Budgeting for holiday parties is made easy with good- value wines from these highly-regarded family-owned companies.
Pouring a Spanish Cava like the nonvintage Anna de Codorniu rose’ sparkling wine is an ideal start to the party. Named for the 17th-century matriarch of Codorniu, it’s a blend of 70 percent pinot noir and 30 percent chardonnay made in the Champagne method. Eye-pleasing pink bubbles gently release tasty cherry-flavored fruit, and its slightly off-dry finish is a perfect crowd pleaser. At $13, it’s a quarter of the price of any rose’ Champagne. The Anna de Codorniu rose’ sparkling wine is distributed by Allied Beverage Group in Carlstadt.

Banfi is another top-notch, family-owned wine company. It makes great wines at its Brunello di Montalcino property and its Piedmont estate. Prosecco is always fashionable, and the sparkling Maschio Prosecco Brut is a dry sparkling white wine with a pear and unsalted cashew taste. Banfi is the marketing agent for the Maschio Prosseco Brut and at its $13 price, you can put the party in high-gear. It’s distributed by Fedway Associates in Kearny.

The Torres family is one of the most respected in the wine world. Renowned for its Spanish wines, the family has been plowing Chilean soil since 1979. From there, Torres sends well-made wines from organic vineyards at party making prices. A few months ago, I tasted these delightful wines with Miguel Torres Maczassek.

The 2010 Torres Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc’s lemongrass aroma, fresh citrus flavor and long finish is a perfect mate for sushi rolls and crab cakes. It’s unadulterated sauvignon blanc and a steal at $11.

Las Mulas is an organic vineyard named for the mules that work there, but no one will call you a donkey for buying the 2009 Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon. Its ruby shade and red fruit and spice aromas are immediately appealing. And the black cherry fruit flavor is carried on a medium body built around soft tannins. It’s a package of pleasure and the gift comes with a bargain basement $13 tag.

Carmenere is the grape that Chile claims as its own. The fact that it came from France can be ignored because French winemakers gave up on it a long time ago. Fortunately, the Chileans did not. You can offer your guests a unique wine with theTorres 2009 Santa Digna Carmenere. Its introduction is a purple-red hue and herbal, black fruit and toasted oak aromas. A blend of black tea and black plum flavors glide to a dry tannin finish. At $11, thank the Chileans for saving Carmenere and Torres for making it so affordable.

Serve both red wines with roasted meats, pasta bolognese or puttanesca, and with hors d’oeuvres like chicken and beef satay.