With holidays around the corner we got some gift ideas for all your thirsty friends and family members. Here are some of the wine, spirits and beer suggestions…
Holiday Meal Pairings
· RIAS BAIXAS: Critically-acclaimed Rías Baixas Albariño is ready for a permanent place as a ‘Winter White’ wine. With its delicate, distinctive aromatics and pleasing acidity, the versatile white is pure pairing perfection with seafood dishes, holiday cheese platters and ethnic cuisines.
· ARTESA: Fine winemaking is an art and for Artesa every harvest is a canvas- even after 25 years of making wine. Bring the ultimate tasting experience home with the 2013 Carneros Pinot Noir and 2013 Carneros Chardonnay. Elegant and well-balanced these estate wines are a cool as Carneros and as bold as Napa Valley.
· RUTINI: Full of Argentine character and fresh varietal expression, the Rutini Trumpeter Malbec is one of Argentina’s most cherished wines. The 2012 vintage is made from 100% estate-grown, hand-harvested grapes by Winemaker Mariano Di Paola, a Decanter Top-30 world winemaker. Rutini is one of Argentina’s most prestigious and beloved wines, and only recently available in the U.S.
Gift-worthy Wines and Spirits
· Chopin Potato Vodka will have a limited boxed edition, complete with two Chopin signature glasses. Named a “Hot Prospect” by the industry magazine Impact, family-owned Chopin is considered one of the best tasting vodkas in the world due to finest natural ingredients that are carefully managed throughout production.
· Achaval-Ferrer is renowned for “bucket list worthy,” world class, terrior-driven red wines from Argentina. Indulge the Malbec buff in your life with Achaval-Ferrer Finca Alta Mira, Achaval-Ferrer Finca Bella Vista or Achaval-Ferrer Mirador. Small production, low-yields and old vines create a definitive, complex and satisfying wine to savor.
· Opened in 2007 by the Moro brothers of Ribera del Duero Emilio Moro fame, Cepa 21’s wines are made from 100% Tempranillo. Malabrigo 2011, the winery’s single-vineyard bottling, was made from grapes hand harvested in what is being hailed as the “best vintage of the new millennium,” and shows a seductive intensity with finessed aromas.
· Founders Dirty Bastard Stone Ground Mustard satisfies the craving for beer and snacks. Crafted in Michigan with a combination of yellow and brown mustard seeds and a sizeable jolt of Founders Brewing Co. Dirty Bastard scotch ale, it’s delicious on your favorite sandwich or as a dip for pretzels.
ABCs for a Sparkling NYE Celebration
· A is for Anna de Codorníu: Get affordable luxury with Anna de Codorníu. Spain’s #1 sparkling wine is made in the same style as Champagne but is distinguished for its incomparable price-to-quality. From the first family in Spanish winemaking- The Codorníu-Raventos – Anna is the first Spanish bubbly to be made with Chardonnay. Crisp, bright and beautiful- Anna tastes as good as it looks.
· B is for Ferrari Brut: Just named “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” in the 2015 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, Ferrari has been crafting Trentodoc bottle-fermented sparkling wines cultivated sustainably on Alpine slopes of Northern Italy’s Trentino region since 1902. Ferrari Brut, made from 100% Chardonnay, is a favorite toast of red carpet events –most recently appearing at the Emmys and the Venice Film Festival.
· C is for Domaines Paul Mas Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Brut and Brut Rosé. Crémant is France’s sparkling sibling to Champagne. In fact, Limoux in the Languedoc region is the birthplace of sparkling wine – in 1544, the monks of Limoux’s St. Hillaire Abbey produced the first sparkler. Domaines Paul Mas crafts Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Brut and Brut Rosé on the slopes of the Martinolles vineyard, just down the road from the Abbey.
Side “Bar” (non-wines)
· Bring a Bastard to the Holiday Table: Founders Brewing Co., one of the top craft breweries in the country, has a reputation for a pair of Bastards. One of Founders limited releases only available in November, Backwoods Bastard offers aromas of smoke, sweet caramel, roasted malts, earthy spice and dark fruit. For a more readily available option, seek out Founders year-round scotch ale Dirty Bastard. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts, it’s one complex beer.
· Chopin Vodka Holiday Punch
This delicious, crowd-pleasing Chopin Vodka Holiday Punch is perfect to get your holiday party started. Serves 12.
18 oz Chopin Vodka
12 oz Apple Cider
1 tsp Whole cloves
1 tsp Whole allspice, crushed
1 tsp Cinnamon
12 oz Pineapple Juice
6 oz Cranberry Juice
6 oz Ginger Ale
Dash of Orange Bitters
Macerate apple cider with cloves, allspice, and cinnamon for 24 – 48 hours. Stir in fruit juices and dash of orange bitters refrigerate for about two hours, until chilled. Before serving, add ginger ale and ice. Serve in ice-filled Collins glasses, and enjoy!
New Year’s Resolution: Try New Wines
· Cariñena: Discover the next great grape Garnacha from D.O.P Cariñena, named this year’s most promising grape by wine professionals. With the most plantings of old-vine Garnacha in any region in Spain, the wines are intense, fruit-forward yet complex. Quality exceeds price in these wines which means it’s a pocket friendly option post-holiday splurge. Explore wines from Bodegas San Valero, Grandes Vinos y Viñedos and Bodegas Paniza.
· ZACO: A modern expression of a classic Rioja, Viña Zaco is a ‘new release’ perfected by a century of experience. Sourced from the best vineyards in Rioja, it is made from 100% Tempranillo. The 2014 Viña Zaco boasts moderate oak treatment on top of bright, cherry fruit. A food-friendly wine that is also good to drink on its own, Zaco is the perfect wine to take you into the New Year.
· SEPTIMA: Find exceptional style and substance in the 2014 Septima Malbec. The ultra-premium wine is made from 100% hand-harvested grapes from propriety vineyards in Mendoza’s premier growing region, Lujan de Cuyo . Rated ‘Best Buy’ and ‘Best Value’, the Septima Malbec drinks young, but will also age to perfection.