The holidays are a time of year when family and friends gather around a dinner table for good food, drink and conversation. This year, bring a deliciously unexpected libation to the table for everyone to discover and enjoy.
Unexpected Sparkling: Crémant d’Alsace
These lively sparkling wines from France’s northeast corner are made in the traditional method, adding a touch of luxury without the high cost, to any holiday celebration. Crémant d’Alsace is extraordinarily versatile and food-friendly and will complement all kinds of holiday classics, from bacon-wrapped scallops to potato latkes.
Charles Frey Crémant d’Alsace – This certified organic and biodynamic wine is fermented with indigenous yeast. It undergoes aging in foudres for 8 months, followed by 18 months on lees in the bottle. With no added dosage, this sparkler is fresh and bone dry, showing notes of green apple, pear and shortcrust pastry.
Unexpected Hue: Château La Coste Rosé
Usually confined to summer sipping, why not add a touch of Provençal sunshine and warmth to holiday gatherings? Situated between Aix-en-Provence and Luberon National Park, Château La Coste combines a rich history and tradition of winemaking since Roman times in an environment of vines, cypress trees, pines, oaks and olive trees on 200 hectares in sunny Provence.
Château La Coste Rosé 2021 – This food-friendly wine, made from organically-grown estate vineyards, offers mineral notes and elegant smoothness with orchard and red fruit aromas and flavors on the palate. Pour it with smoked salmon or coconut shrimp appetizers or even a pork roast.
Unexpected Wine Region: Paso Robles
Located along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles is unlike any other California region. Producers call upon an array of grapes, landscapes, soils and greater day-to-night temperature swings than any other AVA in the state, to craft red wines with great depth of flavor. For any roast, this holiday season, turn to a bold red varietal wine from the Paso wine country.
Brecon Estate Mourvedre Adelaida District Paso Robles 2020 – This wine is a single vineyard offering from the award-winning GlenroseVineyard. The vineyard is truly unique because of the steeply terraced chalky soils carved from a southwest-facing hilltop. These dramatic limestone terraces stress the vines. The 2020 Mourvèdre has a signature naturally sweet forest fruit character, smooth and velvety, but with excellent length.
Midnight Cellars Malbec Solstice Paso Robles 2018 – This Malbec has a beautiful dark ruby, almost purple color. The nose is fruity and full of ripe blueberry, dried herbs and cooking spices. The silky-rich mouthfeel leads to earth and vanilla flavors. The smooth finish has beautifully structured tannins that will allow for aging.
Unexpected Brown Spirit: Cognac XO
Cognac, a grape-based brandy from the Cognac region of France offers notes of rich caramel, vanilla and bright orange blossom on every sip — guaranteed to bring out your exuberance and charisma all season long. XO Cognac is aged in French oak for a minimum of ten years, resulting in aromatic versatility that will impress all palates from savory to sweet.
Cognac Park Cigar Blend XO – Commencing with the combination of light and musky scents of honey, saffron, and gingerbread and tinted with fresh cranberries and vanilla, the palate of this full-bodied cognac complements its initial aromas by bringing the flavors together into a strong harmonious finish with subtle surprises concluding with a long aftertaste.