One of the most valuable friends a wine lover can have is a trusted wine expert…someone who not only has extensively studied wine but who also samples a lot of wines to learn even more.
That person will save you countless dollars over the years. I speak from experience! I have some trusted folks I reach out to when selecting wines, especially this time of year. Special times call for special wines!
I hope these suggestions below will help you plan your perfect holiday party.
From my trusted sommelier and cicerone, Sean Ballesteros who is also the Wine Manager at the H-E-B Bunker Hill come the following suggestions….
Krutz Family 2011 Magnolia St Helena – $22 – BEST Napa buy for the money. This wine drinks like a $50 Cab…smooth and elegant.
Corison 2010 Napa Valley – mid $70’s – 100% Organic and said to be one of the best wines from the vintage. The fruit comes from Napa Benchland (Rutherford, Stagecoach, St Helena).
Halter Ranch 2011 Paso Robles – $27 – This winemaker was formerly at Justin, one of Paso Robles’ premier wineries. This is a big wine with tannins….perfect for that roast beast!
Canoe Ridge 2011 Horse Haven Hills – $20 – This wine hails from Washington state, ‘an absolute steal’ that’s earthy and ripe with a long finish.
Spanish Cava – Codorniu Classico Brut NV – $9 – The perfect crisp, light and frothy sparkling wine…goes with everything!
Italian Prosecco – Carpene Malvolti Extra Dry – $15 – Comes from the best area for prosecco (Valdobiadene). It tastes of Almonds and Apricots – fruity and soft.
French Champagne – Laurent-Perrier Brut NV – $40 – Big, broad and rich! This wine fills your palate.
American Sparkling – Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Brut Rose NV – $39 – From Napa; The perfect rose (dry, elegant, intense flavor) that goes great with holiday fare.
Super Tuscan. Rocca di Frassinello 2010 Ornello (IGT Maremma) – $40 – a blend of Sangiovesse, Syrah, Merlot & Cabernet. This one is big, dried fruit dominant…very rustic and rich.
Brunello di Montalcino. col d’Orcia 2008 Brunello di Montalcino – $55 – most famous/prestigious Sangiovesse region in Tuscany. This wine is very elegant and long lasting…can age 25+ years!
Bolgheri. Coastal region in Tuscany south of Livorno and Pisa – famous for IGT “Super Tuscans’ that are Cab based. Guado al Taso 2009 – $95 – 98 points by Wine Advocate; 3rd label – Il Bruciato 2012 – $25 – 90 pts. Wine Spectator; Ornellaia 2010 – $180– one of 1st Merlot based; 2nd label Le Serre Nuove dell’ Ornellaia 2011 – $55.