All in Good Wine
Updated: Dec 24, 2018
Christmas is almost here! Because of the way Christmas falls this year, you might have holiday parties and family gatherings all week long…. Even into New Years! I want to share some of my favorite wines with you because what better hostess gift than a really great bottle of wine. People are often intimidated by wines and the possible cost of what might be a good wine. I’m here to help! These wines are wines I first tasted in fine dining experiences with my family. However, when my I went to buy the wine at our local liquor store, they were very reasonably priced. My dad is very knowledgeable about wines. He likes to study the grapes and regions of really great wines. So, much of my knowledge regarding this topic comes from him.
One of my favorite red wine is Alamos Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. My family discovered this wine while having dinner at St. Elmo’s Steak house in Indianapolis (Peyton Manning’s Steakhouse). We had ordered it for dinner and loved it so much that my dad went to Big Red Liquors to see if he could find it and sure enough, he did! He also discovered that it is only around $15 a bottle for a really great tasting red wine. This has become my family’s best go-to.
A favorite red wine of mine is CakebreadCabernet…. However, this wine is a true treat because it runs at about $60 a bottle. It is smooth, yet it has a robust flavor.
A favorite red Italian wine of mine is Zenato Valpolicella. It is a soft and supple version of the classic Italian Valpolicella wine. It runs at about $15 a bottle.
I am not a big white wine girl, but if I am going to drink it, bring me a glass of Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc, please! But if you are not a big red wine drinking, this is a nice year-round white wine. It is from the Napa Valley and it runs at about $35 a bottle. This Sauvignon Blanc is surpassingly smooth. It has the perfect amount of fruity flavor but not too sweet. This Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite with a dinner salad. It also pairs nicely with fish. I think your friends and family would be happy to receive a bottle of this from you.
Oh, another pro tip! If you are looking for a good white wine look for something from the Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is also known as the garden of France. This is where wine growing began, and it is a very prestigious area in France. The river is what makes the Loire Valley very vivacious. Because this is in the northern part of France the wines tend to have very acidic crisp flavor that can be very light and sometimes tangy. Often you can taste the flavor of the terroir (land and Rocky Mountains). You also get a salty refreshing taste of the sea air because of the soil of the coastal tidal flats where the river empties. This is a very well hydrated area in the Rocky portions of the mountains and the cliffs near the ocean. The bottom line is that the vines that have been in this valley forever take their flavor from the earth.
If you are looking for a rosé, go get a bottle of Whispering Angel rosé. It is made in Côtes de Provence, France by a winery that has reputedly become known for making the world's greatest rosé, Château d'Esclans. It runs at about $28 a bottle, but I promise… You will not be disappointed. This is perfect for a hot summer’s day, but so good you’ll drink it anytime of the year. I discovered this rosé this past summer at an event I was invited to attend by Vineyard Vines and Whispering Angel. Because I am not a big white wine girl, I was never into the rosés either, but this event turned me onto Whispering Angel rosé.
Put the wine in a cute wine bag or tie a big bow around it and you have the perfect hostess gift!
If you want to add something to your hostess gift here are some ideas that you might like to gift with the bottle of wine.
Cute dishtowels. No one can have enough decorative dish towels in my opinion. I have found some really cute ones at Anthropologie recently.
Wine bottle opener. My parents have the HOST lever corkscrew wine bottle opener and it is awesome! It has a nice price point of $39 and it is effective and easy to use.
If you want to spend more on the gift, go for the CORAVIN opener. It runs upwards of $299. It is a new wine system that allows you to enjoy a glass of wine without removing the cork. This allows you to preserve the quality, longevity and taste of the wine if you and your family and friends don’t plan on finish the wine in one sitting.
A nice wooden or marble board for a cheeseboard because what goes better with a glass of wine than a beautiful charcuterie board. Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and even Target and Bed Bath and Beyond have great selections of wooden and marble boards.
Merry Christmas to all!