When you’re invited to dinner and the host says, “Bring a beverage of your choice,” what do you do?
wine is an obvious choice, but that’s not always the case,” says Dustin Wilson, master sommelier and former Eleven Madison Park wine director. “My family, for example, isn’t into wine, so I show up with some fun, unusual beer. Another thing I enjoy bringing a premixed cocktail. Negronis are easy—equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari—and really fun to pass around when you arrive.”“I have a lot of wine friends, so
Wilson tries to get an understanding of what the group would be into. And if it is wine (and that’s usually a safe bet), he’s made it easier to choose the perfect bottle with Verve Wine, which he launched with partner Derrick Mize, a veteran wine merchant.
- Occasions such as a movie night, dinner party, or the holidays
- Pairings such as pizza, sushi, or tacos
- Flavor profiles including savory, spicy, sweet, or juicy
- Conventional descriptors like flavor, grape, style, or region
You can also layer filters to find an “exotic, aromatic” “white” wine from “Austria” that pairs well with “spicy food.” The wines come from all price points—from $5 to $1,000—and Verve Wine ships nationwide. Liquor is sold on the website too. If you order at least four to five days before the event, you should receive your drink of choice on time, Wilson said.
We also asked Wilson for his advice on what wines are best for other occasions that often arise throughout the holidays.
To bring to the home of a friend who loves wine
For dinner at a family member’s home, like grandma, the parents, or Aunt Jane
“Gee whiz. Personally, I would bring a couple bottles of Beaujolais. It’s cheap—so you can buy a lot of it, which is key—and has a high deliciousness factor. Anne Sophie DuBois fits the bill perfectly. Another option is a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s easy, crisp, fun, and a great crowd pleaser. Lieu Dit is refreshing and tasty.”See It
Coworker’s tree-trimming party
“For a cozy night in trimming a tree with a coworkers, I would bring a bottle of Pinot Noir. If you’re sitting around the tree, you want something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Presqu’ile does just that.”See It
The big party of an acquaintance
“I would say that a bottle of California Cabernet. Lots of people like California cab, so it’s a pretty safe bet. If you’re going to a party, at least some people there will like a nice, big, full-bodied red. It’s juicy, fruity, and all that good stuff; a good crowd-pleaser.”See It
Don’t feel like going out in the cold? If you’re in an area where Saucey delivers, you can get beer, wine, spirits, and more straight to your door! If you’re lucky, you’re in a location that’s eligible for free 30 minute delivery (with no order minimum requirement) too!
For more holiday hacks, tips, tricks, and recipes, see our Christmas Entertaining Headquarters. And for more great gift ideas, see our Gift Guide 2018: Best Gourmet Food and Drink Gifts.
Related Video: Wine Tasting Engages Your Brain More Than Any Other Behavior, Says Neuroscientist
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