The most versatile wines on the site according to your Wine Advisors wine reviews
Published by Naked Ryan - 1st Dec 2017
‘This is a time of year when a lot of people run into a very first world problem. They’re just about ready to sit down to a great dinner, they check the wine rack and *gasp* they don’t have the right wine for this meal.
Don’t worry though! Our award-winning Wine Advisor Team is here to help you avoid running into a wine emergency. We’ve assembled a huge case based on your wine advisor team’s wine reviews!
There’s a dozen ways for your wine rack to get out of whack
The key is to have a variety of versatile wines at your disposal.
It’s very common for people to drink a lot of their big red wines during Easter and other April holidays (like my birthday) leaving them high and dry when grilling season starts.
Another common problem is that the weather gets really nice and sunny, and people realize that they don’t have many fresh zippy whites to serve ice cold.
It’s very easy to find yourself behind the eight ball at this time of year!
But we’ve got you covered…
The Wine Emergency 11-pack is hand-picked by your Wine Advisor Team so that it features a variety of super-versatile wines.
The key to both cases is that you’ve got your bases covered:
Crisp whites – These wines have a freshness to them that mean you can drink them without food to enjoy their ripe zingy fruit. Or you can pair them with lighter food like fish, chicken, and salads (especially if there’s acidity in the food like lemon juice or a vinaigrette). For example: Lay of the Land Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, David Marchesi Napa Sauvignon Blanc, Stephen Millier Pinot Grigio.
Medium-bodied whites – This is an under-valued part of any wine-lover’s arsenal. Good medium-bodied whites can be served a little colder and enjoyed just like a crisp white. But they can also step up and go with some dishes that are traditionally red wine dishes. I love pairing Italian Arneis with pasta for example. Or Richard Bruno’s Chenin Blanc can go great with a goat cheese salad, a dish that would cause real problems for a lighter white wine or a big rich Chardonnay.
Big and creamy whites – Speaking of big rich Chard, we’ve included some of the creamier whites like Scott Peterson’s Rumpus Chardonnay or David Akiyoshi’s Lodi Chard.
Ripe, juicy reds – Each case has a couple easy drinking reds that are great on their own served a little colder than room temperature OR they’re the ultimate pairing for tangy sauces and spicy flavors that you usually find in BBQ and some pizza toppings. For examples, check out Stephen Millier’s Black Label Red Angel blend and Carmen’s Shiraz. The International case also has some beauties from the Languedoc-Roussillon like Benjamin Darnault’s Minervois and Joe O’Connell’s Trah Lah Lah (that’s my dad!)
Smooth rich Malbec – Each case has a bottle of Malbec in it which is a smoooooth operator that can fit into a lot of different situations. You can sip it slowly on its own because it’s so smooth and soft. But it also has the richness and ripeness to sit with a big gamey meat like lamb or perfectly seasoned beef. Tom Shula and Mauricio Lorca both know what they’re doing with this grape variety.
BIG reds – You always want a couple biiig reds in your house because these are wines that can age gracefully OR get pulled out for a nice steak dinner. They’re slightly more elegant wines so they deserve to be treated specially and given some time to breathe before you start drinking (no requirements but your patience will pay off!) This includes wines like Jonathan Maltus’ Saint Emilion and Franc Dusak’s Howl Red Blend.
How did your wine advisors pick these wines?
The Wine Advisor Team gets to taste every single wine on the site (tough job, right?)
That’s a bottle of wine for every work day in the year!!!
And they’ve left almost 2,000 detailed wine reviews over the years. We combed through those reviews and their ratings to pick out some of our most versatile wines!
You can read their wine reviews yourself!
We ended up featuring a few reviews when we emailed Angels about this case:
Britt says this flavor-packed Malbec is perfect for any party — and the after party…
“This Malbec is so versatile… on its own, or with a nice meaty dish. This has become my go-to for cool summer nights.”
Shauna carries this crisp thirst-quencher everywhere — from Saturdays by the pool to tailgate parties by the grill
“I absolutely LOVE this Sauvignon Blanc! It’s bursting with tropical fruit flavors like passionfruit and guava with a crisp, acidity that will leave you wanting more. I know I do!”
Ryan knows David’s Cabernet goes with a great meal — or is it its own meal?!
“I’m just as happy pairing it with a steak as I am drinking it alone. No matter when (or why) you open this richly flavored Reserve, it’s a totally full-bodied drinking experience.”
And because you follow the blog, you can check out more of the staff wine reviews (this includes Wine Advisors, Customer Happiness and all the other folks around the winery and office):
|Shauna||David Akiyoshi Chardonnay Lodi 2014||Very smooth drinker. Nice green apple flavors with a hint of bread, I think from the added yeast.|
|Rodney||David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Clarksburg 2012||Dark, rich notes of black fruits and cassis, fills your mouth with this amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. A totally full-bodied drinking experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. The age of this wine added to the intensity of the fruit and aroma in the wine. Thank you again David, for making another marvelous creation for us.|
|Maureen||David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Clarksburg 2013||On the nose: coffee, old leather and tobacco. On the palate: black anise, rich black berries and sour cherries. Very big and bold.|
|Jerry||David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Clarksburg 2014||Well balanced and a amazingly priced at $12.99 for our Angels!|
|Rodney||David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Clarksburg 2014||Consistently delicious year to year, the 2014 is even better and more luscious than the vintage before. Dark fruit, cranberries and is velvety…… Dave you’ve made another great wine for Angels to enjoy, cheers!|
|Lavelle||David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Clarksburg 2014||Delicious, very oaky.|
|Britt||David Marchesi Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016||Have you ever sipped a wine and just thought.. YEP. That’s it, that’s the one. Well, that was my exact thought when I got to try David’s Napa Valley Sauv Blanc. WOW. So well balanced, with bright acidity and a touch of citrus and stone fruit, this elegant yet powerful wine is so versatile, it can stand up to a light meal, or can be enjoyed on its own. I plan on stocking up on this one for the hot summer months, and I recommend you do the same before this gem stocks out!|
|Maureen||DRG Daryl Groom Zinfandel Dry Creek 2014||Love it! Jam central, packed with red berries; strawberries, raspberries and currants. Jammy with complexity and body.|
|Phillip||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||This is a crisp Pinot Grigio that manages to be both dry and refreshing. Its simply delicious and approachable to anyone so it is a great choice for company if you aren’t sure about their tastes. I really enjoyed it and will get more when the next vintage is released.|
|Shauna||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||Great wine to drink on its own!|
|Karen||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||This is a floral taste, dry crisp, light. I feel this grigio is something you can drink all day and still get things done|
|Steve||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||Very clean with pear and floral overtones.|
|Rodney||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||Stephen, thank you so much for making this wonderful wine for us. On the nose I got a fantastic aromatic note and a lovely mineralality to the wine. When I tasted this it was hot outside and was a real winner for the weather! I tasted minerals from stone and honey with a tropical finish. Thanks again Stephen.|
|Sydney||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2014||Very fruit forward!|
|Meaghan||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2015||Loved it so much!! Great clean, crisp, summer wine. I will definitely be ordering more.|
|Karen||F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio Lodi 2015||Steve, Please bottle more I brought 2 bottle home from Head quarters. I went to the store and came back the family told me very good order a case, but I didn’t get a sip. No more bottles in the warehouse lol….|
|Jason||Franc Dusak Howl Red Blend Sonoma County 2015||Mixture of fruits with a slight meaty character. Lots of fruit on the nose. Bramble, red currant, blackberry, lavender, hints of white pepper and baking spice. Full mouth-feel with great texture, tannins are round and smooth. lingering soft finish. Let this wine breathe! Decant or aerate 🙂|
|Laura||Jim Olsen Shoot the Moon Red Blend Napa Valley 2015||As a Napa local who tastes quite frequently in the valley, this definitely holds true to it’s Napa name. Jim used the best fruit from the hillside vineyards in the Mayacamas Mountains, which is located west of Rutherford (where the famous dust resides)
I did not find this wine sweet, but rather robust, smooth and rich. Featuring classic Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot & Petit Verdot, this compares to some of the best Meritage blends you’ll find from Napa or Sonoma.
If you enjoy a Red Blend or Cab from Napa (who doesn’t?), you really cannot beat the price of $17.99 per bottle. On the market, wines like Shoot the Moon retail for up to five times this angel price. I’d highly recommend giving it a swirl & sip.
|Heather||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2015||not too acidic, actually got notes of honey and green apples. a well rounded pleaser.|
|Jason||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2015||Crisp and clean. Tropical with some great lingering banana notes. Acidity is relatively high but still easy drinking. Great way to kick off an evening.|
|Bella||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2015||This crisp white has a very tropical nose with hints of pineapple it has nice acidity a little nutty with a medium finish. This pairs very nicely with a spicy Thai salad. Well done Richard your wines HAVE been spectacular.|
|Laura||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2015||Yummmmy go to white white that is necessary to be in your fridge at all times.|
|Maureen||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2015||Crisp, clean, easy sipping summer wine. Hints of citrus on the nose; grapefruit and lemon zest. High acid with notes of crisp green apples.|
|Laura||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2016||This Chenin Blanc comes from Clarksburg, which is located about 80 miles east of San Francisco. With close proximity to Sacramento in the Delta, these grapes come from an inland valley floor location that receives an abundance of sunshine earlier in the day. In the afternoon, breezes from the San Francisco Bay significantly cool down the valley, removing heat but allowing optimal sunlight and ripening to occur.
This micro-climate serves as the best location to grow Chenin Blanc in the United States. As a HUGE Vouvray advocate (Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France), my expectations for this varietal are very, very high.
I am beyond excited that Richard’s Chenin has become one of my go-to favorites and is available at a fraction of the price of your typical French Chenin Blanc..
Since Richard picked the grapes at peak ripeness, you’ll find aromas of yellow peach, apple blossom and kiwi with notes of pink lemon, almond, and apricot on the palate. There is a rounded minerality component on the finish that is very enjoyable. From start to finish, the medium plus acidity is well maintained, meaning you can totally drink this wine on its own, but can also pair with a wide range of cuisine (anything really).
|Maureen||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2016||Notes of honeysuckle, nectarines and melons. Clean, crisp, dry with a touch of creaminess. Delicious!|
|Nicole||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2016||Another fabulous wine from Richard Bruno!
Yellow apples, honeydew melon & lemon curd on the nose with floral notes.
Delicate palate with a bright (but not mouth puckering) acidity – fruity but beautifully & deliciously DRY.
Planning on enjoying my next bottle with a hefty serving of lox.
|Lavelle||Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2016||This is ‘dangerously’ good ! ( Dangerous )|
|Jason||Sharon Weeks Cattoo Lodi Reserve Zinfandel 2015||Spice on the nose with hints of bramble, cherry, and ripe dark fruits. Oak is present with notes of campfire and honey crackers. Well structured with a juicy mouth feel. Lots of flavors that’s complimented by smooth tannins and good acid.|
|Lavelle||Sharon Weeks Cattoo Lodi Reserve Zinfandel 2015||The first to comment! Well I’m honored.. I better leave a GOLDEN review!!! Sharon, your Reserve Zinfandel was amazing! I was really looking forward to trying this one and it did not disappoint 🙂|
|Kim||Benjamin Darnault Minervois 2014||Love it and still do|
|Jason||Benjamin Darnault Minervois 2015||Ripe cherry notes, lavender, dark ripe strawberry, boysenberry, juicy and smooth. Great red that is easy drinking.|
|Letitia||Carmen Stevens’ Angels Reserve Shiraz 2015||Very delicious fruit driven. I would greatly recommend this to anyone that don’t want dry reds.|
|Shauna||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2014||What a gem! I had never heard of Arneis and I’m so happy to be exposed to this varietal. It is crisp and refreshing like a Sauvignon Blanc, however it has a great finish and has a body more similar to a Chardonnay. I can’t wait to get more!|
|Bella||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2014||This was a very interesting wine not your traditional white wine. It’s dry and crisp, full bodied with nice acidity and lovely notes stone fruits.|
|Shauna||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2014||What a gem! I had never heard of Arneis and I’m so happy to be exposed to this varietal. It is crisp and refreshing, however it has a great finish and has a body more similar to a Chardonnay. I can’t wait to get more!|
|Laura||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2014||This is definitely a unique wine because it full bodied but balanced with perfect acidity. Arneis is known as Barolo Bianca, which is white Barolo. You can see that it’s balance between its rich, full body and high acidity is what earned its nickname! It is rich with notes of apricot, melon, pear, hazelnut and beautiful minerality that appears on the finish which is relatively longer then you’d expect! I enjoyed it with some salmon and rocket salad but I’d recommend it to pair with any seafood dish!|
|Jason||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2015||Aromatic, round mouth-feel yet crisp, aromas of apricots, peaches, pears and hint of almond with good acidity and finish.|
|Jerry||Cordero Langhe DOC Arneis 2015||Clean and crisp!|
|Shauna||Jonathan Maltus Le Lastau Saint Emilion 2013||Really nice Old World style Red. I got a lot of dark fruits mingling with cocoa. Nice long finish. Definitely decant this one to bring out the aromas and to soften the tannins.|
|Nicole||Jonathan Maltus Le Lastau Saint Emilion 2014||Can you be head over heels for a wine? This is one of those wines I want to stock up on & revisit over time – It will age BEAUTIFULLY.
A rich & lush bouquet – violets on the nose that transport me to France when I close my eyes. High acid & soft velvety tannins on the palate all while being juicy – A long, dry finish. All the makings for a perfect wine to accompany dinner or your favorite cheese plate.
|Maureen||Jonathan Maltus Le Lastau Saint Emilion 2014||Ultra luxurious! Ripe, red berries, hints of mossy, forest floor with med tannin. Highly recommend to decant up to an hour (if possible..) or lay it down to soften this beauty.|
|Shauna||Lay of the Land Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016||I absolutely LOVE this Sauvignon Blanc! It’s bursting with tropical fruit flavors like passion fruit and guava with a crisp, acidity that will leave you wanting more. I know I do!|
|Lavelle||Lay of the Land Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016||Very fruity delicious|
|Lavelle||Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Selection Malbec 2015||Very rich but smooth however im not a Malbec fan. But this is a great wine! Dark in flavor|
|Karen||Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Selection Malbec 2015||BEST MALBEC ON THE PLANET.
I ordered 6 more for the holidays!
|Britt||Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Selection Malbec 2016||Calling all Malbec lovers! This is the one you’ve been looking for. I found it, don’t worry. Coming straight from Mendoza, Argentina, this wine boasts dark fruit notes, spice and a lovely lingering finish. It is so versatile, and can be enjoyed on its own, or with a nice meaty dish. And, with the easily accessible screw cap, this has become my go-to camping wine, for those cool summer nights by the campfire. Kumbaya, folks!|
|Jason||Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Selection Malbec 2016||Dark fruits such as blueberry, black currant, subtle hints of violet with bright acid and firm tannins. Balanced and juicy that finishes dry.|
|Heather||Scott Peterson Rumpus Chardonnay 2014||There are literally 3 Chardonnays in the world I would drink. This is my #1 pick.|
|Maureen||Scott Peterson Rumpus Chardonnay 2014||Rich, ripe fruit, nectarines with a touch of vanilla and toasted almonds.|
|Meaghan||Scott Peterson Rumpus Chardonnay 2014||Nice ripe fruit on the nose. Fruit driven and off dry with just a hint of oak. I really enjoyed this and I would definitely try it again!|
|Christopher||Scott Peterson Rumpus Chardonnay 2014||This wine is the bad boy of Chardonnays. Being rich and lush, it is perfect for taking out the Harley and painting the town red.|