Wine Picks for Every Palate

How to select crowd-pleasing wines at any price point.

When it comes to selecting wines for your event, here’s a good rule of thumb: No matter what your wine budget, don’t be afraid to ask for help and be adventurous, says Harley Carbery, Mandalay Bay director of wine.

“Ask for assistance within your budget constraints,” Carbery says. “People have wine information on their phones—which is great—but there’s no better resource for selecting wines and pairing them with the right foods than a wine director and catering team.”

After all, Carbery says, wine is the beverage best suited to a large group. No matter your budget, you can select the perfect trendy or traditional wines for your group’s palate. Carbery says the most popular wines are still cabernets and chardonnays. Malbec is also well-liked.

Three that show a little diversity and will appeal to everyone:

  • Italian prosecco
  • Sonoma chardonnay
  • California or Washington state merlot

Planners often ask for organic and sustainable wines, and ­Carbery says that many wines have been made this way for centuries. “Organic is a no-brainer,” he says, “and the majority of wines are vegan.” Another buzzword is biodynamic, which refers to the handling and processing of the fruit, even taking the phases of the moon into consideration.

“There are always opportunities to customize something to your group,” Carbery says. “I tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid to try something new.’”


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