We have friends over fairly often for dinner, and I always¬†love it when they bring wine. I don’t care what kind is it, how much it costs, or even how it tastes . . . any choice you make either because the bottle is pretty or it’s a tried and true favorite, whether it’s red or white, robust or dry, even just because it was marked down . . . it’s all good. I figure since there’s no way we could ever begin to sample the wine bounty out there, it’s nice to see what my friends enjoy. There are no wine snobs here!

Here are a few bottles with a range of price points, mostly inexpensive, that have crossed our threshold recently:

  • Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County 2010
  • Layer Cake Malbec Vintage 2010, Mendoza – Argentina
  • Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, 2010
  • Heitz Cellar 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, St Helena
  • Alamos The Wines of Catena Malbec, Mendoza Argentina 2010
  • Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery Estate Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2010
  • Gundlach Bundschu Vintage Reserve Estate Vineyard, 2006 Sonoma Valley
  • Bogle Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Vintage 2010
  • Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay, 2006
  • Bonny Doon Albarino, 2010

But it’s always tough for the giver to choose a wine. Instead of worrying about vintage and bouquet and all the wine-tasting niceties, I just taste my way through different California’s different geographic wine regions and see what sticks. Over the years our wine glasses have traveled through the Santa Cruz Mountains, Carneros, Lake County, Santa Lucia Highlands, and are moving on to Arroyo Grande. I’ve found that once you choose a region, it’s easier to narrow in on smaller wineries and discover those hidden gems.

Here’s a cute infographic that pretty much says it all about choosing a wine:

Original Source: How to Choose Wine

What are your favorite wines to bring as hostess gifts?