Top 5 Wines for the Dinner Party Amateur

Best booze to get you through your next evening out.

Wine Guide

By Nathaniel Nelson

Have you ever shown up to the party empty-handed, or with a fancy-looking wine that ended up tasting like flamingo sweat? Don’t give your frenemies the satisfaction of seeing you fail again! Follow this guide to become the life of the party in no time (or at least get everyone so drunk that they won’t remember all your very obvious and totally not made-up-in-your-head physical and character flaws).

1. Pinot Sergio

Pinot Sergio

Remember when your crush swooned over the Spanish stud in that Calvin Klein ad on the D train last week, and you silently nodded in agreement as your soul rotted into oblivion? Well, with enough Pinot Sergio everyone at your next party will swear you look just like him! A particularly sharp blend from across the Atlantic, it’s also light-bodied, like you were before college.

2. Shaqwine O’Neal


The latest in a never-ending series of business ventures for the former NBA star and hall of fame inductee, Shaqwine O’Neal, co-sponsored by Bad Boy Entertainment, is the product of a partnership with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. Made from soured grapes in L.A., each serving of Shaqwine is infused with one gram of high-fructose corn syrup, to give your next party the sugar high it needs to be a little less disappointing than last year’s. A favorite among fans of the NBA and Icy-Hot.

3. Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

Technically not a wine, but doesn’t it sound like it should be? “Ah, Sommelier? Please bring me the finest bottle of your 1929 Chateau Marmont.” I feel like Frasier Crane just typing it. The perfect brand to reference in elevated conversation, it’s also great, along with other long and vaguely European-sounding names, to shout outside the New Yorker Magazine headquarters if you want a job as a staff writer there. Examples: de Kooning, Sauvignon Blanc, Chloe Sevigny, etc…

4. Merlot, lot, lot, lot…


Down some Merlot, lot, lot, lot…, hit the dance floor, and before you know it the whole club will be looking at you! Optional: (a) Apple-bottom jeans, boots with fur; (b) Baggy sweatpants, Reeboks with straps. (Warning: will cause chiropractic muscle failure in adults 35 and older).

5. Nana’s Special Water

Nana's Special Water

Ever since I was a kid, wherever she’s gone, my Nana has always carried a flask. Please take the flask from her, bring it to a party or wherever else, and throw it in the trash there. I’m worried about Nana. She hasn’t picked up her phone in weeks…


Nathaniel NelsonNathaniel Nelson (N8) is a filmmaker and writer.