You’re running late, and with no open SAQs in sight, it looks like you’re going to be the douche bag who brings a bottle of dépanneur wine to the dinner party. But just because most dep wines are blended table wines, making a conversation about grapes and terroir utterly useless, don’t be fooled: Not all these wines are equal. Herewith, the best of the worst. Prices and availability vary.
Les Cigales Grande Signature Lerosier, France ($13.99)
This bottle works well with red meats and strong cheeses; it’s perfect for hearty stews or heavy pasta dishes like lasagna.
Plessis-Liancourt Reserve, France ($12.99)
The beauty of this red is that it doesn’t look like it came from a dep. Its slight fruitiness is great for spicy or cream-based dishes.
Silverthrone, Australia ($11.99)
This versatile staple can be found anywhere. Delightful as the fifth or sixth bottle of the evening.
Notting Hill Bin 505, Australia ($12.99)
Passable for fish, seafood, pastas and salads. So good that you don’t have to slip it in at the very end of the meal – just close to the end.
Monkey Trail, South Africa ($10.99)
The dryness of this white will complement anything spicy and is a good pick for Indian and Thai dishes.
Les Truffles Cuvee Reserve de Chamet, France ($10.99)
Choose between a decent white and rosé; either works with a meatier fish (like salmon, swordfish or halibut), chicken or pork.