Classy Cabernets

November 15, 2009 12:33:51 PM PST
Pleasing to the palate & pocketbookA good bottle of wine can really complement a holiday feast, whether you're preparing it yourself, or going to someone else's home.

In your frenzied packing to visit family and friends for the holidays, there's one item you really shouldn't forget to bring, said etiquette expert Melissa Leonard.

Melissa Leonard, Etiquette Expert said: "It is a faux pas to arrive at someone's home empty-handed when you've been invited for the holidays. Bring a bottle of wine to complement the meal."

But which wine should you choose, and what price do you have to pay for a good one?

Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports said: "Cabernet sauvignon is one of the biggest-selling red wines. And it pairs well with rich foods like red meats that you may eat a lot at the holidays."

Consumer Reports tested 24 cabernet sauvignons hailing from France, Chile, Australia, California, and Washington State. Testers poured close to 400 glasses for tasting! And experts did blind taste tests so they had no idea which wine they were drinking.

Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports said: "We found bottles costing 11 dollars or less that tasted just as good as those costing twice as much."

This bottle from Australia rated very good. It's Lindemans bin 45 and costs just seven dollars.

Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports said: "It has intense, ripe black-fruit flavors, along with sweet wood notes."

And this magnum bottle of Frontera from Chile, at 1-point-5 liters, is a real deal for eight dollars.

Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports said: "It has a nice array of fruit, spice, and woody flavors."

And etiquette experts said don't be embarrassed about bringing an inexpensive bottle of wine, because it doesn't matter if a bottle costs less as long as it tastes good.

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