5 bottles under $20 perfect for a potluck photo by jonathan gayman

5 bottles under $20 perfect for a potluck

Editor's note: Claymont Wine & Spirits has closed.

Wine and beer may be your obsession, but who knows whether the other dinner guests can recognize the difference between a pinot and a cab? If you’re bringing a bottle to the party, don’t waste your money on an uninterested crowd that’ll drink whatever’s being poured, but do make sure the contents in your glass taste great and are pairable with a hodgepodge of dishes. Here, five bottles – all less than $20 – that are perfect for a potluck.

2012 Château Gromel Bel Air
Holding flavors of dark currant, blackberry and espresso, this blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon can be matched with cheese, poultry and beef. Just saying it’s a Bordeaux will earn you cred.
$10. Claymont Wine & Spirits, 15495 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 636.227.1012, Facebook: Claymont Wine & Spirits

4 Hands Brewing Co. Sugar & Spice
This local Belgian dubbel, available in November and December, is dessert in a glass, holding the flavors of apricot, cherry, fig and baking spices. It may just be the thing to win over all those fruitcake naysayers.
$9, Randall’s Wines & Spirits, all locations, shoprandalls.com

2013 Berger Gruner Veltliner
Reminiscent of a sauvignon blanc but with zestier character, this white pairs well with sushi – any fish or seafood, really. Sip your way through this liter bottle as you discuss the merits of its crown cap.
$16.50. Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.645.2050, parkerstable.com

2012 Reserve de la Saurin Vin de Pays du Garde Blanc
This medium-bodied, floral white “overperforms” for the price, said Elaia and Olio’s wine director, Andrey Ivanov. “it doesn’t have marshmallowy, candy notes you get from some wines at that price.” Salad, pasta, chicken: great pairings, all.
$10. United Provisions, 6241 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.833.5699, unitedprovisions.com

2011 Les Hérétiques  
If red meat is anywhere on the menu, this is the bargain bottle for you. Truffles’ general manager and wine director Aleksandar Jovanovic described it as “a doozy with a Honda sticker.” Sold!
$7. Truffles, 9202 Clayton Road, Clayton, 314.567.9100, todayattruffles.com