In your frenzied packing to visit family and friends for the holidays, there's one item you REALLY shouldn't forget to bring, says etiquette expert Melissa Leonard.
"It is a faux pas to arrive at someone's home empty-handed when you've been invited for the holidays. Bring a bottle of wine to complement the meal," said Melissa Leonard.
But which wine should you choose, and what price do you have to pay for a good one?
"Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the biggest-selling red wines. And it pairs well with rich foods like red meats that you may eat a lot at the holidays," said Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports tested 24 cabernet sauvignons hailing from France, Chile, Australia, California, and Washington state. Testers poured close to 400 glasses for tasting! And experts did blind taste tests so they had no idea which wine they were drinking.
"We found bottles costing 11 dollars or less that tasted just as good as those costing twice as much," said Paul Reynolds.
This bottle from Australia rated very good. It's Lindemans Bin 45 and costs just seven dollars.
"It has intense, ripe black-fruit flavors, along with sweet wood notes," said Paul Reynolds.
And this magnum bottle of Frontera from Chile, at 1-point-5 liters, is a real deal for eight dollars.
"It has a nice array of fruit, spice, and woody flavors," said Paul Reynolds.
And as far as being embarrassed about bringing a less expensive bottle of wine, don't worry.
"It doesn't matter if a bottle of wine is inexpensive as long as it tastes good," said Melissa Leonard.
If you're looking for a bottle of white wine, Consumer Reports recommends the Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It costs a bit more -- at 14 dollars -- but it was the highest-scoring wine in this category and rated excellent.
All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2008. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.