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
$19.99

“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
$20.00

“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.”