The Perfect Case of Wine to Cover Every Occasion

Twelve wines for everything from weeknight dinners to big nights out

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Published on February 18, 2016

The Perfect Case of Wine

The wines you have at home should work like your clothes closet: There's your favorite college sweater, your elegant formal wear, and most everything in between.

Wines serve different purposes. There are warm-weather wines, wines to savor by the fireplace, wines to open with neighbors, wines to keep for yourself. And you don't need a vast collection to cover them all, just a few carefully chosen bottles.

Everyday Sparkler

Jansz Premium Brut Rosé NV
This champagne-style wine from the island of Tasmania is inexpensive enough to open just because. After an aperitif, serve it with your Thai or Vietnamese dinner. Tasmania, Australia; $25 at jansz.com/au

Back-Porch Rosé

Artazu Artazuri Garnacha 2014
The best rosés are made from this indigenous Spanish grape, known as grenache in France. Artazu's version is irresistibly gulpable, yet intricate enough to hold your interest all summer. Navarra, Spain; $11 at wine.com

Seafood-Ready White

Sigalas Assyrtiko 2014
Made from grapes grown on one of the world's prettiest islands on vines half a mile from the sea, this white has the snap to handle scallops and oysters. Santorini, Greece; $18 at wine-searcher.com

Sipping White

Von Holt Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
The trick for California's whites is to capture the sunshine without the heat. Von Holt, an urban winery project from a retired Secret Service agent and his CPA wife, does it with this finely detailed chardonnay from the Sonoma coast. Sonoma, California; $35 at vonholtwines.com

Fancy-Dinner White

Stadt-Krems Grüner Veltliner Wachtberg Reserve
A fancy dress of a white, grown in mineral-rich soil on slopes that overlook the Danube. There's weight, but its balanced by a splash of acidity. Kremstal, Austria; $27 at wine-searcher.com

Red with the Neighbors

Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba 2013
Northern Italy's Piedmontese serve barolo at fancy dinners, but they drink barbera night after night. This multi-vineyard blend balances plum and cherry with leather and spice. Piedmont, Italy; $20 at wine-searcher.com

Warm-Weather Red

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2014
From a transplanted Burgundian, among the most talented of the new wave of beaujolais producers, comes a crisp, fruity bottling that won't mind time on ice. Beaujolais, France; $24 atwine-searcher.com

Good-with-Everything Red

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate 2012
This polished pinot adds a touch of class to everything from burgers to fish. Made by the second generation of one of Oregon's pioneering wine families. Oregon; $32 at bethelheights.com

Carnivore Red

Andrew Will Cellars Ciel du Cheval Vineyard 2011
Washington's reds are bright and juicy, and this muscular blend of cabernet franc and merlot has the heft and structure to pair with a sizzling steak. Washington; $63.50 at andrewwill.com

Adventurous Red

Movia Veliko Rdeče 2007
"Have the courage to say a wine tastes like nothing you've had," says Aleš Kristančič, Movia's dynamic proprietor. You'll know what he means with this merlot-based red. Deliciously exotic. Slovenia; $41 at wine-searcher.com

Dessert Wine

Disznoko 5 Puttonyos 2006
The freshness of tokaji, from a revered winemaking area in northeastern Hungary, makes it more functional than other sweet wines. Unctuous enough to accompany cheesecake, it can also be drunk with spicy dishes. Tokaj, Hungary; $61 at wine-searcher.com

Worth a Splurge

Krug Grande Cuvée NV
Nobody ever regretted opening a bottle of great Champagne, and Krug's multi-vintage Grande Cuvée remains the most consistently exhilarating wine in the world. Champagne, France; $169 at wine-searcher.com

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