Although BYO is the most popular form of 'gatho' nowadays, there's nothing nicer than supplying a bit of plonk to get the party started. Trying to cater for everyone is impossible, and can be downright expensive. With many 'quaffing' wines sitting aroung the $20 a bottle mark, you could drop a grand in a heartbeat! Thankfully, I've done all the hard yards for you, and put together a link bank of all of my favourite party wines!
If you live in Australia and have a Dan Murphy's or a First Choice Liquor nearby: you're welcome!
Rose: - Sia by De Bortolli
Rose is SAAAAA HOT RIGHT NOW. The Provencal ones in the gorgeous bottles are everyone's fave, and I'll take mine from the palest pink blush to hot hot scarlet in colour. As long as they're not sweet, I'm in! Most of the good ones are between $20 and $30, so shit can get real pretty quickly when you're entertaining.
If you want a decent quaffing Rose or perhaps you're making Frose, or punch - THIS ONE IS FOR YOU! I put my ego aside, dove into the bargain bin at Dan's and discovered this gem. Pretty sure you pay $12 per 150ml glass for this on tap at pubs around the country.
YOU. ARE. WELCOME.
Shiraz - Wine Men of Gotham Shiraz and Tscharke's Shiraz Shiraz Shiraz
Don't get me wrong, $5 shiraz scares the shit out of me. But I put my fear aside, dove in and I'm here to tell you - if you're entertaining in Winter or your crowd bloody loves a full-bodied red, you will be in the clear with this baby. I don't even know how it's possible, but it's better than a lot of $15 bottles we've had. Always a good fallback for the mid-week roast, too. Don't judge me until you've tried it. It's Australian and from South Australia- how bad could it seriously be? I'm considering cellaring a dozen just to see what 5-8 years does to it!
Wine Men of Gotham also have a premium wine label 'Gotham'. Maybe it's just the same gear re-labelled, who knows?
$5 from Dan's
The next one is the next price bracket up, but bloody worth it. This one you will pay $70+ in a restaurant to drink with your $50 steak.
You'll pay $20 at Dan Murphy's, $10 via the online cellar door and $16 per case for shipping.
All of their other wine is wonderful too, and well-priced. They run some interesting varietals you don't see often. Also recommend 'Girl Talk' - a Savagnin, not to be confused with a Sauvignon Blanc. It's floral on the nose, but dry. They also do that one for $10. Also their Eva Frizzante is a semi-sweet semi-sparkling for those with a sweet tooth and that one IS ALSO $10!!!!!
Fabulous for Christmas Day with dessert. If you ever have the chance to visit this cellar door in the Barossa Valley, you absolutely must!! It's quaint as all hell and you will spend all of your money and not be sad about it.
It might not be 'in fashion' but it's still a popular drop with seafood over Summer. My kiwi family live on the stuff so I know to buy in bulk when they come to visit! We love a fancy Astrolabe, Isabel or Catalina Sounds, but sometimes you need fresh, fun and ample quantity!
Counting Sheep and Cradle Bay are our go-tos.
6 for $36 on special at First Choice
Sparkling (Dry/Brut) from First Choice:
This Cava is excellent and we have @Digella to thank for the tip. This juggernaut miracle-worker used to run a million weddings a week in Brissie and this was in the beverage package as the go-to sparkling. Try not to let your price-quality bias get in the way - this is some seriously quaffable sparkling and miles better than anything else in this category.
You'll pay $15/16 at Liquorland, but it's quite often on sale for 6 for $36 at First Choice. Hello, Christmas! It's a dry brut with little aftertaste, making it perfect for Aperol Spritz (non-tradional), 'champagne' cocktais, punch, mimosas, bellinis, or straight-up. Highly recommend for the festive season.
6 for $36 on special
We love love love this Cremant from Dan's. Done in the traditional style, you can pay $20+ but if you're lucky, Dan's does a member's special for $12. Some online wine sites will do deals on it from time to time as well. Occasionally, you'll find a magnum of this for $45 at Dan's, too. Nothing says 'festive' like a magnum! We used it for the champagne tower at our wedding!
I first picked up a bottle of this to take to a friend's place on Boxing Day, along with the Sia. You know Boxing Day vibe: broke AF! I knew the people we were visiting weren't overly fussy and would appreciate the gesture of a couple of bottles of plonk, no matter the quality. Imagine my surprise when they were BOTH GOOD! Wonders never cease.
Next level sparkling - cheap Champagne:
$22-$25 at Dan Murphy's
This is a lovely drop, and their Rose is great too. The Rose is closer to $30 and has a gorgeous bottle. Makes an excellent gift.
This one I first came across when my friend Belle picked some up for our friend Jess's wedding a couple of years back. It has become such a popular drop and it's easier to see why. Probably marginally better than Aubert Et Fils, but comparable. Rumour has it they come from the same Maison.
When in doubt, Black Market specials from VinoMofo are always amazing! We buy a lot of these for corporate gifting at work. It's fun because you never know what you're going to get, but you can be assured it's going to be good, and good value.
What about you? What are your favourite wines to put on for a party?