I love the holidays! This time is full of my favorite things…family traditions, Christmas jammies and great wine. For those of you that have been wine club members for some time now, you know that the November release is when I impose my traditions on you by way of wine. So here we go again!
Sbragia Family Vineyards “Home Ranch” Chardonnay, Dry Creek Valley 2018
Go big or go home! Big bottles have a way of saying “lets celebrate”. I chose this big beauty with a New Years feast in mind. We go big on seafood for dinner on New Years Eve and always choose wines that will effortlessly pair with scallops, crab and lobster. This wine will do just that!
Ed Sbragia started his winemaking career at Beringer Vineyards where his wines received high scores and accolades for decades. He is the only winemaker to receive two #1 wine in Wine Spectators Top 100 Wine of the World for his Chardonnay followed by his Cabernet. He is still on as consulting winemaker, but his heart is on his home vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma. He and his son Adam make limited quantities of single vineyard wines that showcase finesse, fruit and elegance.
This Chardonnay is full of stone fruit with a kiss of green apple, followed by a beautiful finish that whispers hints of oak, vanilla and warm spice.
Pairs well with butter poached lobster, good friends and a positive outlook on the year ahead.
Founder – Ed Sbragia Winemakers – Ed & Adam Sbragia
Retail - $48
Drink – drinking beautifully now, wait for New Years Eve if you can.
Stephen Vincent “Crimson”, North Coast 2018
You gotta have a pizza wine! That’s right, for the holiday season you must have an easy drinker that won’t break the bank close by for unexcepted visitors, a holiday potluck or pizza night. We make sure to have fun wine on hand while decorating the tree. We get in our Christmas jammies, order pizza (Foccacio Boi if we are lucky), put on the Grinch and/or Elf, pour ourselves a glass of wine and get to decorating.
Stephen Vincent was born out of friendship, passion for wine and love of California’s North Coast. This is a fun blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Merlot from Mendocino and Clarksburg. This wine was made with the goal of proving a great wine, made from great fruit at a great price. Goal accomplished!
Enjoy with pizza, Christmas jammies and your favorite holiday movie of course!
Founders – Dennis Carrol & Patrick Morgon Winemaker – Adam Lazzare
Retail - $16
Drink – age this on the way home, drink now
Cantalici Chianti Classico DOCG 2016
I always get a case of Italian! So, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is having Italian Night at Aunt Nona’s. I am Nona and we are not Italian. My side of the family comes over (a bunch of Mexicans) and we celebrate the holiday. The nieces and nephews (no matter how old) make pizzas and decorate cookies. Mike makes his famous stuffed pasta shells, I make eggplant parmesan and Rhema makes homemade fettucine. We usually polish off a case of Chianti without shame. These are a few of my favorite things.
The history of the Chianti Classsico region of Tuscany is enough to fall in love with. Tasting the history in your glass will make a you a believer in seeking out family owned and run wineries that farm in a sustainable manner. The Cantalici brothers have taken their father’s history in wine and the regions winemaking traditions and breathed new life into the vineyards. They not only make wine but also produce pasta, olive oil and Grappa which are all certified organic.
92 points James Suckling: “Very bright, vivid blackberry and wet-earth aromas with fresh-mushroom undertones. It’s full-bodied with lots of blue-fruit and black-truffle character. Juicy finish. From organically grown grapes.”
Pair with pizza, pasta and family.
Founders – Cantalici Family Winemaker – Daniele & Carlo Cantalici
Drink – ready to drink…with a bunch of Mexicans.
Niner Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 2018
You’re gonna need a big Cab for Christmas Prime Rib! Another family tradition is hosting Christmas Eve with loved ones. Uncle Ron brings the spinach dip, Cousin Joe digs deep in his cellar, Mike makes the prime rib, green beans almandine and creamed corn, Rhema makes the Yorkshire pudding and dessert and I set the table. My job is the easiest! I always choose a youthful full-bodied Cab (cuz Cousin Joe brings the aged ones) for the prime rib and this one will not disappoint.
Niner is a family owned and estate grown winery that celebrates the Central Coast of California. Richard and Pam Niner purchased their first vineyard site in 2001 and spent the next decade planting vine and building out their winery. Today their son Andy oversees the operations of their SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) vineyards, winery and garden. They own vineyards in Edna Valley where they grow their cool climate varietals and Paso Robles where Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals thrive in the heat.
This Cabernet Sauvignon has a touch of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot that creates a balanced full-bodied wine that shows dark berries and cassis with lush round tannins.
Pair with Christmas Prime Rib and the people you cherish most.
Founder – Richard & Pam Miner Winemaker – Molly Bohlman
Retail - $42
Drink – drinking nicely in its youth but will benefit from ageing 4 more years (if you are patient).