Holiday Alchohol for the casual non-drinker?

RedspoonRedspoon Registered User regular
Greetings all!

Can someone recommend my Wife and I a good wine/champagne for Holiday merriment?

Now, we're not COMPLETELY the non-drinking type, but it's pretty rare on the order of 2 or 3 times a year. We kept the same bottle of vodka in the freezer from our honeymoon, and finished it on our 3rd anniversary. Generally speaking, when we do drink, it's intentionally to get drunk 'for the lulz'. A Primary example is my birthday. Couple close friends, Mario Kart, Rum and Cokes - hilarity ensues.

We've never been exposed to wine or champagne and have no idea what would be a good go-to for some general fancy-pantsing with dinner, and after the kids have gone to bed and we're free to 'Adult' with impunity.
Hurrah for reduced inhibitions and naughty Christmas-themed lingerie! Admit it, you were thinking it. That is the general idea though, so I don't blame you.

While I'm not opposed to spending some good money either, lets avoid expensive for expensives sake - "We're not trying to impress you!". :P

Posts

  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    i like prosecco (italian champagne) for less expensive / pretentious yet equally quaffable bubbly

    if you're in the northern hemisphere and are in for a cold season, look up a recipe for mulled wine. please don't use crap red just because you think you'll not be able to taste any subtle differences, though. you'll only end up with a headache.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
    EncDisruptedCapitalist
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Prosecco is really popular with a lot of casual drinkers I know. It's sweet and it'll get you drunk.

    Rhesus PositiveAngelHedgieEncRainfallSatanIsMyMotorDisruptedCapitalistjmcdonaldAbdhyiusa5ehrenSkeith
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Are you looking for a snack wine a diner wine or a desert wine.

  • RedspoonRedspoon Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Are you looking for a snack wine a diner wine or a desert wine.

    I don't think it's gonna be that sophisticated, honestly. This is more about 'Look at us, making fancy christmas dinner and adulting it up' before we continue to on to 'We be drunk, y'all! Murry Chrishtmash!'

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    May I suggest this classic beverage from E-40 vinyards.

    sluricane1.jpg




    More seriously.
    Korbel "california 'champagne" isn't bad for the price-especially since you probably won't notice a huge difference given your limited experience. Get a 'dry' or 'sec', rather than extra dry/sec or Brut since it will be a bit sweeter. I wouldn't go much sweeter than that, because then you are basically drinking Sprite imo.

    Also DO NOT BUY Allure branded anything-it's always out and on sale around the holidays for cheap bubbly fun. A friend bought some of their pink moscato for NYE one year and it was disgusting. Honestly just avoid moscato all together, it is too trendy so most of it is trash for 19 year olds to get wasted on.

    For reds stick to something lighter like a Malbec or Merlot. Or for whites a riesling , a chennin blanc or pinot grigio. Do you know what you'll be eating?

    Somewhere in the middle of this chart will be safe. When you start to hit sweet wines-aka dessert wines- you can get some flavors that are pretty far from 'wine'.

    http://winefolly.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/wine-sweetness-chart.png


    Really your best bet to is to go to an actual wine place and a sales guy will find something good for you. Since what is available to you is going to depend a lot on where you live.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
    Enc
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    That said, keep this in mind:


    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    DisruptedCapitalistSir Carcass
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Wine is just about finding what you like. Some wine culture is 100% true, a lot of it is inflated. For all but people who make their living from it you just want to find something that tastes good and is high enough to not have a ridiculous amount of sulfides giving you a headache before you finish your first glass.

    Some fair priced bottles commonly available in the US my wife and I like:

    Chateau St. Michelle - Riesling. A sweet white (they have an extra sweet one that borders coyling as well called Harvest Select or something). It runs about $10 bucks a bottle. The best Rieslings come from Germany, but depending on your store's selection they can get very pricey very quick. There are cheaper ones as well, but they often either toothache-levels of sweet or sour.

    Lambrusco is a sweet red carbonated table wine. It is rarely expensive and is pretty tasty if the company didn't cut corners. Usually runs $6-40. Anything over $16 is probably not worth the increase in quality per dollar.

    A medium "spicy" (whatever that means) red is the Seeker Malbec or Ruta Malbec. They take a nice midrange between the somewhat too light Pinot Noir and the somewhat too heavy Merlot classes of wine. Both bottles are about ~$12 and generally is what we keep in the house (usually Ruta as it is the better price and more commonly available). Neither are sparkling though.

    Prosecco is pretty great for a light, sweet wine. Serve it chilled! You can find very good quality bottles for around $10 and some amazing ones around $18, anything higher (again) usually isn't worth the increase.

    Champagne isn't worth spending more than $14 a bottle on for casual drinking. There are considerable increases in quality possible here, but functionally speaking unless you are wanting to get in wine culture or have a lot of cash to blow anything beyond that isn't going to be worth the dollar to quality improvement ratio.

    Seconding the "stay away from moscato" deal. Like port, they are usually only good at mid-ground price points ($18-40) and at that point there are more affordable options.

    Enc on
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    I'm going to disagree with a couple of people, and recommend checking out the Saracco Moscato d'Asti. You can usually find it for $10-15 a bottle, often at the lower end. My wife and I first had it as a pairing while enjoying the chef's tasting menu at a very good Italian restaurant in Chicago, and it quickly became her favorite wine. Sweet, bubbly, easy to drink - it makes a good choice for folks who don't drink much. A little sweeter than I would normally prefer, but not to the point of being cloying or unenjoyable. In my experience, it goes over best with those who don't drink much wine.

    Otherwise, prosecco is definitely a good option. Malbecs can definitely be a good option as well if open to a red wine.

    Ketar on
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    I'll second mulled wine. One of my best finds during my Poland trip. Really common holiday drink all over Europe.

    Into a cooking pot, add:

    1 bottle Gryaniec Goralski or Gryaniec Galicyjski (gryaniec means mulled wine, and Goralski is a Polish wine brand I've bought in a Polish supermarket in Boston)
    1 cinnamon stick
    5 whole cloves
    1 sliced orange
    1/2 cup honey

    Heat until almost boiling (do not actually boil) for about 15 minutes, stirring to make sure the honey completely melts. Serve while hot.

    hsu on
    iTNdmYl.png
    CelestialBadgerRhesus Positive
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I don't think you can get a bottle of champagne less than about $25-30. You could certainly get a sparkling white wine like a cava, vinho verde, prosecco or sparkling whites from the west coast in the $10-15 range. If you don't drink often and its kinda a special occasion then why not spring for a decent bottle of champange. My go to champagne lately has been Pol Roger, dry, creamy, accessible but interesting, expect to pay $30-40. You could get a cremant (french, same bubbles, same grapes, just not from champagne region) for $15-25 that drinks just like champagne.

    Any wine recommendation I make will just tell you what I like and you may not like big dry reds. Best thing is to go to a reasonably big liquor store that has a good wine selection and just wander around looking at bottles. Someone should come to you and ask if you need help and you can say "I want something red and accessible under $20" and they'll get you something decent.

  • NijaNija Registered User regular
    Bogel Riesling (late harvest) is cheap and pretty good. Bogel Zin is also pretty good at about $14.

    You could also try some Blueberry (Wild Blue) or Strawberry Wheat (Sam Adams) beers. They are a little pricey at ~$10 for a six pack, but I like them both and they are pretty flavorful. They won't get you (too)drunk though.

    Priest lvl 110 Warlock lvl 9x DK lvl 110 Paladin lvl 9x Rogue lvl 8x

    Steam Me
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    They are expensive but Ice Wines are quite delectable as well.

    EncMichaelLCMadpoetDaenrisNijaAbdhyiusCalica
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Asti Spumante - its an Italian Sparkling wine that isn't as sweet as prosecco but is very nice. My wife's family (Italian) drink that for new years , and red wine of course.

  • RedspoonRedspoon Registered User regular
    Nija wrote: »
    You could also try some Blueberry (Wild Blue) or Strawberry Wheat (Sam Adams) beers.

    My beer experience has been terrible to date - every time one of my friends throws out a 'you gotta try this beer!' they're amazed at the flavor and all I get is 'yeast piss.. that someone maybe dunked an orange in?'. My wife is more tolerant to beer than I am though, so maybe they'll go on the future-try list.

    Sounds like my wife likes the idea of a Prosecco though... and probably some vodka and cream soda to back it up later when sloppy wins out over fancy :P

    Unrelated note: I love Adam ruins everything. I wish there was a channel of ARE, Modern Marvels, Good Eats, and Ghost Adventures, just on shuffle all day. Yep. THAT kind of nerd.

  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Ice wine/eiswein is super sweet, but fucking delicious. I can only ever have a single glass before it gets cloying but it's still a great thing to have a small bottle of. Would recommend.

    EDIT: It is white wine made from grapes frozen on the wine, concentrating everything, making it taste so much. And being so sweet.

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Redspoon wrote: »
    Nija wrote: »
    You could also try some Blueberry (Wild Blue) or Strawberry Wheat (Sam Adams) beers.

    My beer experience has been terrible to date - every time one of my friends throws out a 'you gotta try this beer!' they're amazed at the flavor and all I get is 'yeast piss.. that someone maybe dunked an orange in?'. My wife is more tolerant to beer than I am though, so maybe they'll go on the future-try list.

    Sounds like my wife likes the idea of a Prosecco though... and probably some vodka and cream soda to back it up later when sloppy wins out over fancy :P

    Unrelated note: I love Adam ruins everything. I wish there was a channel of ARE, Modern Marvels, Good Eats, and Ghost Adventures, just on shuffle all day. Yep. THAT kind of nerd.

    Get extra prosecco, gin and some lemons, and make yourself French 75s. They are still A+ classy and sneaky strong.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    moscato's and rieslings are sweet white wines that are easy to drink for alcohol non-likers

    if you want to break into real liquor i recommend my favorite drink, the tom collins, which is basically spiked lemonade. they can be made very strong with no discernible hint of alcohol

    2 parts gin (i recommend either Bombay Sapphire ($$$) or Beefeater ($$))
    2 parts fresh lemon juice
    1 part simple syrup (or sprite, in a pinch)
    top with club soda
    serve over the maximum amount of ice in a tall glass

    liquors are just like wine, inhabiting a big spectrum of tastes and after-effects. you have to find what's good for you.

    there's nothing particularly christmas-y about it, but it is very drinkable

    Jasconius on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    moscato's and rieslings are sweet white wines that are easy to drink for alcohol non-likers

    if you want to break into real liquor i recommend my favorite drink, the tom collins, which is basically spiked lemonade. they can be made very strong with no discernible hint of alcohol

    2 parts gin (i recommend either Bombay Sapphire ($$$) or Beefeater ($$))
    2 parts fresh lemon juice
    1 part simple syrup (or sprite, in a pinch)
    top with club soda
    serve over the maximum amount of ice in a tall glass

    liquors are just like wine, inhabiting a big spectrum of tastes and after-effects. you have to find what's good for you.

    there's nothing particularly christmas-y about it, but it is very drinkable

    If you've never tried them a French 75 is a tom collins, just replacing the club soda with champagne.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    coo ill try it... i need a good champagne though

    the point is gin is the drink of champions and deeply underrated in our vodka soaked culture

    Jasconius on
    tinwhiskersSyrdon
Sign In or Register to comment.