Three Wines for Christmas
The holidays are here, and that means it’s time to pick out thoughtful gifts for the ones you love. It’s also time to stock the wine cellar with a few jewels to entertain and surprise visiting friends and family. With this in mind, I’ve selected a few wines I’ve tried recently that will just over deliver this Christmas season.
The Champagne - Henri Giraud
A celebration is just a meeting without Champagne. And although there’s no bad Champagne, you can take the experience to another level selecting the right one for the occasion. A fantastic Henri Giraud, always Pinot Noir oriented is an excellent topic of conversation. Henri Giraud Aÿ Grand Cru Fût de Chêne Brut MV10 is based on Pinot sourced from Grand Cru Vineyards in Aÿ, from the severe 2010 vintage. The wine is 100% oak fermented, a practice not commonly used elsewhere in Champagne.
Fragrant, masculine and very creamy, this wine has a generous nose: citrus blossoms and peaches blend with oaky vanilla and a leasy marshmallow quality. It has a silky texture and a firm acidic backbone.
This wine is perfect for sipping on its own but will do very well on any table, especially around good friends. The beautiful, unconventional bottle makes it a standout and a unique gift, to yourself or to anyone.
|Champagne||Fût de Chêne|
|Grape Variety||75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay|
|Country and Region/Appellation||France, Champagne|
The White - Einzigacker
Jochen Dreissigacker produces a lovely Weissburgunder (AKA Pinot Blanc) from its vines in Rheinhessen, the Dreissigacker Einzigacker.
Organic practices in the vineyard and natural methods in the winery produce wines of style and terroir expression. This particular white consistently scores 90+ points across the board and is one of the finest representatives of the grape and the land.
The wine has a pale, golden tinge. It balances enticing minerality with ripe fruit aromas. Native yeast provides slight earthy undertones, and an assertive acidity carries on through a long rich finish.
This wine has body! And will fair well with any medium-bodied dish, poultry, cream sauces, and mushrooms. Try making your guests blindly name the variety, which is no easy feat.
Disclaimer: on the photos it’s the 2017, because I just couldn’t find the 2012 anymore. This one was already promising, but the 2012 I had once was fabulous.
|Grape Variety||Pinot Blanc|
|Country and Region/Appellation||Germany, Rheinhessen|
The Red - Bellerophon
Man O’War is a family-owned winery with 150 hectares of vines in the Waiheke Island, New Zealand. No one will expect you to draw out a Shiraz-Viognier from this part of the world, and they will thank you for it after the first sip. The Man O'War Bellerophon is an extraordinary wine and a top scorer too.
The cool sea breeze adds to this muscular wine a tight structure and a fresh feel, while the flowery Viognier counters the ripe dark fruit of this Shiraz. Coating, smooth, round tannins give the wine presence, and its overall elegant feel is celebratory on itself. Try this splendid wine, if you can find it. It’s rising eyebrows.
|Grape Variety||97% Syrah, 3% Viognier|
|Country and Region/Appellation||New Zealand, Waiheke Island|
This season should be all about revelations, newfound experiences and daring pairings. Try these wines out or find your own, off-the-beaten-path bottles and make this holiday season one to remember.