A reader writes in - "My husband is having the boss and his wife over for dinner and the boss would like barbeque ribs. My husband started this job in February and we want things to go well. I need a recommendation for a wine to serve. Any help you could give us would be appreciated." Wow! No pressure with this request. Right!
Given that the reader does not mention the ages of the guests but knowing the dinner will be barbeque, most likely served outdoors, I give her a short recommendation.
In this situation, I suggest that the hostess offer several wines to choose from and let the guests choose one that they think will be what they would like. I suggest rose' since that is what I often bring to back yard barbeques I am invited to. Lancers and Mateus are popular rose' wines that many people are already familiar with and know if they like it or not.
An older person might like something drier like "Eye of the Toad" Sonoma rose' that I reviewed earlier this year Eye of the Toad . The 2006 Blason Rosato from Venezia Giulia, Italy might also be one to select. I have had good luck with Chateau de Campuget Rose. But it is not sweet. I have seen several Argentina rose' brands on the market at very competitive prices.
Depending on the amount of time between now and the barbeque, try a bottle of Lancers and a bottle of Eye of the Toad. See which one you like best. Ask your wine retailer if they have a rose' favorite. That will give you three bottles to try. The prices are probably going to be around or under $10 per bottle. Give each bottle a fair taste test to see which one you like and then offer that to your guest. After actually tasting each one, of the three you purchased, you can tell your guests which one you like and what the other tastes like. Then they can make up their own mind.
Of course, you could set up a small tasting before dinner and let them taste a bit of each of the three or four bottles and let them decide which one meets with their particular taste. Then you are off the hook.
We recently attended a neighbor's afternoon get together. When inviting us over, the neighbor is telling us that she is providing chicken and smoked barbeque ribs with a choice of barbeque sauces so everyone can pick the sauce they like - smokey, spicey, plain, Mexican sauce, and some special sauce her husband makes from scratch. You get the idea? Eveyone else that is invited is already bringing most of what is needed like potato salad, three macaroni salad, bean salad, fresh greens with tomatoes, tomatoes and warm green beans with oil and vinegar, and you name it. "Could you guys bring some wine?"
This woman has been to our house and seen my wine cellar in the bedroom downstairs. Before we know it we are leaving to go back home and we say yes "We'll bring the wine." "What are we going to bring?", is the first question I get hit with, when we get inside the door, back at our house. Since the neighbors are twenty five years or more younger that we are, and I do not know the age of the rest of the guests, I think that some nice rose' is in order.
Not all, but a lot of young people have tastes that go to the sweeter wines. When I was about the age of the neighbors having the barbeque, I really liked Avalar. It might be spelled Avelar. I have not had or seen any in over 30 years. This was a jug of rose' wine that came in a bottle from Portugal with straw wrapped all around the bottle. The bottle was either 1.5 or 3.0 liters of really nice wine that had a slight fizz to it.
Two brands of rose' that are still around that come to mind right off the bat are Mateus and Lancers rose'. These are both fairly inexpensive rose' brands and can be served and enjoyed by a variety of people with a lot of different foods including barbeque.
A nice rose' from Italy that I have been enjoying is the 2006 Blason Rosato. This is a rose' I have been buying on the Internet for $6.99 for a 1.5 liter bottle. Also the good thing about rose' is that you can bring two or three bottles and give people a choice of different tastes and flavors and let people make up their own mind.
The nice part of bringing rose' is that I can bring a bottle of the "Eye of the Toad" Sonoma rose' that I wrote about recently Eye of the Toad and people will think I am drinking the rose' that everyone else is drinking.
As it turned out most of the people like the Lancers or Mateus and while two or three people tried "the toad", it was not one that they came back for. Lucky me.
Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
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Jim Fortune - Bella Online Wine Guy