The succulent and delicious 2008 La Follette Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast ($29.99) will complement your Potato Kugel impeccably. Greg La Follette has an accomplished winemaking career behind him (including Beaulieu Vineyards, Flowers, and Tandem Wines) and we have completely fallen for the Pinot Noirs from his namesake project.
Make your tree trimming festivities even more merry with J Vineyards Cuvée 20 sparkling wine ($24.99). There’s nothing like some bubbles to perk up any get-together and this fresh, joyful sparkler from the Russian River valley will have you stringing lights and hanging ornaments with a big old grin on your face.
Secret Santa at the office
Chances are you are faced with finding the perfect holiday gift for some co-worker you met once when dropping paperwork off in accounting. Well, stress no more! The 2007 Flora Springs Merlot from Napa Valley ($19.99) will work with your budget and your colleague’s palate. Lots of red berry fruit and just a hint of spice make this Merlot exceptionally charming – and it’s always a good idea to win over someone in accounting.
Show ‘em what you got by presenting them with the latest small production gem coming out of the Napa Valley. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Zeitgeist Cellars ($62.99) is sold out at the winery but, oh, we
have it here folks. Husband and wife team Mark Porembski (of Anomaly Cellars) and Jennifer Williams (of Spottswoode fame) have collaborated on this dark, brambly, structured Cabernet that will impress any big shot on our client list. Only 244 cases produced and a mere 14 cases made it to NYC!
Book Club with the ladies
You know LLPG (ladies love Pinot Grigio) so surprise them with California’s version from the Russian River Valley. The 2009 Seghesio Pinot Grigio ($18.99) is bright and tropical with a lively mouth feel. Better yet, it’s from one of the oldest winemaking families in ‘the valley’ and one that we feel does their best work with traditional Italian varietals.
Whoa, the RSVP’s are in and you are going to have a big crowd of revelers on your hands! Don’t break the bank but serve your guests something they will love - -not just tolerate. The 2009 Lucky Star Chardonnay from California ($9.99) is a crowd pleaser for sure and its vibrant personality will keep the party rocking. For your house party red, pick up some juicy, fruity 2008 Laurel Glen Reds from Lodi ($11.99), a crazy blend of grapes that will pair well with all your party foods and do well on its own too.
If you think your hostess gift won’t fall in to the wrong hands or, better yet, you’ll get to enjoy it with the host yourself, award the hospitality with a 2007 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Cuvee Pinot Noir ($36.99). Little from this small family winery makes it to New York and the ‘Three Sons’ has big California fruit with lovely earthy notes and impeccable balance.
Throwing a dinner party this holiday season? The 2009 Breggo Cellars Gewurztraminer from Anderson Valley ($27.99) will be a special treat for guests (less than 400 cases produced) and it goes amazingly well with cheeses and all kinds of foods including seafood, poultry, duck, and even tough-to pair-vegetables like asparagus. It’s got a nice, rich body and tropical freshness with a flinty minerality to balance it all out.
Under the Tree
If there is a wine lover on your list, wrap up a bottle of 2005 Hestan Meyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa ($54.99) and tuck it under the spruce. It’s a luxurious looking bottle in black with gold lettering and it’s an exceptional wine for the price from famed winemaker Mark Herold. Tell your elated gift recipient to drink it now or store it away in the cellar for up to 5 years.
Ho, Ho, Ho and a bottle of Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka ($37.99) is all Santa will need to keep him warm and reward him for a job well done. This is a seasonal bottling and just in time for nippy weather. Wheat vodka is infused and distilled with deeply flavored pears from Colorado and a little clove spice. Mr. Claus can enjoy it on its own, or in a festive cocktail. Perhaps he will share it with Mrs. Claus too.