Sometimes the season gets away from you and suddenly, you’re out of time. Sometimes you’re stumped on what to give. And, sometimes, you’re just sick of going to parties with subpar sippers. Here’s a secret, though: Wine is never a bad gift. Pair your wine with stunning glasses or a fun opener (we love this one from Tank Winery) and voila, you have the perfect gift!
We know — it’s not always easy to pick a bottle of wine. In fact, there is a certain panic to picking a wine that may not go over well. That’s why we’re here! We spend a lot of time sipping everything from big, bold reds to funkier natural wines and have some wonderful ideas perfect for bringing to a holiday party or for gifting.
The Prisoner Wine Co.: Any bottle from The Prisoner Wine Co. would be a hard to disappoint if found under the tree or gracing the holiday table. While the brand’s red blend is a sure crowd pleaser, Eternally Silenced and its Chardonnay are both wines that are stand-out and special. Or, tap into the brand’s Saldo or Unshackled lines for wines that are extra tasty for the price point.
Champagne Drappier Carte d’Or NV: Classic and clean, Champagne Drappier should not be missed this holiday season. Made with an impressive percentage of pinot noir, this sparkling sipper has a beautiful texture and is perfectly food-friendly. It’s a bottle that everyone will enjoy, and really brings the celebratory spirit to the season.
Silk + Spice: Budget friendly, palate pleasing and a great option for co-worker gifts or grab bags, Silk +Spice is a full bodied wine with notes of vanilla, pepper, and a hint of mocha.
Three Sticks: Kicking it off is the Three Sticks 2019 Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard, Sonoma Coast. Owner Bill Price’s original vineyard, Durell spans the Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Carneros AVAs and produces Chardonnay with fragrant aromas, lush flavors and fine structure. The Three Sticks 2019 Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, Sonoma Coast is another bottle that is perfect for the special feel of the holiday season. Renowned cool-climate vineyard in the Petaluma Gap yields smaller, thicker-skinned grapes that make complex wines with plush tannins and nice density.
Gary Farrell: The Gary Farrell Winery 2019 Chardonnay, Russian River Selection is a quintessential Russian River Chardonnay that blends fruit from some of the top vineyards in the region, including Rochioli, Bacigalupi and Olivet Lane. Want a red? The brand’s 2019 Pinot Noir, Russian River Selection is another great option. Classic Russian River Pinot that blends fruit from Rochioli, Bacigalupi, Toboni, Hallberg and Dutton vineyards; aromas of raspberries, red currants and strawberries, with a bright palate and generous mouthfeel
Tank Garage Winery: The best thing about Tank Garage Winery is that these wines are made in small batches and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Not only does it make these wines special, but it also makes a great conversation piece. The MDNA 2019 is a mashup of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Carignan and Malbec. Tank worked with renowned artist René Garza for the label to create this collage depicting Lady Madonna sucking on a tootsie pop. Guaranteed no other wine bottles on the table will look (or taste) like this. Another one of the brand’s stand outs? Pleasure Trip, a pétillant natural wine bursting with fruity flavors and tiny, delicate bubbles.
Hudson Chatham Winery: The newly re-branded winery is working hard to bring a plethora of new sippers to the market. For this holiday season, Hudson Chatham’s white pet-nat as well as its rosé pet-nat would make any wine lover excited. Want something different? Choose from the brand’s selection of orange wines for a beautifully unique sipping experience.
Crémant d’Alsace: Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wine is the perfect pour to have on hand and pop open when guests pop in at a moment’s notice all season long. Alsace’s sparkling wine made in the traditional method is an underrated gem, offering fine bubbles, freshness, and expressive aromas and flavors at a remarkable price. Two to try: Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blanc Crémant d’Alsace; and Jean-Baptiste Adam Les Natures Crémant d’Alsace Brut.
Ancient Peaks: Look to Paso Robles’ Ancient Peaks for its versatile range to elevate any holiday festivity you are attending. A low-key night with friends? You can’t go wrong with the effortlessly crowd-pleasing 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. A swanky dinner party or a very important gift? Opt for the show-stopping Cabernet Sauvignon Pearl Collection to match — this special release by the estate comes from the highest-quality vineyards of Paso’s southernmost Santa Margarita.
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2018: While Villa Maria offers a stand-out Sauvignon Blanc, the brand’s Pinot Noir is extra special and perfect for the holidays. This wine is a single vineyard expression of the Taylors Pass site, showcasing an intense bouquet of ripe juicy raspberries and blueberries with hints of baking spices. A harmonious palate delivers mocha notes intermingled with red cherries, subtle dried herbs and finishes with velvety smooth tannins. Perfect when paired with holiday dinners such as turkey, lamb or duck.
Ferrari Rose’ Brut NV: A beautiful sparkling wine from Italy’s Trento region, Ferrari makes every occasion into a celebration. This year, pop the brand’s Rose’ Brut for something other than classic bubbles. The delicate harmony between the elegance of Chardonnay and the structure of Pinot Nero makes this a showstopper. On the nose, it shows refined hints of wild strawberries and red currants, with a fresh sensation of hawthorn flowers, underpinned by a delicate note of crusty bread deriving from its more than 20 months’ aging on the yeasts. The sip is fresh and fruity, with a touch of mellowness: the flavor of sweet almonds is supported by an acidulous vein that is extraordinarily appealing.
To Kalon Vineyard Company Eliza’s 2018: Brand new to the market, this blend produces one of the most compelling examples of Napa Valley wine, with Cabernet Franc at the forefront, bringing exotic spice notes and floral aromas, and Cabernet Sauvignon providing weight, structure, and a deep, rich, black fruit character. The combination is rare and uniquely To Kalon — a wine that is effusive and exuberant now, but one that will age for decades to come. It’s sold in sets of three.