Gifting a bottle of wine for the holidays has become as traditional as eggnog and mistletoe. But how do you know which wines make the best gifts for each of your family and friends? Below are our suggestions for how to pair the right wine with everyone on your “nice” list.
FOR THE REFINED DRINKER
2017 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Felta, Chalk Hill AVA
The refined drinker in your life will appreciate the flavors of peach cobbler, buttered croissant, and vanilla bean that they’ll find in this Chardonnay. Recommend they pair it with one of our favorite recipes for lobster thermidor.
FOR THE ULTIMATE WINE GEEK
2016 Chalone Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay, Chalone AVA
If you know someone that takes a lot of pride in being knowledgeable about wine, then a wine from a winery that competed in the Judgment of Paris in 1976 is an awesome gift. Chalone’s 1974 vintage of Chardonnay came in third place in the white wine tasting. While the 1974 vintage might prove very difficult to find, the 2016 Reserve Chardonnay uses the same winemaking methods that its forebearer once did.
FOR THE BEGINNER
2016 Acrobat Pinot Noir, Oregon
For those just starting their journey with wine, Acrobat produces wines that are very accessible. The 2016 vintage displays aromas of ripe cherries, strawberry pie, hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and mocha. The palate echoes with ripe strawberries and dark chocolate up front, followed by earthy and spicy notes of forest floor and clove.
FOR THE SOCIALITE
Everyone loves a social butterfly. They’re fun and bubbly, which is why a bottle of sparkling wine is the perfect gift for them. The Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace has an expressive nose of floral and fresh fruits such as apple, peaches, and apricots. Your loved one will be excited to pop it open right away or they might even wait to open it on New Year’s Eve. For whatever occasion they decide to open it, they’ll be thrilled about delicious bubbles.
FOR THE TRADITIONALIST
2016 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
The traditionalist in your life probably appreciates wines that are familiar and dependable. You can always count on Sebastiani to produce rich wines, which is why the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will make an amazing addition to any wine collection. It’s delicious and can be paired with a variety of winter dishes. This Cabernet shows aromas of dried cranberries, bergamot tea, and vanilla wafer. Ripe and round tannins fill the mouth with flavors of black cherry, baking spices, and dried herbs.
FOR THE UNAPOLOGETIC
If you know someone who is bold and not afraid to say what they think, then the 2017 Roth Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic wine to give them. It’s a bold Cabernet that does not shy away from flavor. It presents firm tannins and decadent flavors of red currant, blackberry, dark chocolate, and vanilla. On the nose, there are mighty aromas of black cherry, cassis, wet stone, and sweet oak. This wine is so good, you’ll want to gift one to yourself.
FOR THE LOVER OF ELEGANCE
2016 The Four Graces Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
The Four Graces 2016 Dundee Hills Reserve Pinot Noir presents aromas of wild forest strawberries, dried rose petals, and white pepper. Juicy red plum and cherry coat the palate with notes of sage in the background. This wine makes a wonderful gift for the person that enjoys the exquisite things in life.
FOR THE ONE WITH A SWEET TOOTH
2010 Langtry Estate Petite Sirah Port, Serpentine Meadow, Guenoc Valley AVA
The one with a sweet tooth has probably had every dessert you could possibly name, but have they had dessert wine with dark chocolate covered pomegranate? It’s a pairing they’ll never forget. This Port from Langtry Estate begins with aromas of dried cranberry and white pepper encased in cocoa. On the palate there are flavors of dark fruit and cloves accompanied by influences of smoky oak. If you also gift them a bag of dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, you’ll be their favorite person forever.
FOR THE WORLD TRAVELER
2016 Kuleto Estate Sangiovese, Napa Valley
Although this wine was produced from grapes grown in Napa Valley, this varietal is widely grown in the Tuscany region of Italy. Sangiovese is a popular varietal used in Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and other styles. Give your loved one a taste of Italy with this Sangiovese from Napa. It has aromas of bright cherry, strawberry, ripe tomato, and notes of tea leaves and dried herbs. This wine might even inspire them to plan a trip of their own.\