Have a Glass of Cheer!

Written by Kevin Schulke
Category Manager of Beer, Wine and Salty Snacks

December is here and there is no month quite like it, as we have Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and holiday parties to celebrate!  Whether you’re throwing a party or just going to one, you’ll need to pick out some wine. Let me share some suggestions of great holiday wines that are also great holiday values!

Red wine enthusiasts will love Louis Martini 2009 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, rated 88 points by The Wine AdvocateRobert M Parker Jr. It is one of the “Great Cabernet Buys” from Northern California today. They have taken 90% Cabernet and blended it with Merlot, Petite Syrah, and Cabernet Franc.  The results speak for themselves, withsoft notes of plums, blackberries, red cherries, and herbs that punctuate this well made Cabernet. This is the perfect wine to accompany your holiday prime rib.

Guests will love Gnarly Head 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel, on the Wine Spectators Top 100 Biggest Bargains of 2011! This wine comes to us from Lodi California with some of the oldest vines in California today, over 80 years old!  The zinfandel grape enjoys the hot summer sun in Lodi, but only because of the refreshing afternoon breeze travels from the ocean up the Sacramento River to cool the fruit every evening. Let me assure you of the pleasant surprise you’ll experience as you lift your glass, you’ll note the deep hues, and enjoy the powerful dark raspberry and black cherry flavors with layers of spice and chocolate. Enjoy this wine with beef, spicy dishes, or chocolate.

If you’re thinking white wines, let me offer this suggestion from the California North Coast Region; Clos Du Bois Chardonnay (pronounced clo do bwau). The Silver straw-yellow hue is complimented by aromas of apple blossoms and sweet lemon drops followed by flavors of apple and pears, concluding with a fresh, satisfying finish. You can serve it with shellfish, roasted poultry, white meats or even creamy pasta dishes. It wouldn’t be right if I failed to suggest a holiday sparkling wine or champagne!  Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee is a great choice and you won’t break the bank with this selection. Please don’t think you have to wait for the holiday to enjoy this wine for it is certain to tickle your toes; buy two bottles and have one tonight! The flavor profile is sweet with fruit aromas and flavors of green apples and jasmine with hints of kiwi and peach followed by a long, crisp, lingering finish. You can serve it with cakes or pastries, cheese and crackers, or other simple appetizers. (Also available in extra dry and other styles.)

One additional note for the holiday season, I’ve found it is always a good idea to add a few extra bottles of wine to your home selection.  After all, you never know when a party might break out… be prepared!!!

Have a wonderful Holiday Season, Cheers!


*Please note that we only carry wine in Vermont, New Hampshire and the following Massachusetts stores: Pittsfield, Shrewsbury, Lenox.

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