The vast majority of wine in America, about 70 to 90 percent, is consumed within 24 hours of purchase. This is what I call everyday wine, and everyone needs some in their house! The goal is to have everyday wine, that's ready to drink now, not going to break the bank, will pair with a variety of foods and suit many palates. However, it's also a good idea to collect a few bottles of wine for those special occasions — birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions — and bottles to have if you want to start a wine collection.
The everyday wine category refers to wine to sip on a Tuesday night, bring to any neighborhood get-together or even to pull out for when you host dinner parties, as they are likely to be enjoyed by many wine drinkers. It's also fun to expose your guests, friends and even yourself to something different, so let's look past your typical chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon! Even better? All of these everyday wine picks are under $20!
^ White wine picks for everyday wine
- Have you ever tried Vinho Verde from Portugal? The Broadbent Vinho Verde is crisp, refreshing, with green fruit, citrus and a hint of effervescence that makes it a joy to drink. It's delicious to pair with seafood and is one of those amazing, affordable, perfect everyday wines.
- La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon Blanc is a white wine blend from the Rhone region in France that's perfect to pop open whenever and wherever for any reason. The blend is grenache blanc, bourboulenc, ugni blanc and rousanne grapes and is a typical Rhone Valley white that is soft, balanced and deliciously aromatic. It's great for parties, is simple and easy to drink and an amazing value. It's clean, refreshing, fruity and crisp and is wonderful to sip on by itself or with light meals.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling has subtle riesling characteristics in a dry style. If you think all riesling is too sweet, you need to try this wine! It's just the right balance at the right price point, is great with Chinese takeout and lots of vegetable pasta dishes. This wine is also great for dinner parties, brunch or outdoor soirees!
^ Red wine picks for everyday wine
- Head to Italy with the Allegrini Palazzo della Torre! This is one of those wines that goes down almost too easily and is perfect for everyday wine sipping. It has ripe fruits, a rich texture and a dose of spice that make this a balanced, harmonious wine that lingers on the finish. It really is hard to stop sipping this Italian beauty!
- Let's head to France! The Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge is one of those red wines that pairs well with everything from a winter stew or with summer BBQ food. Delas is an excellent producer and this savory Cotes-du-Rhone has savory, pepper and spice notes with lots of berry fruit to match and balance out for a great value, everyday sipping wine.
- Pinot noir is one of those wines that pairs well with a variety of foods that everyone loves. The Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir is always a favorite. It's a delicious ripe, rich, central California pinot style that is silky smooth and easy going down.
Special occasion wines to collect
My best piece of advice for wines to collect? Collect your favorites! The only collection worth having is one filled with wines you like. Most wine is made to be consumed pretty much right away, but there are certain wines that you can buy and save. After all, tasting how a wine changes with age, even just a little age, is one of the pleasures of wine drinking. Here are my top three wine picks for a special occasion wine or to save for a few years.
- I love sparkling wine and especially Champagne. Grab yourself a bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne. This Champagne won't break the bank and is fresh and lively with spiraling bubbles, delicate bouquet and subtle complex flavors. It's delicious to sip on for those special occasions when you want to celebrate with bubbles!
- Head to Italy and splurge with Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino. It's a big, bold wine that pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods, will age well and is downright delicious. The wine is complex and well-blended with spicy notes of black pepper and clove, tobacco and leather.
- Everyone loves a good California cabernet and is usually a splurging, special occasion go-to. Why not try something different and head on up to Washington state? Col Solare is a Bordeaux red blend from the Columbia Valley in Washington comprised of 75 percent cabernet sauvignon, 20 percent merlot and 5 percent cabernet franc. This full-bodied wine is rich with flavors of dark chocolate and black fruits with a long-lingering, silky finish and is downright delicious!