Second bottles 1 of 4

Most of us cannot pull the cork on $25-plus bottles of wine at end of each day and pay our bills at end of month, or middle of month for that matter.

Even if you are financially blessed, when you host a party you probably wince when good times roll and guests yearn for second and third and fourth bottles.

Cut yourself some slack. At feast’s beginning, La Marca Prosecco pleased everyone, including those allegedly not into wine. Then you drew out your treasured Châteauneuf-du-Pape that paired so elegantly with roast lamb garnished with garlic and rosemary, and they swilled it like sailors fresh off the boat and, now, flushed with your good stuff, they want to know “what’s next?”

How do you stop the bleeding, preserve the friendships, and add fuel to the fun fire?

This and following weeks, suggestions for “second bottles” of wine—bottles opened when connoisseur palates no longer discern difference between OK wine and Parker-praised pours. Also, wines you can drink regularly without enkindling condemnation from Dave Ramsey or Wine Advocate.


• Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Pleasant melons & lemons, grassy, some acidity, crisp, dry; not spectacular but pairs with anything; nice for price. $9

• Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay 2009. Green apple, pear; clean, bright, smooth, some body, dry, un-oaked, easy acidity. For chard pards not into buttery oak. $10

• Big House Red 2009. Simple, lots of berry fruit, earthy; petite sirah, syrah, montepulciano, barbera, tempranillo, and others. You’ll find at least one grape to like in this blend. $10

• Andean Sky Mendoza Shiraz 2010. Juicy, clean, red berries; no oak, simple, straightforward; not much character, but nice price for third or fourth bottle. $8

• Moillard Les Violettes Côtes du Rhône 2009. Delicate floral notes; plum, berries, raspberry; acidity, light body; simple, well-made value with French accent. $10

While not a second-bottle, it is mentioned and everyone will enjoy: La Marca Prosecco. Fresh, creamy; big fruit—apple, peach, lemon, honeysuckle; pleasing finish, although bubbles fade quickly. $17