Do You Have a “House Wine?”

wine bar alfresco, house-wine

Originally they were the least-expensive wines bought in bulk and poured by-the-glass at a hefty profit margin in restaurants. Many house wines nowadays reflect pride of the chef, sommelier, or restaurateur and a commitment to quality. These wines say something about the establishment.

Do you have a “house wine” at your home? A wine on-hand, chilled and ready to pour when friends drop by. Your go-to wine? A wine of good value, reasonably priced yet still somewhat unique, special. A wine that isn’t on every supermarket shelf, but still handily available. An enjoyable wine that is equally suitable on the patio or at the dinner table paired with classic foods…

wine bar, house wine
Our Current House Wine
Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc Belleruche 2009 M. Chapoutier

wine in ice bucket

Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc is made predominantly from Grenache Blanc with its herbaceous, apple and pear aromas. Smaller amounts of Clairette and Bourboulenc balance the wine. The Bourboulenc grape gives Belleruche Blanc its sprightly acidity, which pairs wonderfully with salads dressed with vinaigrette and lemony seafood dishes. Grilled fish and goat cheese with sliced pears are also stellar pairings. $10.79/bottle after the 10% off on 6-bottle discount.

m. chapoutier braille

Braille embossed on the labels.

Established in 1808 in France’s Rhone region, Maison Chapoutier has been passed from father to son to grandson. All of their wine labels have been embossed in Braille since 1996.

Maurice de la Sizeranne (1857 – 1917) President of the Association of the Blind in France and owner of the famous La Sizeranne vineyard in Hermitage, was blind since age 9. He was the inventor of the first version of abbreviated Braille. M. Chapoutier’s trademark pays tribute to this man while making sure their wines are accessible to people who are blind. The Braille label provides the following information: M. Chapoutier, Appellation, Name of the Wine, Vintage, Color.

wine bar, house wine, alfresco
Wines with Signature, the expression of M. Chapoutier taste. A will to avoid developing a “typical taste” or set style. One the contrary, a permanent objective to work on differences in tastes, to bring out the specific tastes provided by each local terrior and wine. This is how we cold sum up the Chapoutier Estate quest, which has been present on the Rhone Valley since 1808.

m. chapoutier  cotes du rhone

Tasting notes: Pale straw color, fresh, bright fruit aromas and flavors, well-balanced, crisp acidity.

wine by the glass
Stop by, we’ll have a chilled bottle waiting…

Very interested to hear what you’re pouring.
Please share your “house wine” in the comment section.

18 thoughts on “Do You Have a “House Wine?””

  1. Very nice posting. Also very informative. I would have to say, at our maison, any Columbia Crest Grand Estates would be considered our house wine. We drink it frequently with ordinary meals and just for sipping with company. I am anxious to read some of your other commentators. Susan

  2. LOVE this post! Your pictures are incredible and I love the fact that your wine has a braille label! My go-to wine is actually a local wine, which is rare in Florida. It’s from San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine, FL and it’s called Vintners Red. It’s made from muscadine grapes and has a lovely cherry flavor….especially when paired with Midnight Moon cheese!

  3. My house wines seem to be seasonal and fickle, very much determined by my whims. But I do tend to buy a case of the same wine when I find one I like at a great price and turn to that wine often… Which I guess is exactly what you mean here. GREG

  4. I’m so impressed with braille labels.

    While I enjoy white wine, I prefer red…specifically, Malbecs from Argentina. I find them smooth, medium weight and balanced. My current favorite, Portillo Malbec, is a steal at $5.99 at a local market (though it’s at lease twice that elsewhere). I don’t know how they do it, but every time I go in, I’m sure to grab a few bottles.

  5. We do in fact have house wines, and they aren’t available anywhere but at our house. That’s because we make them ourselves. I am drinking some 2009 Viognier right now!

    I like your house wine selection. That is an extremely versatile wine that should make quite a few people smile when they are socializing with you and your friends.


  6. You really got me thinking about house wines now. That’s a really good point about always having it at hand – high quality, yet affordable. Thank you for sharing yours! I’m so glad I’m going wine tasting soon! Also, beautiful photos, like always.

  7. Perfect for summer weather, my go to wine is Conundrum. It’s an exotic blend of white grapes. Lots of fruit to be a good cocktail wine but creamy enough to stand up to a summer meal of grilled swordfish. Great post, LL.

  8. Great post. My house wine? Red is Two Buck Chuck. Really, that Shiraz, for the price, you really cannot beat it. For white we are really enjoying a Vino Verde from Portugal, Quinta de Aveleda, it’s $10 a bottle and delicious

  9. We like to experiment with wines, so we don’t have a “house wine”. But I guess our house wine would be regional California wines from our travels. Oregon has great pinot’s. And I love champagnes, yum.

  10. Your photos are so beautiful I almost didn’t read the post. I wish I was sitting at your table.

    Thank you for the great post. The Belleruche sounds wonderful. I’ll be on the lookout for it and hopefully will be get to try it.

    Thanks again,

  11. Fun and fascinating posting – I wonder if your wine is available here. We do have some mighty fine wine stores so shall check. I have never seen a braille label. Loving that. The photos are (as usual) so inviting, I just want to snatch a glass from the screen. But I will make do with my fridge where a lovely Pinot Bianco is waiting and – we are fickle. We change with the seasons… and the sales.

  12. Can I live with you? I wander through Trader Joe’s and always bring home a different wine to try, I always tend towards a white, but I do love my Oregon Pinot Noir!

  13. How sweet to read this, we are in the process of enjoying wines to select a house wine. I love the thought of having a house wine and I see by the comments I am not the only one. My mom is visiting so at the moment we are enjoying moscato and champagne. have a gret weekend!

  14. We loaded on a case (or two) of viogner from Rideau in Santa Ynez. It’s great for the summer. By the time we run out, our next wine will be some case of red we “had to buy.” So I guess you could say our house wine is our “case du jour.” 🙂


  15. I’ve been reading about the history of adding Braille to wine labels, it’s fascinating! From producing each label by hand to updating to labeling machinery.
    Thanks for the article, your photos are stunning!

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