Wine for a Party

Need a wine to serve at your next party? Or to bring as a gift to a friend’s party?  What you need is a wine that everyone will enjoy, hands down. A wine that everyone will oohh and ahh over and want to buy for themselves. I host a lot of tasting events.  I probably hosted at least 60 events in the past year. And every time I serve this wine at an event, people go BANANAS. I also work at a wine store and this is one of our top selling wines week after week. So, yes, a party – there’s a wine for that.

2007 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

The producer is Arnoux and the region is Vacqueyras. Vacqueyras is in the Southern Rhone Valley in France very close to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. You’ve all probably heard of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but have you heard of Vacqueyras? Probably not. The climate and the grapes grown are very similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but it doesn’t have the same brand recognition…So you can get amazing wine from Vacqueyras at affordable prices. This bottle retails for about $15.

It’s a blend of three grapes: it’s 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. The Grenache adds warmth and candied fruit, the Syrah adds black-pepper spiciness and the Mourvedre adds structure. The year 2007 was a fantastic year for the Southern Rhone, one of the best in the past decade. Serve this the next time guests are coming to your house and watch what happens. They’ll ask for more. They’ll ask where they can get it. And, if you tell them a bit of its story, they’ll even feel a bit more cultured.

It is a rather robust wine that can stand on its own if you’re not really serving food. If you are serving food, I’d suggest something hearty like lamb. I had this with lamb last Easter and it was great.

Tasting Notes

This wine is rich and opulent. It has warm red fruit, that black pepper spiciness from the Syrah, some violets. Like velvet on your tongue. It’s powerful and sexy. And everybody likes a sexy wine.

So if you want to be remembered as a great host, serve 2007 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras at your next party.