What to Drink Right Now: The Hostess Gift

       You find a gorgeous bottle of wine you’ve heard amazing things about. But it’s a magnum. No way can you drink it all on your own. Well…Ok, you probably could, but you know you shouldn’t, lol. You want to share it with friends. And there’s that holiday party you’re going to next week. That’s the perfect opportunity to try it! You’ll bring it and they’ll open it then.  But wait, what if they don’t open it? In fact, if it’s the beautiful bottle of Faust Cabernet designed by street artist Faust NY, they may not want to open it. They may want to save it. For themselves. For later. When you’re not there… What can you do?

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       A question I’m often asked is: If you bring wine to an event as a host/hostess gift can you ask them to open it for the gathering?

       The short answer is no. It is a gift and as a gift, the host or hostess, is free to do absolutely anything, he or she, wants to do with it. Pouring it then is an option, but so is putting it aside, or even, gasp, regifting it to someone else! Awful, I know, but true. In fact, wine is one of the most regifted gifts.

       However, pondering this question for some time, I have come up with a couple of loopholes that, while they may not get that bottle opened, they will save you the anxiety of wondering if you should bring something you love to drink, or want to try.

       If you are close friends or family, you can call and offer to be in charge of the wine for one of the courses. If they agree, make sure you have enough for all the guests for that course. And think about which course would pair best with your wine.

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       For appetizers, sparkling wine, rose and Beaujolais Nouveau work well. Note, Beaujolais Nouveau works well with almost all courses. Louis Tête Le Pot 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau is especially versatile and absolutely delicious, but more on that later. For light seafood, a clean, crisp, white, like Sauvignon Blanc or a Vinho Verde always works. For seafood in a red sauce, a light bodied red like Pinot Noir or Chianti are safe bests. For poultry a lightly oaky Chardonnay. For pork, light bodied reds. For pasta in a light sauce there are a variety of whites that will work. Pasta in a red sauce loves Chianti. And for red meats go for your big, bold reds, Cabernet, Zinfandel and Shiraz. These big, bold, reds also are wonderful with dark chocolate after dinner. For regular desserts, sweet wines, dessert wines and Port and Sherry work well.  

       Now, about those two bottles that will inspire the hostess gift dilemma. The 2016 Faust Cabernet from California is a blend of 82 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  With that percentage of Cabernet, here in the United States, the wine can be called a single varietal, Cabernet. Not so in France, where 85% is required. However, this beautiful wine is a Bordeaux-style blend, making wonderful use of four of the five Noble grapes. Having had some amazing Bordeaux wines while visiting that region, I can honestly say this can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them. This is an elegant medium bodied wine, layered with red fruit flavors, some light mocha notes, soft silky tannins and lovely, long, dry satisfying finish. It’s food friendly, but also enjoyable to drink on its own.

       The stunning bottle, a magnum with a graffiti design, was created by street artist Faust New York and is a definite stand out on any holiday table. It retails at $110 for the magnum and it’s worth it.

       The Louis Tête Le Pot 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau is another show stealer. The bottle is 500ml, so it is smaller than the regular 750ml bottle. It is clear glass with a clear glass bottom portion. The wine looks like it’s floating on air. It is by far the most lush Beaujolais Nouveau I ever tasted. Like most Beaujolais Nouveau wines, it is clean and fresh, with nice acidity, but it’s also ripe and rich with notes of blackberry, raspberry and blueberry. At just under $15 be sure to buy enough for your guests.    

       And finally, there is one more option to getting that hostess bottle opened. Again, if you are close friends or family call and say, “I don’t want to step on toes if you’ve already chosen wines for the get-together, but I have a bottle of wine I’m dying to try, and I’d love to get your take on it as well. If I bring it can we open it?”

       The host can still say no, in which case you can go buy a nice box of chocolates to bring as a gift and keep the wine for yourself. 😊  

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What to Drink Right Now: Celebrating with Zinfandel!