Affordable Wine Guide

We’ve all been there! You’re invited to someone’s home and you’re not sure what to bring. You don’t bake, your friends say they’ve got TONS of food and they’re not big on sweets…bring wine! In fact, bring TWO bottles. You may be thinking, “I don’t know much about wine.” But I’m going to help you out with a simple, affordable wine guide. And I’m not going to get all wine-snobby about affordable wines.

Statistically speaking, you probably already like wine as most Americans do. Chances are, if you spend a lot on wine, most people won’t even know the difference so there’s absolutely no need to spend a lot on wine. No matter the case, you don’t need to fret about your wine choices too much. Most wines on the market these days are quite drinkable and made to please a crowd of people with little knowledge of wine. Choose bottles based on how pretty a gift they are! Why not?! Have fun with it!

To illustrate, here are some of my more unpretentious suggestions for bringing affordable wines to a party.

For fun-loving, not-too-serious gatherings, here are some wines you can try just based on the fun and pretty looks of the bottles:

  • 14 Hands Winery’s “Limited Release Unicorn Rosé Bubbles” is just pretty, pink, and bubbly, just like some of your friends, has a picture of a unicorn on its label, and…you know someone who will want to taste it just because of that.
  • Another from 14 Hands Winery is their 2020 “HOT TO TROT Smooth Red Blend” from Columbia Valley. Once again, pretty picture on the bottle, and will likely entice the equestrians in the group as well as anyone who is really into wines from the Columbia River area. Check out for more information and to see why they seem to love horses so much.

image of 14 Hands Wines, Alberigo Pinot Grigio, and Strade Di Toscana wine - included in wine guide

Another set to consider…go Italian! Let’s set the scene. You received an invite to Vincenzo and Dominica’s house, and there’s going to be a six-foot hero, hot and cold antipasti, “Insalata Misto,” shrimp scampi, gnocchi Bolognese…then they bring out the food. Bring food-friendly Italian wines, once again with attractive labels and easy-to-like, crowd-pleasing wine inside:

  • 2021 Alberigo Pinot Grigio is a really cute find that will appeal to the wives and the “Comadres” alike. And the smoochie couple on the label will only add to the love in the room. The delicate floral perfume and crisp apple-pear flavors will complement the lighter offerings at the dining table.
  • 2021 Castelli del Grevepesa, Strade di Toscana is an attractive bottle that will have “Zia” talking about the old country AND will likely impress the red wine lovers as well! Fruit-forward and balanced, this wine has been rated a 95 by some guy named Luca Maroni…and who am I to argue?

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Vincenzo is having a “men’s dinner”? Okay! This gathering calls for manlier, more serious wine that can pair with cheeses, olives, ravioli, osso buco:

  • 2018 Nestore Bosco Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is a classic looking and tasty varietal perfect to pair with roasted red meats and aged cheeses. And if the older Italian guys in the group like wine, and they probably do, this will be a hit. Click on
  • 2020 Infinitum Primitivo is another bottle that doesn’t use cartoons or pretty photos on its label…it looks classic. Also known as zinfandel in the United States, Primitivo is a varietal that will be excellent with a rich, Italian sit-down meal. It’s quite delicious with flavors of dark fruit, black cherry, and chocolate. Check out

Next scenario: Celebration dinner with your newlywed friends – there will be appetizers, a candlelit three courses, and looking at honeymoon pics:

  • 2021 Eroica Riesling…alright, I do love riesling and think it’s a highly underrated varietal, BUT the label on this bottle just looks so darn sexy. Take a peek at
  • 2019 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic cab and will surely impress most cab lovers. While not as inexpensive as most of the other suggestions, it’s too darn good to exclude. Check out


image of Artuke wine and Gulp Hablo wine - wines included in wine guide

For argument’s sake, let’s say your newlywed friends prefer all-natural, organic, pesticide-free foods. We can pair something with that and there’s an actual wine club that specializes in “natural wines.” Check out to either shop or join the club to enjoy wines like:

  • 2020 Artuke Rioja – simple, fresh and fruity with red fruit and herbal aromas.
  • 2021 GULP/HABLO – it’s weirdly orange! From LaMancha Spain, this orange-hued white wine gets its unusual color from fermenting on the skins for 5-7 days and has flavors of tangerine, spice, and almond…connoisseurs may balk. Try it anyway.

May all of your holiday gatherings be full of fun-loving friends and good wine!