Wine & Spirits

Wine Picks for Pleasing a Crowd

Safe and daring wine choices for your next gathering.

Wine Picks for Pleasing a Crowd

When picking the wine for a wedding, family reunion, or company picnic, keep it simple. Large groups can be a bit intimidating, so the fewer choices the better. I recommend one red and one white. Keep loyal cabernet drinkers and passionate pinot noir snobs happy with a lighter styled zinfandel or Tuscan red blend. When looking for one wine to share with everyone, rosé could be your answer. Crowd pleasers can be safe or daring, but if it’s the only choice, my bet is they will drink it. This month’s selections are available at the new Lunds Wine Market, 1208 Harmon Ave., Mpls., 612-379-5050.


Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(Marlborough,New Zealand)
Grape: 100 percent sauvignon blanc
Price: $13.99
* Pear fruit with a little mint on the nose. It’s dry and minerally, with a hint of fresh-cut grass. More complex than the sauv blanc, it’ll be a new grape for most of your guests.


Case Ibidini Bianco 2010
(Sicily, Italy)
Grape: 100 percent insolia
Price: $14.99
* Balanced, crisp, and clean with lots of tropical fruit and tart citric acid. Everyone at the hot outdoor wedding will thank you.


Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
(Lodi, CA)
Grape: 100 percent zinfandel
Price: $19.99
* Great fruit such as raspberry and cherry, plus vanilla and a bit of oak. It’s not too big, but it will keep your red lovers happy.


Monte Antico—“Super Tuscan” 2007
(Tuscany, Italy)
Grape: 85 percent sangiovese, 5 percent merlot, 10 percent cabernet sauvignon
Price: $13.99
* A baby Super Tuscan that is priced right and medium bodied. It’s earthy with cassis and blackberry fruit and ready to drink now.


Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2011
(Rhone, France)
Grape: Blend of grenache, cinsault, and syrah
Price: $13.99
* It's a red wine, just with less color, and you serve it with a chill on it. It has bright strawberry fruit and fresh lemony acid.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at