Chairman’s Crowd Pleasers

roth-sauv-blancIt’s getting to be that time of year for long-weekend barbecues, al fresco happy hours and graduation parties. These are not times for the good stuff; instead we pour wines that are easy to drink and can appeal to both novices and connoisseurs (when we’re not over-thinking things). After all, these are situations where the company is more important than what’s in the glass.

Here are a few wallet-friendly Chairman’s Selections that should fit quite well at your warm weather get-togethers:

Roth Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($9.99)
A newcomer to the Chairman’s program, Roth serves up a fresh, breezy SB that’s accentuated by citrus and ideal for warm weather sipping.

Wild Horse Chardonnay 2012 ($9.99)
Relatively well-balanced between oak, butter and freshness. At this price, it’s a no-brainer for large gatherings.

Beringer Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($10.99)
Opens with bold peach aromas and a serving of the same on the palate, along with melon. Some depth, medium body and a dry finish.

Greg Norman Estates Malbec 2011 ($9.99)
The Shark’s Argentinian outpost serves up a funky nose, initial spice and tannic force, but softens by mid-palate to reveal round and supple flavors, light vanilla and black fruit.

Sebastiani Merlot 2010 ($10.99)
Typical California Merlot, flush with wood, vanilla and lots of blue fruit. A straightforward party pour.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin ($11.99)
Vanilla describes this in more ways than one, but it’ll likely please the red wine stalwarts at a summer barbecue next to burgers and dogs.

Fetzer Mendo Grand Reserve Pinot Noir ($12.99)
It does taste like cheap Pinot, but it shines in that space. Straw- and cranberries, hints of earth. Light-to-medium body.

Want to step it up a bit? Try these:

(Note: the following wines were not available at publication time, but should be available soon)

Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Riesling 2012 ($14.99)
With a sugary-petrol nose, this mineral-laden Washington bottling is drier in style and ready for food.

Solar De Tueles Rioja Riserva 2009 ($13.99)
A rustic Spanish red that’s full of expressive cherry fruit and tobacco. Though a bit generic, it should satisfy drinkers of all types and is a good choice for the Spain-curious.

Feuerheerd’s Anchor Wine Douro 2012 ($14.99)
Dark berry fruit with a touch of oak. Intriguing bottle-wrapped label makes this an affordable hostess gift that will pair with most grillable fare.

Jeff Alexander contributed to this list.

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