Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Wine 411!

The Headlines:

Looking for good wine?

You've come to the right place. 

This chick knows some good wine!

Let me be very clear.  I love wine.  I really do.  I enjoy a light Sav Blanc with fruit on a Summer day.  Or a big, bold Cab when I eat a rich and hearty steak.  I think wine enhances food enormously.  A good dish can become over the top incredible if you pair it right.  Sometimes, even if you don't.

So when it comes to the holidays... the months when we, as a people, consume probably almost half of our yearly caloric intake - it's fitting to do so with fabulous wine!  But I know many people just really don't... know... where... to... start.

You can read all the super well educated, certified, typical wine geek information of the world (no offense) we love and need you people!  Or you can listen to ONE PICKY CHICK like me.  I'm not a geek or a wine critic of any sort.  I officially do not know what I'm talking about.  But I will say, I'm fairly good at knowing what's good.  It's not that hard.  You probably are good at knowing what's good too.  Cause I'm pretty sure you have taste buds, right?  The difference may be that I have been fortunate enough to go to many, many wine tastings all over the world... YaY!

With that said, I get nothing for any of my "recommendations" here.  DARN!

So take these seriously (but don't take them to your sommelier - they'll want you to buy much more expensive wines).  These are good, popular, not ridiculously priced wines that will make everyone happy this Holiday!  Promise.

Schrammsberg.  Blanc de Blancs. $31-$35 (highest priced of the bunch - worth every penny)

This is an amazing bottle of bubbles.  It's pricier than Korbel but not Cristal dollars.  Believe me?  Don't take my word for it... go to the White House.  Every president since, like Nixon, has served it there.  Not sure about Obama but if not, his term isn't over yet.  It's a fabulous way to start a holiday party.  Bubbly always puts people in the mood.  It's not just for wedding toasts anymore!

Washington Hills. Riesling.  $9-$12

First things first, you must know Riesling is considered the most "turkey paired" wine.  It works for the big bird.  But here's the deal about Washington Hills.  This puppy sells all year long.  Arguably one of the most popular Rieslings around... it's a good solid bet to make your guests happy.  Especially if they're having the standard: turkey/stuffing/potatoes!  Not to mention, did you see that price?

Joel Gott.  Sauvignon Blanc.  $11-13

Know this guy?  If you've ever been to Napa Valley you may know his burger joint.  It's not subtle.  You can't miss the red & white restaurant called Gott's Roadside - which is literally off the main road that runs through that area in St. Helena.  It's good food.  And he's now making really good wine (well, he's been doing it for a while actually).  Yep, he's a real guy.  I happen to like a lot of his wines.  But I really love this one.  It's light, refreshing, crisp.  Everything you want in an SB and you don't have to go over seas to get it.  Huh?  Take a look at a lot of the popular Sauvignon Blancs we drink here in the states.  They're mostly from New Zealand.  Sure it's a good region to grow that grape but taste this one.  You may decide it's time to keep your dollars here at home.

Chalk Hill. Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. $19-$22

Some guests just want Chardonnay.  It's America's favorite white varietal of all time.  So if you're going to have people over for the holidays... you have to have it.  This Chard blows.  It blows your mind that is!  Now, it's not their Estate Chardonnay - which some may consider an iconic white wine in the industry - but it's a more value priced white that's super duper, duper good.  Want to impress people?  Buy this!

Angeline.  Pinot Noir.  $11-$13

If you're hosting, you also must have a Pinot for guests during the holidays.  It's just gotten so popular since that movie, you know the one I'm talking about (that bashed Merlot like 10ish years ago)  "Sideways"!?  Anyways, since then, some people think they absolutely MUST have it.  This is one that I would agree, you must have.  As I write this, I'm actually sitting here enjoying a glass of it with an incredible cold smoked salmon, chopped salad that is a MUST MAKE, by the way, which you can find HERE.  People love it.  You will too.  I digress.  Back on topic.  Buy this wine!

Menage a Trois Silk. Blend (Pinot based). $10-12

In case you didn't know, Menage a Trois (traditional) is theee number 1 selling red wine in the state of Arizona.  It's probably that or close to that where you live too (if you're not here)!  So here's the new wine they're introducing and it's killing it.  It's tracking to be on par, if not surpassing their traditional blend.  Here's a hot tip: head into any Arizona Target and you'll see it front and center for a steal...

You are reading that right... $7.99 for this pupper is ridiculous.  For the value, it's a blend you can't beat.

Coppola Claret.  Cabernet Sauvignon. $16-$18

You know this brand.  Francis Ford Coppola?  The famous director turned wine maker?  Check it out.  It's an impressive bottle.  Something you could bring people as a gift if they're hosting Thanksgiving or any holiday occasion.  It's a large, balanced Cabernet that guests will enjoy.  The bottle has the extra touch of net strewn over it so that it resembles old world Europeans bottles.  Plus, here's a money saving tip: you can grab this HUGE version (seen below) at Costco for 60 bucks (it's 4 bottles in 1) - do the math - not bad, eh?

Bottom line, it's a fabulous Cab and for the price and presentation - hard to beat!

That is all my friends.  Hope I helped.  You can find most of these at all your major grocers and wine/liquor stores.  Most will be on special during these holiday weeks.  Some of the prices mentioned above could get EVEN BETTER!  So enjoy your family, food and festivities this holiday and don't forget to pass the wine!

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