The holidays are the perfect time to give a special bottle of wine to the loved ones in your life. We caught up with wine expert Mark Oldman for a few tips on how to impress this season. From friends and family to colleagues and hard-to-please wine enthusiasts, there is something for everyone!
FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND
Dependably likeable with soft blackberry fruit and notes of peppery spice, fairly-priced Primitivo from Italy’s Puglia region never fails to reinforce the bonds of fellowship.
Try: Tormaresca Primitivo Salento Torcicoda (Italy, $19)
FOR YOUR BOSS
Lusciously caramel-like yet refreshingly tangy, Sauternes from France is considered the ne plus ultra of dessert wines. Those in power will appreciate the label, which often features castles, crowns, and other symbols of aristocratic power.
Try: Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 2001 (France, $75)
FOR THE TRUE-BLUE TEXAN
Keep it in-state with one of Texas’ many compelling blends, including Pedernales’ blackberry-and-spice Rhone-style mix of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
Try: Pedernales Cellars GSM 2012 (Texas, $25)
FOR YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW
The goal is to speed her to intoxication, and a nice high-alcohol Zinfandel from California will do the trick.
Try: Four Vines Maverick Zinfandel Amador 2010 (California, $16)
FOR THE JET SETTER
No Gulfstreamer should be without a top-level sparkler, and American versions come at a discount compared to their French counterparts. Chandon’s Étoile combines a sleek, sexy bottle with a rich body and nutty, baked-bread aromas.
Try: Domaine Chandon Brut Étoile NV (California, $40)
FOR THE OENO-NERD
Give grape nuts something undiscovered: red wine from Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, a little-known region in the country’s extreme northwest. Lithe and Pinot Noir-like with a minerally edge, these unusual wines display fresh raspberry and red cherry, framed by piercing acidity.
Try: Donnas Vallée d’Aosta Rosso 2009 (Italy, $20)
FOR THE SCRABBLER
A good wine that is hard to pronounce will not only make you seem like a wine insider, it will likely be a good value because its tongue-twisting name makes it less in-demand.
Try: Snoqualmie Syrah Columbia Valley 2011 (Washington State, $10)
FOR THE CAT VIDEO OBSESSIVE
For the legions craving videos of felines sleeping in shoes and playing with puppies, give them a wine that speaks to their passion. The Felino will evoke a contented purr with its soft curranty lusciousness and notes of chocolate.
Try: Viña Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza “Felino” 2013 (Argentina, $20)
FOR THE FIGHTER
The pugilists in your life – or at least the overly argumentative – will get the message with a powerful, edgy, blackberry-inflected Shiraz from Australia.
Try: Mollydooker Shiraz “The Boxer” 2012 (Australia, $24)
FOR THE RE-GIFTER
If you suspect that the object of you gift is going to give it to someone else, play it forward by making it a special, long-lasting wine type like Madeira from Portugal. Essences of apricots, caramel, and honey combine to make this rich dessert wine a pleasant surprise for any recipient.
Try: Madeira Wine Company Madeira Miles 5 Year Old Rich NV (Portugal, $20)