First, there's the question of quantity. If I bring only one bottle, I hover around it like a hawk guarding a freshly caught mouse. If I bring two bottles, not only does that double how many wine decisions I have to make, but it's also expensive and we're prohibitively broke.
Second, there's the question of quality. Even if I'm pretty sure no one cares (obviously, we're sitting on the patio and my "glassware" is a baseball cup), there's usually SOMEone who will pick up the bottle and make a comment or ask a question about the quality.
Third, red or white?
It's hot as BALLS here in the Bay Area, and as if just the heat wasn't enough, someone decided that starting some GODDAMN WILD FIRES would be a good idea.
Only a total lunatic would drink red wine on a day like yesterday.
But, as I'm the official red wine reviewer and red wine is a bit of a habit for me at this point, I stuck with my ol' faithful. And it was a bar-b-que, so it was a safe bet that some red meat was going to be eaten.
(Also, I am a total lunatic.)
This Crimson & Quartz caught my attention as the perfect bringing-to-a-party wine, because the label is fanciful, but not garish. It speaks to artistry and handcraftedness, not flashiness. The year (2011) is boldly placed as if to proclaim "THIS IS NOT THE FRESH WINE. THIS IS OLD WINE. THEREFORE IT IS SUPERIOR TO THE MODERN, FLY-BY-NIGHT 2013 CHARDONNAY LINDA BROUGHT."
For the record, I don't think there was a single Linda at the party last night, and I am not nearly that competitive about wines, even in my inner monologue. This was purely for illustrative purposes.
Upon arriving to the party, my friend and the hostess handed me a wine key, which I immediately struggled with, ripping the cork to shreds. (this is why we drink boxed wine and screw-top wine, folks!) I sniffed the cork and my friend said, "so, is it wine?"
Indeed it was.
She's in the middle of moving, so all her glassware was already at the new place (this was her exodus party). Her glassware selections angled more towards the safety of plastic, which of course suits me just fine.
I was DELIGHTED to find that Crimson & Quartz was in fact THE ABSOLUTE PERFECT WINE TO BRING TO A PARTY.
I've already mentioned the stylish label and prominently placed vintage, but the taste... it's a GOOD WINE.
It's a beautiful blend of cherry and plum and tastes nothing like raisins. It's smooth and drinkable at all speeds, and I was delighted to find that I have almost no hangover.
Did I just discover a good wine with no hangover at a reasonable price with a fancy label? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DID.
My only complaint with this wine is that it's really too good for regular consumption. At $14/bottle, this is no Thursday-night-watching-Newhart-reruns-on-YouTube wine. But somehow it seems like that's a complaint that Fetzer can live with.