Further suggestions requested....

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Further suggestions requested....

Postby Glenn Mackles » Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:10 pm

I have been drafted to provide wine for a party of non wine people this weekend. About 40 people or so are expected. Food will be served and I am told that the main dish will be a chicken with boursin cheese sort of thing. I was instructed that the wine must be a white because as I was told by the hostess... she doesn't want spilled red wine on her carpets. The party is a baby shower and some of the people probably won't drink any wine at all.

I was kind of thinking about a New Zealand Savignon Blanc (perhaps a Kim Crawford or a Nobilo) as there are several that are nice and not too expensive but I would also appreciate any suggestions from the forum.

Thanks,
Glenn
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:46 am

Glenn,

I love Sauvignon Blanc and would just love it if every party and event I attended had this wine instead of cheap domestic Chardonnay. YECH!! I applaud you for thinking in this direction.

I have always loved New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and found both the Kim Crawford and House of Nobilo to be quite good. They are not foolproof, however, and there are other options at lower price (or better wines at the same price). Here are some notes I posted on this forum a month or so ago.

Sauvignon Blanc 6-pack … briefly

I need no coaxing whatsoever to try a new bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve had the opportunity to try a handful-plus-one over the past couple of weeks. Here are brief notes; wines are listed in no particular order of preference.

2004 Chinook Winery Sauvignon Blanc (Yakima Valley, WA): Lovely aroma, but not highly floral. Clear and crisp with refreshing fruit and a good finish. $17

2005 Evans & Tate Underground Series Sauvignon Blanc (Western Australia): Light and crisp with sharp acidity. A bit of an edge on the finish. $10

2005 Fleur du Cap Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch, So Africa): A surprisingly nice wine for the price. Crisp and refreshing with nice fruit and minerals. $8

2005 Fairvalley Sauvignon Blanc (Fairview, So Africa): This is a very light bodied wine with little aroma. Drinkable but not very exciting. $8

2004 Claude Lafond La Raie Reuilly (Loire Valley, France): Crisp and lemony with lots of minerals on the finish. Very nice indeed. $17

2005 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand): Crisp and tart with decent complexity and some minerals on the finish. A very good wine for the price. $12

If you need to buy lots of wine for a party, you will not go wrong with the Fleur du Cap. If you desire lemon rocks, the Claude Lafond is for you. If you want a really nice, yet moderately affordable wine, go for the Oyster Bay.


Our tasting group held a Sauvignon Blanc (blind) tasting a few months ago. That Oyster Bay wine finished 2nd out of 10 wines; it was the second least expensive wine, too. Top honors went to the 2005 White Haven ($18 ), which is only slightly more costly than the Kim Crawford, which finished in the middle of the pack.

Hope this information is helpful.

-- Clark
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:53 am

I don't know what exactly you mean by inexpensive but lots of the German estate rieslings are in the $10 range, and can be great fun for large crowds (I just recommended a few for a friend's wedding, and it doesn't hurt to make sure I'll have something fun to drink at the same time :)) although I can see the NZ sauvignon blancs filling that role too (and to the degree they are in screwcap, great, just crack and pour)

Of course you could also go with both!
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Doug House » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:01 am

Disclaimer - I sell these wines

Like others, I like the idea of going with NZ SB. Both the 2005 Allen Scott and Spy Valley wines are nice and in a solid price range. Another, perhaps more interesting, choice would be the Philippe Plantevin 2005 white CdR. It goes for about $11 and shows attractve, Grenache Blanc and Viognier character with good body and a gentle, round, finish. The key in these situations is to get something with enough character and flavor to appeal to you while avoiding the intensity or extremes that might turn off more casual drinkers.

Good luck!

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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:53 am

Hi Glenn - I'm a firm believer in helping out the local economy and this may be a good opportunity to introduce the party goers to Virginia wines. I've had a few VA wines and liked them.
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:50 am

Glenn Mackles wrote:. . . . the main dish will be a chicken with boursin cheese sort of thing. . . .


I like the idea of SB, but (not to split hairs) I think a French version might complement the herbiness of boursin better than a Kiwi version. I don't know your market, but I've often been able to find Touraine Sauvignons for significantly less than typical NZ SBs. (Of course, Sancerre or Pouilly Fume would take you to a different price point.)
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:57 am

Maybe think SA or the Montgras from Chile??
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:03 pm

The Sauvignon Blanc wines you mentioned and other suggestions already received cover that field well. You might want to throw in a Riesling also to provide a choice. Perhaps Leitz Dragonstone or Lingenfelder Bird Label.
The Dragonstone sells for about $11-$15 in different markets and the Lingenfelder Riesling Bird Label for $10-$20.
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Glenn Mackles » Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:18 pm

Thank you all very much. I very much appreciate your suggestions. It is especially heartening to learn that my sauvignon blanc inclination was a reasonably good one. I too am very tired of the overoaked domestic chardonays that are often offered at these kind of things. The reisling suggestions are something I hadn't considered. So I'm writing down the list above and am off to my local wine pusher.

Thanks again,
Glenn
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:01 pm

Not all chardonnay is overoaked and a great example of something that provides a soft mellow drink without the oak factor but still with plenty of fruit is Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay. It also provides an alternative for those who might find the zesty acidity in NZ Sauv Blanc a little overpowering after a glass or two.
Cheers,
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby RichardAtkinson » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:23 pm

I'm not sure Sauvignon Blanc is the varietal to spring on inexperienced wine drinkers. I mean, we love the stuff (its the white varietal of choice in our house)..but recently our AWS Chapter did a Sauvignon Blanc tasting. Along with a lot of "old hands", there are quite a few wine newbies that are members also.

Almost without fail, every one of the "newbies" members poured out one SB sample after another. You are probalby going to be better off with a CA Chard or Pinot Grigio. You might want to throw in a couple of sweeter style Rieslings also.

Richard
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:33 pm

What about a Chablis, a real Chablis? Of course a Riesling is my usual inexpensive white for inexperienced wine drinkers. There are so qbas and kabbinets from the Rhine valley for around $10 that you will not know where to start.
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:59 pm

I like flinty Chablis but I don't think that is the kind of wine I started out liking. Piesporter Michelsberg and Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese were more like it as a newbie. (Even white zinfandel and French Columbard from a California winery).
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby MtBakerDave » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:12 pm

I'm kind of inclined to think that kiwi Sauv Blanc might be a little offputting for non-wine drinkers too, much as you or I might like it.

In the $15/bottle range (or maybe a little less) I'd probably consider a Bordeaux Blanc, where the Sauv Blanc is cut with some Semillon to make for a smoother drink. Or a Vouvray - Chenin Blanc is easy to like in general terms, and often terrific bang for the buck. Finally, I don't know just what your budget is, but for a couple bucks a bottle more, you could choose a Bourgogne or even a village cru White Burgundy. Most of the inexpensive White Burgundies have little to no oak, and come across as light and refreshing. Talk to your local wine shop for some specific recommendations.

Dave
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Re: Further suggestions requested....

Postby Carl Eppig » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:55 am

A couple of the ideas above could be achieved with a Maconnaise. A nice Macon Villages or even a St Veran can be had at the $12 U.S. or under price point.
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