Ian Montgomery’s secret weapon of holiday party-going is the sleeper wine. It’s the bottle you bring that has everyone buzzing and, eventually, buzzed. It should be interesting, perhaps a little offbeat—a typical Napa Valley cab won’t surprise the wine-literate crowd—and, of course, it needs to taste good.
“I always enjoy bringing an absolute banger to a social gathering and it being, like, the least expensive,” says Montgomery, the owner and sommelier of Neighborhood Cellar in Oak Cliff. Sure, he may be professionally obligated to break out the good stuff, but for Montgomery it’s almost a motto. “Our next-door neighbor is a funeral home, so it’s always been a tongue-in-cheek joke here: life’s too short to drink shitty wine.”
And the holidays leave us too harried to navigate the wine shop unprepared. Montgomery shares his three delicious picks to take you from dinner soirée to ugly sweater party to date night on the couch.