Or, how to be a great holiday house guest on a budget

‘Tis the season to find yourself roaming liquor-store aisles wondering what the heck to bring to that holiday party you’re invited to. But while every host appreciates a nice bottle, very few hosts will know (or care) how much you spent on that bottle.

Here to help you gift intelligently: 10 of Chicago’s top wine pros, whom we asked to share their picks for a solid choice that will only set you back $20 or so.

And don’t forget to put a bow on it.

Richard Hanauer, Wine Director for RPM Restaurants
Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon

“Hailing from outside of Sydney, Australia, this Hunter Valley Semillon from Brokenwood is one of the great values available today. The wine is fascinatingly complex: It has low alcohol, high perceptual acidity, incredible aging potential and texture. All of these combined attributes create a very versatile wine that pairs well with almost anything that swims. It truly is a sensational wine at a sensational price point.”

Kevin Bratt, Concept Wine Director, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Jansz Tasmania Premium Rose NV

“My favorite go-to bottle is Jansz Non-Vintage Brut Rosé from Tasmania. The wine will normally retail around $20, but you’ll often find it for less. It’s the perfect year-round bubbly, with light notes of strawberry and fresh raspberry. Refreshing on its own, or matched with my personal fave, fried chicken.”