Magazines.com Blog

Home & Lifestyle

December 14, 2012

How to Select the Perfect Wine for Christmas Gatherings—or Gifts

Wine Suggestions for Christmas Festivities and GiftsWine enthusiast and guest blogger Dr. Richard Parker demystifies selecting the perfect vintage for someone special or to share with friends and family this Christmas.

As the holidays are fast approaching, people seem to always be scrambling for a gift that will both make a good impression and be appreciated, yet won’t leave them in the poor house.

Fortunately there are a number of good wines to be enjoyed with family and friends or to be given as a gift this holiday season.

With the onset of winter, people are less likely to drink a chilled white wine, so ‘tis the season for that good red you might have passed over at Thanksgiving.

If your palate desires a strong red with an exotic flare, seek out a Super Tuscan from Italy, or if you insist on something French look for a Bordeaux appellation from Pomerol, Paulliac or St. Emillon.

Many people are unaware that Italian wines offer a great value compared to similar blends from other world regions and deliver a deeply satisfying wine experience. In that same vein, you don’t have to be among the super-rich to enjoy a good Bordeaux. Many of these wines sell for under $25 and will be well-received. Look for Bordeaux wines with vintage dates of 2005, 2009 and 2010 for the best quality.

If something from California is what you desire, here are a few suggestions that will help make Santa’s job a little easier. When looking to spoil someone with that unexpectedly special bottle consider a Stag’s Leap FAY Cabernet Sauvignon. The latest vintage available from the winery is a 2009 and is considered to be a first-growth wine from Napa Valley.

Further south look to Santa Barbara County’s Fess Parker Winery (Fess Parker is of no relation to this writer) if a Pinot Noir is more along the wines of your choice. The Fess Parker 2009 Ashley’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is a great choice to give or enjoy, especially under the mistletoe.

Other California wines to consider are Merlots from Flora Springs, Clos du Val, Grgich Hills and Coppola or Cabernet Sauvignons from Duckhorn, Frog’s Leap, Rodney Strong and Franciscan Estate. These wineries offer a good selection at reasonable prices for your Christmas festivities.

And not to totally ignore the chilled white stuff, let’s jump ahead to the big event after Christmas. Champagne is one of those beverages that tends to go rather quickly on December 31stand the days leading up to it.

There are some very good American sparkling whites (actual Champagne is technically from France) that are ideal to celebrate the advent of a new year or any other special holiday occasion.

Look for sparkling whites from California’s Roederer Estate or Domaine Chandon to ring in the New Year. But if you want something that will really set a festive mood, look for a bottle of bubbly from Washington State’s Mountain Dome Winery. You can’t miss the gnomes on the label of their Brut Non-Vintage sparkling white. These great American sparkling wines will be a hit at your holiday celebrations and will leave your wallet with plenty of greenbacks for other goodies to make the party a success.

As a final reminder, remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune to give the gift of good wine or to enjoy it for yourself and with your family. And don’t forget that wine gift bags help to eliminate the issues of wrapping when treating those special people in your life.

May you have a wonderful Christmas, a joyous New Year and drink responsibly so that you may enjoy more festive occasions down the road.

 



About the Author

Dr. Richard Parker
Dr. Richard Parker
Dr. Richard Parker is a marketing professor and former resident of downtown Nashville’s Second Avenue District. Since 2003 he has consulted on product and marketing strategies for the retailing side of the wine industry. His travels have taken him to various wine regions in California, Canada, Austria and Slovenia. He most recently spent time in California’s Paso Robles wine region.