Picking the perfect pour; giving wine as a gift or looking for the perfect one to pair with meals

In blind taste tests of 40 cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blancs, Consumer Reports experts found terrific choices at several price points. 
 
The top-rated Cabernet is a Louis Martini from Napa Valley.    At $25 a bottle you might want to save it as a special gift. 
 
Sue Perry, Consumer Reports says   "The good news is that about half the wines we like cost around $15 or less." 
 
That includes this Consumer Reports best buy:  an $11 bottle of Cabernet from "14 Hands"  which goes nicely with an herb-roasted chicken.
 
Want a white instead?  Even the top-rated Sauvignon Blancs are pretty reasonably priced. 
 
The Spy Valley took the top spot for $15.   Tasters called it delicious, with tropical fruit notes and it's food-friendly, particularly with fish.
 
Spend even less, $12 a bottle for the Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc.    It's described as full-flavored and complex, and works well with grilled shrimp.
 
Perry says   "If you're hosting for the holidays, as a general rule, Cabernets go really well with heartier foods like roast turkey with stuffing and gravy.   But on the other hand, if you're serving mostly fish on your menu, you might want to consider one of the Sauvignon Blancs." 
 
Our experts say when it comes to picking a nice Sauvignon Blanc anything from Marlborough County, in New Zealand will be a good bet.
 
Ask your local wine merchant for other good choices to complete any holiday gathering.
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