We know you have to holiday shop for all types of personalities, so we’ve put together a list to help you pick out the perfect bottle of wine for each one of your friends and associates. Whether you’re buying for your supremely wine-geeky buddy or your old school “it’s all in a name” boss, we’ve got you covered. What we have to offer has been carefully hand-selected by us and you won’t find these bottles just anywhere. In other words, the perfect gift!
Many of these wines made the recently published list of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of 2014; we have noted these wines with an asterisk. It’s always nice when our selections are reinforced in the press.
The Wine Geek
Winemaker John Raytek makes some of our favorite Chardonnays, both with Lioco and Ceritas. This version is bright, crisp, and unoaked – so not for the lover of ‘typical oaky, buttery California Chardonnay’. It does have an appealing richness to it, balanced with bright acidity. A little crudo and a bottle of this wine will make any wine-o happy.
Angela Osborne is all about Grenache, and she produces an ethereal, complex style that is beyond compare. There were only 250 cases of the 2012 Santa Barbara Highlands produced. This vintage is plusher than previous years but the characteristic refinement and charm come through and, perhaps best of all, no patience is required because the wine is drinking well now.
Cade was established in 2005 as a complement to the wines of Plumpjack, another recognized name in the world of California wine. Located way up on Howell Mountain, above Napa Valley, the estate is stunning and the wines, particularly this beautifully balanced Sauvignon Blanc, are unfailingly well made. This wine is a great foil for rich winter dishes.
The first bottle of this wine was produced over 50 years ago. Never having fallen in the trap of making bigger, riper wines for the sake of trends or scores, Heitz has held true to the classic Napa Cabernets of the 60’s and 70’s. This 2009 (our favorite in a string of good vintages) is no exception, with classic flavors including blackberry and cassis and balanced richness and acidity.
This Chardonnay is inspired by France but with a core of fruit squarely grounded in California. A recently drunk bottle had our staff swooning and throwing out descriptors such as pineapple, baked caramel apple, creme brûlée, nougat, salty buttered popcorn, lemon curd, and citrus zest. We also recently tasted a $500 bottle of Montrachet and, dollar for dollar, this does compare.
We’ve been singing the praises of Drew Pinot Noir for a while now and this Fog Eater just took it to a new level. The pure, red fruit flavors are accompanied by subtle floral notes and some earthy minerality. Jason Drew has been making wines for his eponymous winery since 2004 and it’s about time more people take notice. Only 336 cases were produced.
Your Six Best Wine Finds under $30
One of the best wines out there for $25, it drinks like twice the price. Old vines and careful blending of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah make for a savory and decadent bottle.
The Broc Love is so good that Chris Brockway had to come up with Love Part Deux when he sold out of the first one. Carignan, Valdiguie, and Petite Sirah make up this unlikely yet delicious blend.
Speaking of unlikely blends, who knew Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel could sing in the same bottle of wine? Spicy, round, and bright, Sean Thackerey is a risk taker and it works.
A perennial favorite, the 2013 is the best Annia yet. A blend of Tocai friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Chardonnay, Winemaker Dan Petroski recommends enjoying it with rich food – and friends.
Matthiasson assistant winemaker Jack Roberts and Johanna Jensen, formerly of Scholium Project and Broc Cellars, produced only 45 cases (not a typo) of this elegant, leesy, saline wine.
We love Grenache Blanc for something different and winemaker Chris Pittenger always makes one of our favorites. The wine has a subtle richness with ample, refreshing minerality.
We’ve also got plenty of great bottles in the $20 and under range for your Secret Santa gifts as well as stocking stuffers in the form of splits and half bottles of bubby, and half pints of spirits from vodka and gin, to whiskey, tequila, rum, and cognac.
If you don’t find the idea you need on this list, feel free to visit the shop, e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at the store (212) 785-7285 and we’ll be happy to help.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.
* Top 100 Wines: The Best of the West Coast in 2014, San Francisco Chronicle, December 2014