This past weekend Gothamist was invited to a party, and we needed to bring wine. We ran to the local wine shop (it was pouring rain, which conveniently seemed to start the moment we stepped outside), selected our wine and were off to the party. When we arrived, we placed the wine down on the table with the other wine guests had brought and noticed something quite unusual. Of the 7 bottles of wine, 6 were Cabernet Sauvignon from California. Was it possible that we were at a party with all New World Cabernet lovers? Did that many exist? We had to find out.

Turns out that not everybody was in love with the BV Cabernet Sauvignon (which was 2 of the 7 bottles), but they just thought everybody else would like it. What the guests were looking for was a wine that would go over well with a mixed crowd. Of course Cabernet is a safe bet, but if you want to mix things up and bring a wine that is approachable yet unique, here are Gothamist picks for great party wines…

Nero d’Avola from Sicily
Gothamist ended up bringing a Nero d’Avola from Sicily. We selected this wine because it has bright fruit notes that are appealing to most people but also because it has the depth and spice that you find in Italian wines. This wine also goes great with cheese and other party snacks.

Prosecco from Italy
Prosecco is always a great wine to bring to a party because sparkling wine adds to the celebration and because it’s very affordable. This sparkling wine from Italy has great acidity but is often a little milder then Champagne. This wine goes down really easily and is known to have “beer goggle” effects. Consider yourself warned.

Malbec from Argentina
Malbecs are great because they have the flavor profile of wines typically found in Europe but with softer, lusher structure, more like New World wines. They have great blackberry and raspberry notes with a hint of earth and spice and go great with salsa music and Bon Jovi.

Selecting a wine for a party doesn’t have to be stressful and you shouldn’t have to settle on wine because you think it’s what everybody else might like. Select a wine that’s unique, exciting and will stand out - that way nobody will really notice when you’re sneaking in the double dip.