sauvignon

Bubo is Latin for “owl” and you’d be wise not to pass up this classic California-style cab with its jammy, fruit-forward flavor. It’s a hoot! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

Flavor: plums, black cherry, black currant

Palate: medium- to full-bodied, smooth finish

Delicious with: barbeque, pizza, lasagna

Recipe pairing: Grilled Vegetable Pizza

Cheese pairing: Grafton Classic Reserve Cheddar Aged 2 Years

Mionetto Prosecco

Made with organically grown grapes this sparkling wine is Italy’s answer to its fancy French cousin, Champagne.

Flavor: elderflower, golden apple

Palate: delicate and bracing with a clean, lingering finish

Delicious with: seafood risotto, mussels, frittatas

Recipe pairing: Mussels Vinaigrette

Cheese pairing: Fromager d'Affinois

These are the crowd-pleasing party picks from our wine guys. What are your favorite wines to share with friends during the summer?