If you are like me and scrambling for a few last minute gifts for this fast approaching holiday, consider one of these wines. (Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Wine is always appropriate as a simple hostess gift or to show someone you truly care. Consider sparkling options, from a $10 bottle of Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava made in the traditional method, to Napa Valley favorites Domaine Carneros Brut ($35), Mumm Napa Brut Rose ($28), or from Russian River, Balletto Brut Rose ($42). Willamette Valley continues to surprise with their sparkling selections, like from ROCO ($65) and Stoller ($65), to the stunning new Brut Rose from Gran Moraine ($50) with strawberry, nectarine, and crisp, focused mineral notes leading to a very dry finish. If you prefer Champagne, Laurent Perrier Brut Rose ($85) layered with raspberry, cherry, and spice, is sure to please anyone on your list.
For the white wine lover on your list, orchard fruit and spice filled, rich, textured and beautifully expressive Russian River Chardonnay selections from wineries like Jordan, Nickel & Nickel, Migration, Ram’s Gate, Benovia, MacRostie, Ramey and Wind Racer meld with the season, as their medium-bodied palate pairs with rich seasonal dishes, while maintaining freshness and acidity ($30-$75).
If Sauvignon Blanc is more the preference of your favorite white wine lover, you can not go wrong with selections from Spottswoode ($38), Coquerel ($32) or Hall ($35) in Napa, or truly wow them with the limited release, small production Georgia Sauvignon Blanc ($150) from Lail Vineyards, available via allocation, but limited bottles are also available at Austin Wine Merchant.
For your red wine fans, support Napa and Sonoma as they continue to rebuild from the devastating fires a few months ago by not only buying their wine and locally produced products, but also visiting the area. A holiday wine country getaway will give you unprecedented access to some of the region’s finest hotels and restaurants. Or celebrate with Napa and Sonoma favorites, ideal to pair with your holiday crown roast or beef tenderloin, like selections from Signorello, Stags’ Leap Winery and William Hill, all affected by the Napa fires.
Or consider iconic selections that celebrate the history longevity of Northern California Wine Country. From Napa, Cabernet Sauvignon selections like Robert Mondavi Reserve To Kalon Vineyard ($175), Chateau Montelena Estate ($160), Cliff Lede Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard ($185), KATA Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard ($175), Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch ($146), Miner Oracle ($1oo), Ehlers Estate 1886 ($110), Trefethen ($75) and Cardinale ($300), the last blending mountain grown fruit from Napa’s rustic, rugged, mineral-rich mountain AVAs.
Celebrate the diversity of Sonoma with options like distinctive Dry Creek Zinfandel from Dutcher Crossing, Old World style Cabernet Sauvignon from Lambert Bridge or Tom Gore, sparkling wine from J Vineyards, or Syrah and Pinot Noir from wineries like Ram’s Gate and Donelan. Pair these with regional products, like olive oil from Jordan Winery or Round Pond, California Black Mission Fig jam from Girl and the Fig in Sonoma, Wildflower honey from The Shed in Healdsburg, or cookbooks from celebrated chefs like Thomas Keller, Christopher Kostow or Cindy Paulson. Each is sure to make anyone on your wine and food loving gift list happy.
If a wine gift or gadget is what you’re looking for, a few have caught my eye. From MAKO, an on-trend, modern glass decanter ($20) with cork stopper allows wine to aerate, while keeping dust out of your wine. Also from MAKO, the newest, easiest way to open your bottle, their new verticle corkscrew ($30) makes opening a bottle a breeze as the upright configuration ensures you are never struggling to keep the corkscrew in place. (Both available via their website.)