Friday, September 2, 2011

Booze Clues: 5 Affordable Wines to Sip When You Want to Impress


Winning While Wining


Bill Traverso ShoesNBoozeCocktails are great, but there are occasions when a glass of malbec is more appropriate than a martini. That said, it’s important to know what to sip and when. Bill Traverso, a professional wine judge and Director of Wine Competitions for Vineyard and Winery Management Group, volunteered to provide expert advice for sipping in certain instances. He also promised he’d suggest wines that won’t break the bank (because you’ll surely also want new shoes for said instances).


A date

NV Ruggeri Gold Label ShoesNBooze

For a date, I would recommend Italian Prosecco, such as the NV Ruggeri Gold Label (approx $20 per bottle). It can be enjoyed before, during, and after a meal and is an elegant change from Champagne. **Photo & price via

Your future mother-in-law

This is an important one, so I’m going with a very specific recommendation: the Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling 2010 Keuka Spring; it is a classic, light Riesling that suits almost everyone’s palate. In fact, it just won Best of Class in the 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition (More info on the competition here)

At lunch/ dinner with the boss

Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for a lunch or dinner with the boss. It varies in price, but always delivers rich flavors of red and black grapes.

As a hostess gift for someone you don’t know that well


Chardonnay is the perfect wine gift because of its light crisp taste and versatility. California Chardonnay is almost always a good bet; for a specific, try the 2010 Round Hill Oak Free Chardonnay (approx $8 per bottle) which won Best of Class in the 2011 West Coast Wine Competition (More info on the competition here) *Image and price info via

Hanging out with a high-brow crowd

French Rhône blends are perfect for high-brow crowds; they are full of dark, deep flavors that are sure to satisfy anyone who tries them.

Now that you know what to drink, please don’t hesitate if you’d like advice on which shoes you should wear to complement the contents of your glass. Also, don’t forget to read up on international affairs and maybe glance at the Cliff’s Notes for a piece of classic literature or two. Your wine knowledge won’t wow your audience ALL night.

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