Everyone loves a good excuse to bust out a bottle of wine. Sunday Brunch? Hand me that Chardonnay. Intimate dinner? Grab me that special Cabernet I’ve been saving. Having a diverse collection of wines at home has always saved me from frantically scrambling to find a bottle when friends invite themselves over at the last minute or when I just want to indulge in a glass alone after a stressful day at work.
With bars and restaurants limiting their alcohol-serving hours, it can’t hurt to have a solid rotation of bottles that you can always dig into when the occasion arises. To save you the trouble, here are six must-have wines to keep at home—all within a wallet-friendly range.
Vigneti Del Salento “ZOLLA” Primitivo Merlot Puglia IGP
Picture this: So it’s finally your turn to host your friend group’s weekend potluck dinner. Excitement’s at an all-time high and you need a cost-effective wine (you’re not looking to break the bank) that’ll still leave your friends impressed. More importantly, you want to make sure it doesn’t leave you with a killer hangover the next morning the way most cheap wines do. Sounds like a scenario that could very well apply to you? Then we suggest you keep a case of Vigneti Del Salento “Zolla” Primitivo Merlot Puglia IGP in hand.
Flavor: Full-bodied with velvety tannins and notes of vanilla, cinnamon and oak complemented with an aroma of dark fruits like cherries and berries.
Price: THB 800
Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
Picture this: The latest season of your favorite show just dropped and you’re all settled in for a late-night binge-watching marathon. You’re burritoed up in your blanket, the lights are dimmed, and you have a nice glass of vino to cap it off. After a long day at work, you can’t think of a better reward than a glass from your bottle of Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG. Unsurprisingly, the bottle’s already half empty since you drink a glass of this stuff on the regular; this is your go-to bottle to take the edge off at the end of a normal working day.
Flavor: Supple tannins and intense raspberry and blueberry flavors with a pleasant fruity and light oak aftertaste.
Price: THB 1,300
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno
Picture this: You’re all dressed up and you’re welcoming some special guests—in-laws or perhaps relatives you haven’t seen for longer than your parents care to admit. You’ve spent most of the day in the kitchen preparing a hearty meal, but would like a nice bottle to either a) complete the feast, or b) save the feast if you’re having doubts about your cooking skills. Look no further than Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno. Any wine will do its job and curb social anxiety, but a wine this good adds an extra talking point; your guests will probably go from “This wine’s great. Where’d you get it?” to “Let’s do this again soon!” by the end of the night.
Flavor: Full-bodied and well-rounded tannins with balanced undertones of oak, tobacco and chocolate for depth of flavor.
Price: THB 3,500
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Picture this: The weather’s about as good as it gets in Bangkok so you decide to spend the day outside. You pick an adequately shaded spot in your backyard and fold out the lawnchair. As you sit down, one hand puts down your book while the other pours a glass of Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc. The bottle’s easy enough to drink and enjoy on its own so it comes as no surprise to you when you realize the sun has set and you’ve poured out the last drip.
Flavor: Intense juicy, crisp and clean flavors with strong hints of passionfruit and zesty lime.
Price: THB 900
Gustave Lorentz Riesling Grand Cru
Picture this: White wines are the quintessential daytime drink but they’re also responsible for some of the worst hangovers. So when the time comes around for Sunday brunch, you’re beyond relieved that there’s a bottle of the Gustave Lorentz Riesling Grand Cru lying around. With a mouthwatering brunch spread consisting of heavy-hitters (we’re talking French toast lathered in syrup and eggs benedict with Hollandaise sauce), the light Riesling is the perfect counterbalance—the icing on the cake.
Flavor: Dry and crisp with lively acidity and compelling aromas of pears, apples, lemons, flowers and spice.
Price: THB 1,700
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2015
Picture this: It’s that same special dinner you had planned for your in-laws and you’re all set for reds with the Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno but with a full course of decadent seafood like lobster and crab ahead, you need a white to match. That’s where the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay comes into play.
This rich Chardonnay refuses to pale in comparison to its typically heavier counterpart, the Cabernet Sauvignon. This bottle will prove time and time again that when you’re cooking up a meal to impress, the one-two combo of a good red and white wine is a sure knockout.
Flavor: Heady oak with a subtle touch of sweet spices, melon, pear and peaches for a balance of rich flavors.
Price: THB 4,500
Writer: Noah Sumayao