Summer has arrived, and brought the sun with it. With these warm days, there will be barbeques, graduation parties, vacations, as well as many social get-togethers taking place. If you're like me, you will usually be the one bringing the wine to the party. I typically procrastinate, and end up grabbing a bottle on the fly. Unlike myself, I assume most people don't have the luxury of being surrounded by wine every minute of the day, so here are a few ideas that you can use when you are in a rush and want to bring an excellent bottle of wine to any occasion.
Most people prefer to drink outside, so when you're buying wine - keep that in mind. Very bright and clean whites and silky smooth reds are the best way to please a majority of the crowd. While most would like to stay safe, and grab a wine that most people will be familiar with, do something different and use this opportunity to wow the crowd. For a white wine, bring a Greek Assyrtiko from the Santorini region. Lighter in body and beautiful acidity make these wines very approachable and they are surprisingly inexpensive. For a red, I'd go for a nice Cotes du Rhone from France. Generally, Cotes du Rhones are heavily influenced with Syrah and Grenache. Their medium bodied, silky texture, and beautiful fruit make these wines crowd pleasers. I highly recommend the 2010 vintage with its powerful fruit.
You can find these wines in the $10-15 price point. Without breaking the bank, you can look like a genius by bringing wines that people may not be familiar with. When you bring a wine to a party that people fall in love with, it will solidify yourself as the "wine guy/girl," and will save you the time and labor of cooking and cleaning!