We barely get to enjoy the respite after all the preparation and planning that goes into Halloween and Thanksgiving before the respective candy coma and turkey trance wear off and turn into the inevitable holiday hullabaloo. Such is the time of year when we turn our focus to the important people in our lives who so kindly put up with our year-round shenanigans and deserve a thank you for doing so. Sometimes the thought about what perfect gift to get someone can be as daunting and time consuming as actually battling the holiday traffic and retail lines to acquire said items. Wine’s popularity in recent years has had a bigger glow up than kale and Brussels sprouts combined, making it a foolproof gift idea for anyone from your office Secret Santa to your uptight Aunt Edna who could use a glass or two to mellow out. Here are some go to options in all price points to help you put your best foot forward this holiday season.
Budget Friendly Under $20
Holloran Vineyard Stafford Hill Pinot Noir is an easy pick for those red wine drinkers on your list who know what’s what when it comes to their wine choices. Hailing from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where Pinot Noirs can clock in well over $50 a bottle, the Stafford Hill is an exemplary choice of a wine that drinks well above its under $20 price point. Vibrant red fruit flavors of cherry and ripe raspberry are met with delicate touches of blueberry and soft undertones of forest floor, making it almost Burgundian in style, albeit at a fraction of the price.
San Lorenzo Vigna di Gino Verdicchio [organic] may seem like an offbeat choice for, well, probably a lot of you who haven’t heard of this somewhat well-kept secret of the Italian wine world, but trust me: It’s amazing. I often describe this wine as a white wine for the red wine drinkers at the table. Savory notes of toasted pine nuts and herbs are complemented by melon and citrus notes, making each sip of this wine seem almost like you’re indulging in the perfect bite of a delicious Italian meal.
Nifty Under $50
For those of you willing to go a bit higher, but still wanting to stay under $50, there is a vast number of wines that are truly drool-worthy. It really is hard to narrow this down, but I’d have to go with Château le Puy Emilien [biodynamic]. Inky-garnet colored in the glass, look for wild cranberry and cassis notes to be complemented by tobacco and forest floor, making this full-bodied beauty a premier example of what Bordeaux wines are meant to be.
For a stunning wine that will appease anyone with a penchant for white wine, go for the Herve Souhaut’s Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet [organic]. Rhône is mostly known for its red blends, but the white wines are hidden treasures that will leave a lasting impression. This blend of Viognier and Roussaunne expresses mouthwatering notes of apricot jam and baked apples. It’s great wine for all of the holiday fares you’ll be over indulging in, but still leaves extra money to buy new pants in a size up.
Ballin’ Out Without a Budget
If you really want to impress someone close to you, or just show off to your boss who you need to buy a gift for, the Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon is for you. Blackberries, cocoa and baking spices provide a whole lot of oomph to this full-bodied Napa red. Silky tannins and well-balanced acidity make this a great food wine, but also keep it totally appropriate to enjoy on its own while sitting by a roaring fire admiring your holiday decorations.
A holiday wine list wouldn’t be complete without some mention of bubbles. After all, nothing is quite as festive as the sound of a cork popping and the clinking of champagne flutes among family and friends. The Ruinart Blanc de Blanc is one of the most well respected Champagne houses in France, and their exquisite pedigree is tasted in every sip of their premier cru offering. Expect honeyed apricots and juicy green apples on the palate with a long-lasting creamy finish of toasted almonds.
Whether you decide to gift any of these options or simply plan to enjoy them alone while crushing a box of Cheez-Its (preferably extra toasty), you’re sure to be pleased. Have a safe and happy holiday season, everyone!