By The Glass
These wines will make perfect gifts
EVERY YEAR around this time my family and friends call, asking for wine recommendations for gifts. I am always surprised at how the number of requests and the myriad people making them keeps growing and growing. I think it's simply fantastic!
But for those who don't feel they know me well enough to ask, I've created this brief shopping list:
Diebold-Vallois Brut "Tradition":
Wine aficionados talk about artisan, handcrafted, "boutique" wines -- except when speaking about champagnes. The large champagne houses seem to have a strong lock on that category.
Well, this is an artisan, handcrafted, "boutique" champagne, and one I think would be a great gift for someone special or one to pop open with your loved ones this season.
Soft, creamy, elegant, completely finesse-oriented, this French bubbly is not only delicious, but at roughly $45 a bottle, it is a great buy as well.
Ruggeri Prosecco "Gold Label": At under $20 a bottle, this off-dry, effortlessly light and crisp Italian bubbly is a solid, very stylish gift for anyone who loves sparkling wines. I know I would be thrilled to get one of these under the Christmas tree.
2004 Cantina Terla Pinot Bianco:
Here is an absolutely delicious, riveting, amazingly light and crisp white wine from the mountains of northeast Italy. It is one of the most remarkably food-friendly wines you will find. At less than $20 a bottle, it is also a sensational buy.
2004 Neyers Chardonnay "Il Novillero": If you are looking for a bold, brassy, dramatic chardonnay that will make a huge impact on first taste, here it is. Il Novillero is a small, low-yielding vineyard down by Carneros, Calif., on the Sonoma side. It may not get the huge write-ups, but believe me, it packs a mean punch and really delivers where it counts. At roughly $45 a bottle, this small production chardonnay will wow anyone.
2005 Palmina Dolcetto:
At least 98 percent of wine drinkers will ask, "What kind of wine is this?" It is a totally delicious, compelling, captivating red that will make you want more. Delicious, delicious, delicious. At around $20 a bottle, it is also a great gift or a nice bottle to take to a holiday parties.
2005 Melville Pinot Noir "Estate": I just had to include a Santa Barbara pinot to this list. As I have mentioned before, the 2004 and 2005 wines from this region are spectacular. This particular one, at roughly $32 a bottle, is one any pinot lover would go bonkers over. Do yourself a favor and buy one for your house, too.
Chuck Furuya is a master sommelier and a partner in the Sansei restaurants. This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.
This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org