I need help choosing a wine

Friday night we’re having a dinner party. There will be about 10 of us, and I’ve volunteered to choose the wine.

Ok, great. Only, I’m not real knowledgeable about wines.

The main dish is going to be some form of salmon. Sure, there will be vegetables and stuff, but that’s the main thing.

I don’t want to spend a huge amount - with 10 people, I’m figuring on 2 or 3 bottles, so ideally under around $20 a bottle would be best.

You’ll get 3 decent sized glasses of wine from a bottle. With 3 bottles that’s one glass per person and someone does without.

There’s plenty of good wines for 8 or 9 bucks a bottle. I’d suggest you double the volume with something cheaper but still nice.

While I ususlly serve a Chardonnay with salmon, this may offer a few more suggestions.

Oh yeah, some of the affordable wineries I like that have both good reds and whites are Estancia, Chateau St. Jean, Wild Horse, Wente and Coppola (as in Francis Ford).

Good god, those are some huge wineglasses you keep around!

Either that or you’re filling them WAY too full. You need to keep a nice personal bubble of airspace between the beverage and the rim of the glass, so the drinker can appreciate the aroma.

I figure about five decent-sized glasses to the bottle…but you want to provide enough vino for folks to have a second or third glass. For a party of ten, I’d bring five bottles. More if the wine was the ONLY alcohol being served, with no cocktails being offered beforehand, or brandy or liqueurs after.

Of a nice Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, probably, which I’ve been drinking lately and enjoying a lot.

If you think this will send you to the poorhouse, remember that some other poor bastard is buying enough salmon to feed ten.

Pinot Noir goes well with Salmon, and there are some great Pinots out there now under $20. Chose one between $12 and $20, from Napa or Oregon, and you almost can’t go wrong. Saintsbury is nice, La Crema is nice. And I agree with Ike regarding the number of bottles. Estancia, as lieu mentioned, is also good.

I don’t eat salmon, but how about a rosé? Henry of Pelham Dry Rosé (if you can get it) is relatively inexpensive and VERY VERY good!

Bwhaaa! You mean yours don’t have handles on either side?

Now that’s class!

Ok, here’s how the wine was chosen.

I went into Ashe’s liquor, walked up to the counter and said: “I need help. We’re having a dinner party, serving salmon and I got nominated to choose the wine. I know nothing about wine.”

She asked how the salmon was being served (it’s got mandarin oranges with it, so I’m assuming poached or broiled, likely broiled. Grilling is very doubtful…as I don’t think the person cooking has a grill).

So I left with three bottles - our numbers have been reduced, and we’re down to 7, possibly 8 people max, and knowing our drinking habits, I really think that’s enough. Hopefully they’re good and will go well with dinner. If not, I’ll not hear the end of it.

There’s a Vouvray, a Chenin Blanc and a Pinot Grigio, if you wanted to know.

I would have seconded shelbo’s recommendation for an Oregon Pinot Noir for that menu, but I hope what you ended up with works out for you.

You should get six decent glasses of wine out of a normal bottle. I’d suggest a good white Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé. The latter is one of my favourite white wines. Unfortunately <g>, you’ve already purchased. Just a suggestion, but if a dessert is being served, pop back to the wine shop and get a bottle of Sauternes.

And if anyone at the table starts misbehaving, hand them a bottle of this wine.

For salmon, I like a nice Mosel; black cat from Zell is a decent export variety.