Great House Wines… for Your Home

Do you like to entertain at home?

A little bit of planning can make for some great parties. But we may not always get as much notice as we’d like when friends or family are going to be in town. So it’s important for us to be prepared.

The solution? Select a couple of “house wines” that you can keep on hand at all times — one red and one white.

Over the years, we’ve sometimes utilized several consecutive vintages of the same wine before ultimately rotating it out and plugged in a different one. Hey, if you really like something, why change it?

Although we love Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, neither has ever been a “go-to wine” at our house. That’s because they are so expressive, and thus pair with a limited number of easy-to-prepare foods. (Okay, we also like to hoard them for ourselves.)

Instead, we opt for wines that are more “food friendly.” More often than not, the white is a Pinot Grigio — great with dishes that call for a white sauce, as well as seafood. And the red? Merlot, which works nicely with everything from meatloaf to burgers and even steaks.

Now that we’re in the middle of summer, we’ll be rotating out those wines for a few months, replacing them with a Sauvignon Blanc and a (red) Zinfandel.

The Sauvignon Blanc will pair nicely with almost any fish preparation, while the Zin is going to be our go-to red any time we fire up our grill. The “char” of grilled meats plays off those jammy fruit flavors that Zinfandel exudes in a way that will make you say, “More, please” — of both.

In prior years, we’ve used Pinot Noir for our go-to red, and it may be back in that role next summer. But since we’re planning to do a lot of grilling this summer, we thought we’d mix it up a bit.

When you have unexpected guests… or are planning a get-together on short notice… it’s nice to have one element of the meal already handled.

House wines can be that element.

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