So the end of the year is near, meaning we have alot of celebrating to do. Whether you're buying gifts (wine makes the perfect holiday gift), having friends and family over for Christmas dinner or you need some bubbly for New Year's, these wine picks should impress.
I tend to lean toward full bodied reds for gifts. They tend to age longer, pair well with meat main dishes, and simply put, most Americans like red wine. So here's a few to choose from, in various price ranges:
- 2007 Cosentino Cigarzin ($16.99). The name is very macho and so is the wine. It's full of interesting flavors like rhubarb, pomegranate, cherry cream and the signature cigar box aroma. This is one to warm up to and enjoy with a holiday meal or some chocolate. Also, a great value I found at CostCo.
- 2008 Langmeil "Valley Floor" Shiraz ($22.99). This wine is deep and rich, loaded with plum, dark cherry and berry flavor along with vanilla and cocoa. Plus the fact that it comes from Barossa and has a screwcap makes this wine hard to resist opening!
- 2007 Tinto Pesquera ($32.99). Great Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero giving dark rich fruit, pencil lead, leather, minerality and nice acidic bite. Will age gracefully.
- 2007 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.99). The all-American wine gift is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and this bottle gives all that it should: full body, dark cherry, plum, coffee, licorice and a long finish. This bottle should age gracefully and be a great part of the recipient's cellar.
- 2007 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval ($52.99). A great blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from Yakima Valley in Washington. Blackberry, cassis, flowers, spice and herbs are a part of the aroma and flavor profile. The recipient will love you for this!
- 2005 Giorgio Rivetti La Spinetta "Vigneto Gallina" Barbaresco ($79.99). An awesome and present from northwest Italy. This wine would be a great addition to any cellar and has lasting ability along with raspberry and plum, tar and truffle essence.
Here are two wines which match very well with most foods and are safe bets to pair with whatever dish you may run into.
- 2009 Domaine Wachau Terrassen Gruner Veltliner Federspiel ($16.99). With it's balance and acidity, this wine is a great match for many foods, but when you add in golden apple, peach and white pepper along with tobacco spice, this wine is made to please your palate.
- 2009 Clos de los Siete ($14.99). An excellent blend of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Blueberries, fruitcake and spice are all a part of this smooth, medium bodied wine value.
There is sure to be alot of celebrating and this calls for some sparkling wine. Not only is it crisp and refreshing, but the foam, bubbles and fruity flavor will help you ring in the New Year in style. I decided to leave out Champagne and only put in the value selections, but if you feel like it, grab a bottle of Duval-Leroy, Dom Perignon or any other Champagne.
- Gran Sarao Brut Cava ($9.99). A great value with grannie smith apple, yeasty dough and lemon zest flavors. They even added Chardonnay to the traditional blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, giving it more body.
- Huber "Hugo" Sparkling Rosé ($9.99). An Austrian blend of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt, this wine will wow you with its strawberries, raspberries, rose petals and minerality. And the pricetag is just right.
- Mionetto Organic Prosecco D.O.C. ($12.99). If you're trying to save money and stay green, this is the wine for you. They even used recyclables to make the bottle and label! Golden apples and elderflower along with crispness and fresh bubbles.
- Gustave Lorentz Cremant d'Alsace ($19.99). A lively sparkling wine made up of mostly Pinot Blanc and loaded with brioche, apples, meyer lemon and a hint of nuttiness.
- 2006 Argyle Brut ($19.99). Blend of 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir. Full of honeysuckle, melon, vanilla spiced pear, apple, biscuit, lemon meringue, well, you get the picture- a must buy!
- L. Mawby Brut Cremant Classic ($21.99). Straight from Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula, made of 100% Vignoles (hybrid varietal). Excellent fruit flavor, crispness, yeast and toasted pine nuts.
Yes, beer drinkers should not be excluded from the celebration, and here's a few to keep you happy:
- Samichlaus Bier Doppelbock ($4.49/11.2oz bottle). Syrupy malt, hazelnut, toffee, and hint of dark fruits. A thick Austrian beer loaded with so much spice, honey and caramel.
- Goose Island Mild Winter Ale ($11.99/12 pack). An awesome Rye Beer with cinnamon, butterscotch, baking spice and rye sweetness.
- Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale ($9.99/4 pack). Yeast, roasted malt, dried fruits, brown sugar and a butterness fill out this English Winter Warmer.
Happy Holidays, stay safe and let me know how you enjoyed the recommendations!