wino_logo.jpeg
Ilustration by Andrew Saeger, tHE ARTdept.
Hey fellow lushes! Are you in full-on holiday mode? Your credit card melting from overuse? Me too!

Still, what

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The Wino Picks A Few Bottles Worth Gifting

wino_logo.jpeg
Ilustration by Andrew Saeger, tHE ARTdept.
Hey fellow lushes! Are you in full-on holiday mode? Your credit card melting from overuse? Me too!

Still, what better time of the year to bust the budget, especially when it comes to spreading the saucy gift of fermented fruit? If you're lucky, the receiver will insist on sharing it with you. (That's why I'm always packing a corkscrew.)

This has been a killer year for scoring a good deal on some high-end wines because, you know, hate to harsh the holiday buzz, but the suck-y recession means there's more high-end wine out there on the shelves. The Wino even spied with her blood-shot eye some of that otherwise elusive Cayuse this year.

Unfortunately, at $90 a bottle, too rich for my bank account. However, when it comes to impressive wines I'm willing to spend up to $50, there's a ton of options. Here's my top choices:

DeLille Cellars 2009 D2. This wine used to be almost impossible to find, but last vintage of this classic Bordeaux blend I spotted it at my neighborhood QFC. I wish I would have bought a case because this mashup of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is so, so good. It's like the character Owen Wilson plays in Midnight in Paris, likeable and friendly but with depth. It's around $38.

Waters Winery 2009 Loess Syrah. For starters, I dig that the wine is named for a vineyard and the vineyard's name doubles for a type of soil. Apologies for the geeky detour. This wine, which sells for $45, is everything a well-made Syrah should be: sassy fruit with some black pepper in the mix to keep things interesting. Love it.

Melville 2009 Santa Rita Pinot noir. Even though The Wino cut her teeth on wines from Napa Valley, I rarely buy California wines anymore, but this one is an exception. It might be my favorite Pinot noir made in the US of A and I sure as hell cannot afford French burgundies, so... This one's got the bright, zippy black cherry qualities you've got to love in a Pinot, but it's also richer than your typical Pinot.

Veuve Clicquot brut Champagne. I know, I know. We're supposed to wait until New Year's Rockin Eve to pop corks, but life's too short to put off opening some really good bubbly. This is my all-time favorite and I like to sip some on Christmas morning while unwrapping all my loot. Er, I mean while I'm reflecting on the joy of the season. Sometimes, I'll find it on sale for under $40.

Finally, because I'm gonna spend a few days over the holiday break visiting family in Leavenworth, I've gotta stock up on sausage-friendly Riesling. I'm a huge fan of German Riesling, which are fruit bombs that the kind of snap you love in a perfect Honey Crisp. My favorite German-style Riesling is actually from France. The Alsace region has been part of Germany off-and-on for centuries, but you don't need to crack the history books to taste this glorious elixir. Look for Trimbach Estate Rieslings, which go for about 30 bucks.

Here's hoping your Christmas is filled with lots of yummy things to eat and drink!

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