A good bottle of wine is always a welcome present.
We are fast approaching Christmas. Have you shopped for everyone on your list? Wine is the perfect gift for the holidays. If you are looking to give a thoughtful gift to a wine lover in your life, use this list to make an impression. These suggestions are great for stocking stuffers, or a bottle to take to an intimate holiday dinner, or something special for your boss who happens to be a wine aficionado. If you are a procrastinator, then wine is a perfect last-minute gift, as it is always available.
Holiday gift buying can be stressful, but it does not have to be when buying wine. You have the world as your oyster, with many choices styles and price points to choose from. This list is encompassing of wines from around the globe, there is something here to “WOW” the wine lovers on your holiday gift list. The best thing about wine is that it does not need fancy wrapping. Simply slip it into a festive bag or adorn it with a holiday bow and voila, you are all set…
Wines For Stocking Stuffers ($10-$20)
Côté Mas Rosé Aurore Sud de France (SRP $10)
Aromatic with cherry, strawberry and floral aromas evolving toward soft candied fruit notes. The palate is rich and smooth with ripe red fruits and well-balanced acidity. Have as an aperitif or pair with grilled chicken, shrimp, and goat cheese salads.
Irmana Frappato Terre Siciliane 2019 (SRP $13)
This charming Frappato has the fruit and light body similar to a young Pinot Noir. Notes of sweet berries with a touch of spice that is typical of Sicilian red varietals. Try it slightly chilled and pair with turkey or any of your favorite roasted vegetables.
Porto Carras Malagouzia 2020 (SRP $15)
Malagouzia is born on the slopes of Mount Meliton on Sithonia’s Peninsula, Halkidiki. Gorgeous in aromas, offering a bouquet of exotic fruit, this well-rounded fleshy wine with a distinct finish does justice to one of the oldest rightly, celebrated Greek varieties. The perfect complement to fresh fish cooked in the oven.
Pierre Cabernet Franc Cité de Carcassonne 2020 (SRP $15)
A wine with body, finesse and a lovely smooth character. Rich and sappy on the palate with a touch of tannin make this a chewy, dense and opulent wine. The freshness and the structured tannins would nicely complement a shoulder of lamb confit served with sweet cranberry sauce also pairs beautifully with foie gras.
Chateau Fayau Sweet Bordeaux 2020 (SRP $15)
An exquisite and sweet Bordeaux that is sure to please the sweet tooth. Light yellow color with silvery reflections. The nose is expressive with floral notes but also citrus zest and fresh apricot. The mouth is balanced with a nice freshness and volume.
Masciarelli Villa Gemma Cerasuolo D’ Abruzzo 2020 (SRP $20)
The perfect gift for your rosé lover. Villa Gemma is a fleshy and full-bodied rosé, one that can stand up to hearty fall and winter dishes like duck and lamb. It’s produced in one of the few appellations in Italy dedicated to rose, Cerasuolo, where Montepulciano is macerated with the skins for 24 hours before fermentation in stainless steel. The result is a powerful expression of Montepulciano as a rosé that offers dark cherry flavors accented with smoke and spice.
Wines for Hostess Gifts (SRP $20-$30)
Domaine Bousquet Gaia Cabernet Franc 2018 (SRP $21)
GAIA, the Greek goddess of the earth, has been the Bousquet family’s inspiration since its founding. From the start, our Gaia wines have been crafted with a French winemaking sensibility and made from 100% organic fruit. There is an intense violet color in the glass. There are red and black fruits with pepper and mineral notes on the palate. A big full body ends with a persistent finish.
Dougos Rapsani 2018 (SRP $22)
The winery is located at the foot of Mount Olympus, in the magical valley of Tempi. It has moderate ruby color and complex aromas of strawberry, cherry, cranberry, vanilla, tea, tobacco, and herbs. It has a medium body, crisp acidity, and moderate but juicy tannins.
Tenuta Frescobaldi Castiglioni Toscana 2018 (SRP $24)
This delicious wine has a beautiful, bright ruby-red color with tinges of purple. The bouquet offers intense aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants blending together with notes of pepper, cloves and subtle hints of licorice. The attack is smooth and enveloping, with a touch of acidity that gives it a wonderful freshness and a long, persistent and spicy finish.
Luke Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2018 (SRP $25)
Cabernet Sauvignon is LUKE’s calling card, and this vintage is from five distinct vineyards within the Wahluke Slope AVA. It is 96 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with rich flavors of Marionberry, blackberry, and dark chocolate. It is finished with touches of Malbec (3 percent) and Petit Verdot (1 percent) and aged in French and American oak. The result is a wine with structured tannins, dense molasses flavors, and a finish that is reminiscent of cedar and wood smoke.
Trimbach Alsace Riesling Reserve 2018 (SRP $28)
Pale, bright straw yellow with aromas of lemon peel, honeyed fruit and menthol on the nose. Ripe, supple and rich, yet lean and precise with an excellent mineral character. This elegant Riesling, dry and precise, is a worthy accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes especially shellfish and white meats.
Saracina Winter’s Edge Redwood Valley Mendocino 2018 (SRP $30)
This Mendocino old vine field blend is made of Old vine Carignane, Grenache and French Colombard coming from the historic Casa Verde Vineyard, planted in 1944, combine with Grenache from the Niemi Vineyard. The wine is juicy and bright with plush and jammy fruit characters.
Wines For A Holiday Dinner Party (SRP $30-$40)
Bila-Haut By Michel Chapoutier Occultum Lapidem Roussillon (SRP $32)
Dark garnet-red. The first nose is quite closed with a dominant of graphite, leather, and then intense aromas of pepper, black fruits and scrubs. The attack is rich, dense. Then the wine is fleshy and solar. The final is sappy served by delicate tannins and a great freshness.
Château de La Chaize Brouilly Lieu-dit “La Chaize” Monopole 2017 (SRP $32)
Château de La Chaize is among the oldest, most historic estates in Burgundy’s Beaujolais region. Deep ruby robe. Shimmering aromas of lily and violet. Fruity juice with notes of damson plum. Delicate, smooth finish. Serve with a civet of rabbit, guinea fowl with cabbage, rack of lamb.
Chateau de Rouanne Vinsobres 2019 (SRP $32)
Château de Rouanne is a historic estate with a 12th-century medieval castle, situated on a classified Roman site located in the southern Rhône Valley. Notes of raspberry, violet, licorice, peony, black pepper and gingerbread on the palate. Greatly textured with prominent saltiness and length in the finish. The smooth, red-fruit character of the wines make it a great choice for tomato-based dishes such as ratatouille, while the richness from the Syrah also allows it to pair with lamb, venison or beef.
Smith-Madrone Riesling Napa Valley Spring Mountain 2017 (SRP $34)
Domaine De Le Perrière Sancerre 2020 (SRP $35)
The dress is yellow with gray highlights. The nose is intense, with notes of yellow peaches, mangoes, lemon, and also a hint of flowers, acacia and elderberry. The palate opens fully, suave and rich, then develops in persistent exotic fruits and citruses The finish is fresh and pleasant, on orange zest. This wine will pair with fish in buttery sauce or creamy poultry dishes.
Sanford Estate Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2019 (SRP $38)
Enticing aromas of brioche, Meyer lemon, and white flowers intermingle wit beeswax and passion fruit. The wine appears soft and generous but develops a lovely saline note that complements the texture and drives the finish. This wine is a great pairing with sushi, pasta, and roasted chicken.
Wines For Coworkers, Family & Friends (SRP $40-$60)
Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial Estate Sardon de Duero 2017 (SRP $40)
Dark red color with a clean, complex and fresh nose. On the palate, it has an intense fruity touch, mainly of red fruits. Aged 11 months in French and American oak barrels, the wood infuses notes of cedar, pastry and dark roasting. It attacks the palate politely but firmly. This is a very well-balanced wine, harmonious, with a rich bouquet and incredible expressiveness. Worthy fruit of the vine and of a job well done.
Dutchers Crossing Brothers’ Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2017 (SRP $40)
A classic Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley. The Brothers’ Reserve has notes of licorice and black fruit. Exotic spice, cedar notes and wild berries shine on the palate. This is a complex and balanced Zinfandel that stands apart from all others. A well-made Sonoma Zin that will pair great with burgers and lamb chops.
Coen Uco Valley Malbec Reserve 2019 (SRP $45)
The Coen Reserve is deep ruby red in color with aromas of red fruit and the sweet spices of cinnamon, cocoa and coffee. The palate is intense and persistent creating a silky mouthfeel. The Reserve tastes much more like it is a European offering than a bottle of traditional Argentine wine.
The Hilt Estate Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2019 (SRP $50)
The Hilt Pinot Noir welcomes with a decidedly savory and wild nose with bright red berries, incense, blood orange, clove, green peppercorn and black tea. Notes of dried sage, rosemary, menthol and elderberry. Solid Hilt structure with large quantities of impossibly fine tannins. Altogether a seductive, chalky and deeply complex Pinot Noir.
Lassègue Saint Émilion Grand Cru 2018 (SRP $60)
The 2018 Lassègue is among the great vintages that are characterized by their freshness, complexity, and power — a reﬂection of the estate’s terroir consisting of more than 50-year-old vines planted in clay and limestone soils. On the nose, the richness of the Merlot is complemented by the extravagance of the Cabernet Franc, and, after letting the wine breathe, the bouquet develops subtle notes of cassis and violet. The palate has silky, round, red and black fruit, while the ﬁnish is dominated by black fruit with very subtle, rounded tannins. This is a vintage with excellent potential for aging.”
Velenosi Roggio Del Filare Rosso Piceno 2018 (SRP $60)
Rosso Piceno Superiore Roggio del Filare opens with warm, toasty aromas that recall sweet cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. This spiced, jammy red reveals lovely finesse and silky tannins, but a touch less oak might allow the appealing vibrancy of the fruit to shine through with even more clarity. This is another gorgeous red from Velenosi.
Wines For The Wine Lover (SRP $60-$100)
Hawk And Horse Vineyard Petite Sirah Red Hills Lake County 2017 (SRP $65)
This is a fantastic Petite Sirah from Lake County. Nearly oxblood in color, aromas of ripe blackberry and nutmeg give way to nuanced flavor profile. Notes of deep, dark chocolate, raspberry and spice give way to rich, velvety tannins. Pair with grilled steak with peppercorn sauce or chocolate souffle.
FEL Savoy Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2019 (SRP $75)
This is FEL’s flagship Pinot Noir. Savoy Vineyard is perched above the Navarro River bench looking out at the last stand of old-growth redwoods in Anderson Valley. The wildness of the forest is reflected in the wine with aromas of conifer needles, native mint, and wild brambleberries. The nose also includes notes of black cherry, cedar, and cinnamon. Texturally, Savoy Pinot Noir is always a compelling wine with silky tannins that give great length to the mouth and support flavors of cherry, blackberry, and black tea.
Ram’s Gate Estate Chardonnay Carneros 2019 (SRP $75)
A great expression of Ram’s Gate estate vineyard, this Chardonnay is a medley of clones that each express themselves through their own delicate aromas and subtle flavors. This is an elegant yet sophisticated wine. Delicate aromas of orange blossom with a hint of petrol greet the nose. Sun-kissed flavors of honey and lychee with a bit of spice coat the palate.
Quinto Do Crasto Douro Touriga Nacional 2016 (SRP $78)
Quinta do Crasto is one of the oldest winemaking estates in the Douro region. The Touriga Nacional grape has become synonymous with Douro and the region’s Port wines, and for this bottling, the grapes are taken from the best plots of Quinta do Crasto’s estates. It has Touriga Nacional’s signature purple hue and aromas of violets, fresh spice, and berries. It is structured by firm tannins and acidity.
Donnafugato Fragore Etna Rosso Contrada Montelaguardia 2017 (SRP $90)
Fragore is ruby red-colored and offers an ample and deep bouquet with notes of wild blackberry and forest floor that blend with balsamic, mineral (flint) and tobacco nuances. Due to its complexity and structure with important tannins, together with its remarkable persistence, this cru from Contrada Montelaguardia is an authentic expression of volcanic energy.
Wines For The Collector (SRP $200-$450)
Biondi Santi Brunello Di Montalcino 2015 (SRP $200)
The fruit arises delicately from a bed of aromatic herbs such as thyme and rosemary with hints of liquorice root. On the palate the captivating structure reveals silky tannins backed up by the usual sensation of freshness that is instrumental for the fine balance which lies at the heart of the Biondi-Santi tasting experience. The finish is long and surprisingly savory, adding to the gastronomic personality of this Brunello.
Bibi Graetz Coloré 2019 (SRP $450)
Coloré(The Dream) is the most beautiful expression of Bibi Graetz’s artistic creation. It is a wine that exhibits the pure excellence of Tuscany. On the nose, there are seductive notes of cherries, violets and licorice. On the palate, the wine is elegant with nice acidity, velvety tannins, earthy notes and complex elements. There is a great structure in the wine that makes this cellar-worthy for wine collectors.