So in the next couple weeks, when you're heading off to yet ANOTHER Christmas party or yet ANOTHER dinner, and you just want to run in and out of the wine store with NO standing around choosing, keep these wines in mind for an easy hostess gift (for the hostess who drinks of course).
1. My all-time absolute favorite wine for the last couple years is the Katnook Founder's Block Cabernet Shiraz. It's this amazing blend of Cab AND Shiraz, and will go with almost any food you put it with (although it's particularly good with red meat). I have yet to take it to a friend's for dinner and NOT have them love it and ask where we got it. This wine appeals to everyone, and for around $20 (depending where you are), it's a total steal.
2. If however what you're looking for is a REALLY punchy Shiraz, what you want to take is the Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Shiraz. For roughly $17-21 (depending where you are), Scrubby Rise is punchy in all the RIGHT ways and has loads of flavor, but it isn't tart or fruity in the wrong ways that Shiraz's can sometimes go.
3. For those who are into a more traditional Cab at a cheap price, The Show Cabernet Sauvignon does the trick for US every time - and at roughly $15-17 (depending where you are), it can do the trick for YOU every time. While the bottles LOOK like there's three different blends, there isn't - same wine, three different looks, same great taste. And again, this is one of those wines people will ask about - and they won't believe it was as cheap as it was.
4. And then there's days where you just feel like having something SOFTER, more GENTLE, yet not so gentle it's a Pinot and kinda watered down. For those days (or those DINNERS), Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel should be your wine of choice. For $15-17 (depending where you are), it's everything you want a Zinfandel to be, but a little more, because it's red, and a little "un" traditional. This wine works really well with spicy food like Thai or chorizo.
5. Last but not least, the wine that's not a wine - Whisker's Blake Port. I've reviewed it here before, but I still can NOT say enough about this port. It's not EXPENSIVE tasting (and for $20 it shouldn't be) but it also doesn't taste how you'd think a $20 bottle would taste. This bottle should be worth a bunch more, but if you want to take your port-loving friend an easy-sipping after-dinner port that's not too tough on the wallet, Whisker's Blake is a steal.
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