A good bottle of wine can really complement a holiday feast, whether you're preparing it or going to someone else's home. Consumer Reports has some to recommend that are pleasing to your palate and pocketbook-and can save you time during the harried holidays.
"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." said etiquette expert Melissa Leonard.
But which wine should you choose, and what price do you have to pay for a good one?
"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." said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.
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.
"We found bottles costing 11 dollars or less that tasted just as good as those costing twice as much." said Reynolds.
This bottle from Australia rated very good. It's Lindemans Bin 45 and costs just seven dollars.
"It has intense, ripe black-fruit flavors, along with sweet wood notes." said Reynolds.
And this magnum bottle of Frontera from Chile, at 1.5 liters, is a real deal for eight dollars.
"It has a nice array of fruit, spice, and woody flavors." said Reynolds.
And as far as being embarrassed about bringing a less expensive bottle of wine, don't worry.
"It doesn't matter if a bottle of wine is inexpensive as long as it tastes good." said Leonard.
If you're looking for a bottle of white wine, Consumer Reports recommends the Mud House Marlborough Savignon Blanc from New Zealand. It costs a bit more-at 14 dollars-but it was the highest-scoring wine in this category and rated excellent.