You know the drill, likely all too well.

It’s the eleventh hour, you’re throwing a bash. Everything is set. Except… the wine.

I’ve been there, done that. I’m guessing we all have.

Food almost always takes top billing. And with the holiday season, that’s fair enough. But nice wines can really take things to the next level. Plus, we all know that a nice bottle can also be a great conversation starter — perhaps a mine free road to go down in this political season.

Global Wine Cellars thinks they have a solution. It’s a collection of 6 wines from around the world. For $100, you get everything from a lively Prosecco from Italy and a small lot Cabernet from Argentina to a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. In short, everything you need to get that party started, but the agonizing decision making and last minute shopping.

There’s a lot of things that come in a box (SNL and Justin Timberlake anyone?)

GWC sent Stark Insider a sample, and we put the wines to the test.

Scott Harvey Three Stags Wine, California - Review

First, I like that these wines are curated by somms and those in the know. There’s a lot (far too many) of wine sites and wine buying clubs that mass assemble based on inventory. Slow wines, ones out of favor, will often be first out the door to members. It’s the opposite of what’s supposed to happen.

After tasting through the six bottles, I appreciate the variety here.

Also see: Top 5 most interesting wine picks for the holidays

You’ve got a few lighter whites to get things going — most notably the Ranga Ranga Sauvignon Blanc — and as the evening progresses you can shift into the serious stuff.  Pinot Noir is a fun change-up from standard Cabs, so the Saint Gregory Pinotrois from Mendocino is wonderful. Smooth, easy drinking, and not too heavy; an interesting blend of Pinotage, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir that has beautiful raspberries and along with just enough tannins and spice. With lots of food around the holidays, this is ideal.

Poggiotondo Cero del Maso, Chianti 2012 Review

I also like that the guide that accompanies the wines not only includes traditional tasting notes and backgrounders, but also suggested pairings. Three dishes — dinner  party, “fast”, and vegetarian — are suggested for each bottle, a nice touch, and a step beyond the traditional Cab/Steak sort of pairing cliche.

Then there’s the price.

Averaging out at about $17 bottle, I’m impressed at the value with this Entertainer’s Collection. You won’t need to break your budget, and, on the other hand, you’re not scrimping the bottom shelves at the Trader Joe’s wine section either.

Stark Insider Food & Wine news, photos, videos“Entertainers Collection” – 6 Wines from Across the Globe

Global Wine Cellars

Ultimate Holiday Wine Gift - Global Wine Collection

A collection of six wines from around the world, hand-curated by wine professionals. From left to right:

Poggiotondo Cero del Masso, Chianti
Oro Bello Chardonnay, California
Scott Harvey Three Stags, California
Penalolen Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley
Ranga Ranga Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Saint Gregory Pinotrois, Mendocino

Highly recommended

$100

globalwinecellars.com

There’s a lot of things that come in a box (SNL and Justin Timberlake anyone?), but fortunately Global Wine Cellars gives us a surprise free, stress free way to fast track your next cocktail or dinner party. Now where’s that leftover Scott Harvey…

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