What better place to ask for party wine recommendations than a shop called Vino!, the new wine store at 400 S. Park Ave. in Winter Park (407-691-0304). Proprietor Adam Chilvers says the old standby for New Year's Eve, champagne, is alive and well and best represented by J. Lassalle from France at $36 a bottle.
Best bets for nosh-slash-dinner wines of the season are Raymond Napa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (from the family behind Beringer, $35) and Russian River Valley Char-donnay from Paul Hobbs for $61.
If you're looking to surprise and impress your guests, get something out of the ordinary like the $93 "Super-Tuscan" Fontodi Flaccianello '97 (Chilvers says '97 was the best year ever for Italian wine) or Australian Claredon Hills Shiraz (one reviewer calls it "a full-bodied monster") at $97.
Now take off that funny hat and people will think you have good taste.