A few years back I went to a very chi-chi house warming party that necessitated arriving with a good bottle of wine. I hemmed and hawed over what to bring, and to be honest, on an occasion such as this, where your bottle may or may not be opened, the presentation of the bottle is almost as important as what is inside. The world’s finest single-vineyard Malbec from Argentina will get trumped by a cru bourgeois from an off year. Ultimately, I landed on a bottle of Cotes du Rhone from Mourchon in magnum. It was about $60 and it was nice wine, but the hosts were blown away by the bottle as if it were a bottle of Lafitte from Thomas Jefferson’s cellar. They passed the heft around, reveled in its boldness and thanked me profusely. Behind me came my friend Sam, who brought a bottle of 2000 Cos D’Etournel, a sublime Bordeaux from an excellent vintage. The 2009 vintage of that bottle is available at the BC liquor stores for $888.00. The host thanked him profusely as well… and went back to pawing the magnum. The moral? When it comes to hostess gifts, bigger is better. The Mourchon isn’t available anymore, but the also excellent 2009 Louis Jadot Moulin a Vent Chateau des Jacques is, and at $80 I can’t fathom a better bang for the buck wine for your next tony party.