12 Drinks of Christmas-Day #2: Wines, Sparkling Wine, Specialty Spirits for Christmas Eve & Day!!
This is day 2 of the 12 drinks of Christmas. Often people don’t want mix cocktails and wine and prefer to stick with one type of beverage. Given that the holiday is tomorrow and feasting is certainly part of the mix as well as some sort of celebration tonight as people get ready for Santa to show up (or not). It’s a time for celebration. Whether you choose to drink these or gift these items here (and they would make terrific gifts– easily purchased and happily received), this is a great selection of wines and specialty spirts.
Pre-Christmas Dinner Festivities
Grandial Brut, France:
Having a little bubbly during the holidays is a must. Grandial Brut makes it easy with a pricetag of a mere $10.99. It’s a light, French sparkler that’s a great buy for a crowd!
This is a dry rendition, reminiscent of Champagne with a tropical notes as well- making it more flavorful and tasty for most of the crowd.
Want a festive cocktail with a sparkling touch?
Try Pomegranate Sparkling Punch.
1.5 cups of pomegranate juice,
1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
1 cup of pear or peach nectar together,
top it off with a bottle of Grandial.
For something more special:
Pop open Pierre Peters Champagne ($56.99) or Duval Leroy’s Champagne Rose ($59.99).
Edited Recommendations from www.thesavorygrape.com
Whites: from lighter to heavier
2009 Foris Pinot Gris, Oregon. Not only is this perfect for this holiday but it also has a special place with SavoryGrape.com, considering this is one of the vineyards at which the writer stayed on my visit to Oregon this summer. ($15.99)
2009 Giraudon Aligote, France. Aligote is a white that’s not quite as light in body as a Sauvignon Blanc but not quite as creamy and full as a Chardonnay, which makes it a delightful partner for pairing with turkey. Just enough acidity, fruit and body. ($14.49)
2008 Chateau de la Saule Montagny 1er Cru, Burgundy, France. This is truly an old world wine that many wouldn’t recognize as Chardonnay, if tasted blindly. Its citrusy nose and mineral nature add to the long, elegant and amazingly refined feel. Vanilla spice shows on the palate and nose while a bright acidity and creaminess ensure a long finish. ($30.99)
2009 Mille Bardolino, Veneto Italy. This light red, stainless steel fermented, reminds us of Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. It’s airy, fresh and vibrant with an energetic palate of raspberries and cranberries. It’s a great partner for Christmas turkey or ham, and comes in a Liter-sized bottle with a screw cap. Good for a budget. ($13.99) (A real bargain)
2009 The Pinot Project, California. The inaugural release of this selection is great and great value. Often difficult to find really, really good non-French Pinot Noir at $15, this one takes the prize brought to us by famed importer Michael Skurnik. ($15.49)
2008 Granger Julienas Cru Beaujolais, France. Beaujolais, made from Gamay Noir, is always a great match for this holiday. Lighter bodied like Pinot Noir, it’s excellent with black cherry and raspberry notes. ($24.99)
2007 Trefethen Double T, Napa Valley. This bigger red blend is for those enjoying meat this holiday. Luscious, this is Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petite Verdot. It has flavors of blackberries and currants with rich chocolate on the end. Divine! ($19.99) (Again, a huge bargain for this blend)
Vietti Moscato d’Asti. This Italian dessert wine is slightly effervescent and the perfect partner for pumpkin pie, pecan pie and Italian cookies. ($17.99)
Elyse Cabernet Port. This is for splurging (under $35) and for pairing with chocolate, mince pie or bleu cheese. From our Napa trip, we found this port-like dessert wine, perfect for an “after feast tipple.” Made from Cabernet Sauvignon and fortified with Germain Robin Brandy, it has rich notes of blueberry and raspberry coupled with chocolate. Delicious– and amazing because it works so well with a variety of foods.
Bruichladdich 1970 Scotch. This 40-year old Scotch is in the words of our very own Steve Wynn “The best Scotch I’ve ever tasted.” Sans the smoke and peat, this selection has beautiful flavors of vanilla and toffee that envelope the mouth. At just under $190, this is quite a special selection and a good gift we might add.
Adega Velha Casa d’Avelleda. From my recent trip to Portugal, this Brandy was a true treat after dinner with the people of Avelleda. It was exceptionally smooth and is a great after-dinner gem that will be ever pleasing with pumpkin pie. ($38.99)
4 Roses Small Batch Bourbon. From a marriage of four individual and limited barrels, this Bourbon has a beautiful mouthfeel accompanied by sweet oak, spice and vanilla. ($29.99) (a great gift for anyone– particularly you!)
Here’s your shopping list. Go visit a liquor store or large spirits warehouse store and see what you find that seems to 1) fit your menu, 2) fits your wallet and 3) fits your tastes!!
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com
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