Pouring On a Budget? Some of Our Favorites Under $10
Unless you’re a trained sommelier or life-long wine aficionado, picking a good wine for an event can be a little (or very) intimidating. There are so many types of wines, a wide-range of quality, price spectrum, aging techniques, regions, pedigree, and even what is popular with guests – all that can make your head spin if you don’t know where to look.
There are a few factors to consider when putting together your list, and it’s not just price. Consider the weather – will the event be outside in the sun, or will it be inside in a climate-controlled banquet hall? Will there be a set meal served or will it be a variety of hors d’oeuvres? Consider what pairs with the meal or possibly a blend that will go great with a variety of flavors. Most importantly, factor in what you like, or what is trending with flavors by asking your local wine store or distributor – or mobile bartending service and hired Bartender.
We’ve highlighted some of our favorite wines that are great for larger events, but don’t taste “cheap” or low-quality, and will help find a happy medium for all guests and event details – while keeping your selection under budget and easy to find in larger quantities.
Note: We at Kitsap Bartending Services love wine and serve it a lot, so these are some that we love that also seem to be crowd-pleasers at most events – and are readily available at most stores and locations (or can be ordered). You may have your own, or some to add, but this is definitely a great starting point for bottles to try when selecting your list.
Reds Under $10/bottle:
Las Almenas Tempranillo – La Mancha, Spain- This fresh Tempranillo is young and fruit-driven, offering bright red berry and raspberry aromas, deep, vibrant and lively strawberry flavors on the palate. Well-balanced with a refreshing finish. Pairs wonderfully with chicken, pasta, and BBQ.
14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend – Washington – This approachable and easy drinking red wine offers generous aromas of berries, cherries and currants. A plush framework of soft tannins supports the red and dark fruit flavors that leisurely give way to subtle notes of baking spice and mocha on the finish.
Bloom Vineyards Red Blend California, 2013 – Bright aromas of dried orange…a silky, lively, fruity medium to full-body and a seamless, appealing, medium-length sweet spice and citrus creme brulee finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A rock solid attractively styled red wine.
Alamos Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina- The nose offers bright black cherry aromas with light floral notes and a touch of toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit flavors interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging.
Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot – Columbia Valley, Washington- Classic Merlot aromas of spice, blackberry and cocoa carry through the palate of this complex artisanal crafted wine. The balance of oak and black fruits creates a velvety, seductive finish.
Whites Under $10/bottle:
Matua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – Marlborough, New Zealand- A distinctive and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, delivering bright and lively gooseberry and passion fruit characters with a hint of lime. The palate is well proportioned with refreshing tropical flavors.
14 Hands Chardonnay – Washington- Bright apple and floral aromas are complemented by light notes of vanilla and sweet butterscotch. Juicy pear and apple flavors give way to subtle touches of toast and spice and ends with a soft finish.
Cardiff Moscato – California- Cardiff Moscato is a delicious blend of exotic fruit flavors and sweetness served up in a pleasing light style. Always a crowd favorite, serve with appetizers and light entrees or after dinner with fruit and cheese.
Blanka Vinho Verde – Portugal – This vinho verde is fresh and exuberant. It has zesty aromas of lemon and lime with notes of green apple and minerality. It is light bodied with juicy citrus and apple flavors and a crisp finish. It pairs well with ceviche, seafood or salad.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay – Washington- This well-crafted Chardonnay opens sharp and spicy, with light buy juicy fruit. Flavors of clean apple and pear run into hints of peach, then resolve with a creamy finish.
Bubbles, Rose, and Blush Under $10/bottle:
Cupcake Moscato d’Asti – California- Vibrant and expressive with dominant floral notes and hints of bright fruit flavors — including peach, tropical fruits and lychee — this wine is soft and luscious. Just a hint of fine effervescence tickles the palate and balances the sweetness.
Rondel Brut Cava – Spain- More fruity than dry, this “extreme brut” is filled with soft peach and nut flavors, their fragrance lifted by floral tones of white lilies. Briny and fresh, the flavors last. Great served with dinner or as a toasting sparkling wine. Not too dry, but not too sweet.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry – Spain- This sparkling wine is for those that like it “not too dry”. On the palate, it’s earthy and fruity with an essence of peach, melon and candied citrus flavors, culminating in a long, flavorful and smooth finish.
La Vostra Prosecco – Veneto, Italy – Immerse yourself in the juicy, irresistible flavors of apple, white peach and fragrant honeysuckle with La Vostra Prosecco. This inviting, bubbly sipper appeals to even the most selective sparkling enthusiast.
Chapoutier Belleruche Rose – Rhone Valley, France – Pure rose with flavors of cherry, bitter orange, and rose petal. Really freshness, has more fruit than a typical Provencal wine, with red fruit notes on the palate.
Low Hanging Fruit White Zinfandel – California- This White Zinfandel presents aromas of light red fruit and fresh strawberry. The wine is light-bodied with flavors of juicy watermelon and ripe raspberries that create an exceptionally refreshing finish.
Charles Smith Band of Roses – Washington – A very cool wine. Pure, vibrant, fresh, penetrating perfume giving way to lilac, guava, tangerine, and passion fruit. Delivered on a silky palate, this Rose has got the beat!
In conclusion, find what sounds best to you. Ask your Bartender before the event, or go to your local wine store that has a knowledgeable staff, tell them what sounds best to you, give them the details of your event (season, time of day, indoors or outdoors) and find something you want to serve your guests that fits in your budget. Again, these are just some of our favorites, but you may have others so have fun and explore with your partner and/or family and friends.
*As of March 2019 all listed bottles were under $10 (before tax) and available at Total Wine & More, BevMo, and several grocery stores with a good wine department.