My Top Wine and Champagne Picks When Entertaining

My go-to picks when entertaining on any budget
Filed Under > Cocktail Hour

top wine and champagne

I know I’m late to the game since yesterday was National Drink Wine Day, but for me you don’t need a national holiday to drink wine.  In my opinion every day should be national drink wine day!  So to honor that opinion I thought I’d roundup a list of my top wine and champagne choices.  And I’d love to hear in the comments section below if you have any wine that’s topping your love list right now?  Cin Cin Loves.  truly, MKR

P.S.  Make sure to check out my top 8 wines for summer!  

1.  Orin Swift The Prisoner.  Truth be told I’ve been drinking The Prisoner  since 2006 when I was introduced to it during a weekend away in Kohler Wisconsin.  Now, it’s become quite the hot commodity and was actually sold in 2009 to The Prisoner Wine Company.  Great for the masses so everyone can enjoy, but annoys the heck out of me when restaurants are charging $21 for a pour!  You can get the bottle at Costco for $35!  Anyway, I love everything Orin Swift does, especially Papillon, Palermo, & the elusive Mercury Head.  Oh and try his newer F, E, & I wines.  Amazing!

2.  Sancerre…all Sancerre.  Sancerre is a French Appalachian region in the eastern Loire Valley.  It’s my go-to warm weather wine.  Easily found, well priced, and there isn’t a Sancerre I don’t enjoy.  

3.  Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon.  On one of our trips to Napa we had the most magical experience at Darioush.  Spending hours in Darioush’s private collection cellar by candlelight, tasting all of the wines and noshing on cheese.  It was one of those magical lifetime memories. 

4.  Round Pond Sauvignon Blanc.  I’ve talked about this wine before, it is one of my absolute forever faves.  Actually we belong to their food and wine club as they also produce amazing olive oils and I highly suggest joining if you can.

5.  Veuve.  Obviously.

6.  Sancerre’s Rose.  I heart them so much they made the list twice.

7.  Silver Oak.  A deep and rich red with subtle hints of dark chocolate and cherries…this is the perfect wine for a steak dinner and my go to for the holiday season.

8.  Honig Sauvignon Blanc.  If you’re looking for me on a Monday night 9 times out of 10 I’m next door at Sushi Nami with the Mr. drinking 1 or 3 glasses of this.

9.  La Crema Pinot Noir.  This would probably be my “house wine” pinot noir.  It’s light, easy, and I can drink glasses of it.

10.  Perrier Jouet Rose Champs.  I can’t can’t get enough of these pink bubbles

11.  Erath Pinot Noir.  My current version of a “$2 buck chuck.”  And by that I mean a great wine, at a GREAT price.

12.  Alpha Omega Chardonnay.  Though I tend to be a light, crisp, sauvignon blanc white wine drinker I can’t get enough of this chardonnay and it’s rich buttery texture.  If there was a cold weather white this would be it.

13.  My other go-to’s not listed, Sunstone Eros, Chapellet (any red), Gamble Heart Block and their Cabernet Franc, Signorello Padrone, Duckhorn Paraduxx and Decoy…and I’m sure I’m forgetting numerous others.




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  • Love this! I’m always looking for new recommendations. The rose champs is too pretty.

    Suppose Anything Goes

  • Thank you so much, I’m such a lover of wine!! And yes that rose is gorgeous!! xo

  • Jessica / 02.20.2014

    These are such great recommendations. Thanks for sharing. And I can’t wait to hear about the festival. I live in Atlanta but have never gone because it was all a little overwhelming so any light you can spread would be appreciated.

  • Thank you. And I know the AFWF can be a tad overwhelming but I will try to help any way I can. It’s going to be amazing though! xo

  • I missed National Drink Wine Day? I’ll make up for it tonight! 😉

  • Veuve is my absolute favorite. I’ve started getting the small bottles so I can have it more often without feeling like a lush and having to drink and entire bottle by myself. It’s my goal in life to be able to throw a party were that’s the only choice of champagne/sparking to drink.

  • In my world it’s national drink wine day every day!! xo

  • that is a great idea! I love Veuve!! xo

  • Great picks! Have you tried any vinho verdes? They are my absolute favorite wines for the summer. Light, crisp with a tiny bit of natural sparkle to them.

  • I haven’t tried Vinho Verdes but I’ll look into it! xo

  • I adore your blog and loved seeing your top wine picks, I think we have very similar tastes…I just recently reviewed AO Chardonnay and really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!


  • I love AO, and its still such a secret I feel which makes me love it even more! xo

  • Thanks for the great list. Can’t wait to try those that I am not familiar with.

    My husband and I love the Prisoner and other Orin Swift wines too! “E” is one of my other favorites.

    Since you have similar taste,I wanted to share my favorite Sauvignon Blanc which is Kim Crawford (New Zealand). It’s a great buy at Costco and my favorite summer wine!



  • Thank you Elaine! I have had the Kim Crawford wine, and it is delicious! Thanks for sharing. xo

  • Love your list. Some are my faves! Add Bearboat Pinot noir! You will love it basedon your selections. Btw went to Duckhorn while in Napa. Ie
    Ts great!

  • I’m adding it to my list! xo

  • Ronnie / 12.04.2014

    I been stuck on Coppola, Pinot Noir and Whispering Angel. Sometimes I mix them. Look forward to trying those on your list and mentioned by others here. Costco has a great selection.
    Thanks for you list!

  • Kelli / 01.06.2015

    Orin Swift Machete is yummylicious!

  • Kelli / 01.06.2015

    And, if you like Kim Crawford, try Oyster Bay (Whole Foods)….good stuff.

  • This is the best list I’ve seen. Silver Oak + Veuve are my go-tos, always {hence the blog name ;)} Thanks for the other recommendations. I’m excited to try them!

  • Thank you so much, I take my wine and bubbles seriously! xo

  • Yes it is, I have a whole case of it in my wine closet. xoxo

  • Yvie / 12.31.2015

    Veuve is delish but have you tried Westport Rivers RJR Brut?it was Julia Childs’ favorite. Complex , delicious American sparkling!!! It has been touted by wine critics as the best bargain in traditional method sparkling in the US! Has been blind tasted against many French Champagne including Veuve and has won 30 golds…also it was served in the White House for over a decade! I love it!!! Yum

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