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Wine for the Holidays

If you haven’t yet finished your Christmas shopping and want an easy literally last-minute gift idea, French wine is a great one-size-fits-all way to go.

“Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music” – John Keats

And whether you’re gifting or drinking, splurging or saving, there’s plenty of liquid wonder to be had at the end of 2013.

The Bubbles

Champagne is a no-brainer for New Years sipping, but a bottle can also make a great Christmas gift.

“I always prefer giving Champagne as a gift, especially for Christmas,” says Patrick Cappiello, managing partner and wine director at Pearl & Ash in New York City. “My hope is that it won’t live to see the New Year, or just ‘til the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve.”

via Wine Mag

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In 2013, try:

  • Moet & Chandon 2004 Grand Vintage Brut (Champagne), $80+
  • Chartogne-Taillet NV Brut Cuveé Ste. Anne (Champagne), $40
  • H. Billiot NV Brut Rosé (Champagne), $55
  • Dopff au Moulin, NV Brut Cuvée Julien, Crémant d’Alsace (Alsace), $20
  • Langlois-Château, NV Brut Crémant de Loire (Loire), $16
  • Jean Pierre Dirler 2007 Brut Crémant d’Alsace (Alsace), $21

White Wine Christmas

If you want something bubble-less to go with the the holiday season, try Domaine les Cantates 2012 Roussanne from Chignin-Bergeron in Savoy (90 points, $30).

“A white that evokes images of a winter wonderland. Creamy in texture, with rich yellow and white fruits and touches of vanilla, this is ideal for nesting in the living room, basking in the lights from the Christmas tree and fireplace.”

via Wine Mag

muscadet

Yes, that sounds lovely. Sign me up.

Red Wines for the Holidays

If red wine is more your thing, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot all pair well with Roast Beef. This means you can’t really go wrong with a Bordeaux – either bank will do.

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If you’re looking for something a little more specific and unusual, Charlie Berg, assistant sommelier at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in NY, recommends a 2005 Grosjean Fumin (Vallée d’Aoste), $40.

“There is something about [the Valley of Aoste’s] snow-covered Alpine slopes and the spicy varietals that evoke a wonderful sense of the yuletide.”

via Wine Mag

On the more affordable end of the Reds spectrum, the Réserve Bourgogne Rouge 2011 will fare well this year at ~$15-18/ bottle. Girls Guide to Paris calls it the “Toyota Camry of wines” for a reason. It’s universally pleasing; fruit forward with a kick of Holiday spice.

“Initial flavors of cranberries and strawberries give way to a candied-apple finish. Delicate enough to be paired with a vegetarian entrée such as mushroom risotto or mushroom pâté, the pinot noir is earthy enough to hold its own with a pork or chicken dish as well.”

For more general French wine recommendations, check out French Wine 101.

Happy holidays and happy drinking, Goutasters! What’s on your holiday menu this year? Let me know in the comments!

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