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Best wine for a hostess gift: 2010 Pascual Toso Malbec ($11.99) Toso emigrated from Piedmont, Italy, to found this Argentinean winery in 1890. Its basic Malbec has dark, rich fruit lifted by peppery notes. — 4 years ago
Best wine-insider secret: 2011 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha ($9.99) There’s no oak masking the wild-berry fruit of this vivid red. It’s 100 percent old-vine Grenache from high up in Spain’s Calatayud region, made specifically for well-known importer Eric Solomon. — 4 years ago
Best pretend-it's-not-winter wine: 2011 Dashwood New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99) Classic notes of gooseberry and pepperiness enliven this bright Marlborough white. Dashwood is an affordable second brand from top New Zealand producer Vavasour. — 4 years ago
Best cocktail party wine: 2011 Kris Pinot Grigio ($11.99) In addition to being full of lively, bright flavor, this northern Italian white is an excellent antidote for anyone who has decided that affordable Pinot Grigio is usually underwhelming. — 4 years ago