Wines for the Holidays
It's your job to have an enjoyable time with your loved ones and it's our job to provide you with wines for the holidays worthy of the occasion. As we get closer to them, we hope that you can relax and open those great bottles in your cellar that have been waiting for a special occasion. Or, we'd love to help you discover those top expressions for your next event as well! Cheers and enjoy these November sommelier picks.
Jackson's Somm Picks
When's the last time you had a Madeira? Do you remember how complex it was? How utterly timeless and robust and powerful it was? Let this be a reminder: Madeira was and is among the greatest wines in the world. When we talk about big Bordeaux and cult Napa Cabernet, those wines are often scored based on their aromatic complexity and length of finish. Madeira has both of those traits in spades and almost never gets included with the big dry reds when the conversation of great wines comes up. In my mind, that's a crime. Wines like this, with their unending finishes and notes of fig, salted caramel and white peppercorn are worth stocking up on if only for the conversation they inspire.
A ripe Barolo from a ripe vintage. This one epitomizes a more modern, extracted style of Barolo and has no shame in playing to that more intense style. Domenico Clerico is pretty much a byword for hedonistic Nebbiolo. The 2011 vintage was velvety and ripe, with ripening happening very late into the season. I walked the vineyards in early November of this year and it was amazing to see that some Nebbiolo had still been left on the vine to ripen! This is a plummy, figgy Barolo that's ready to drink, so give it a try as one of your wines for the holidays.
Raen is a winery simultaneously lauded and misunderstood. People liked the idea of a new Sonoma super cuvée, but didn't necessarily understand who was making it. In short, the Mondavis were behind this project. Not Robert, but his grandkids: Carlo and Dante. They decided to break from the Napa Valley mold their family has been such a part of and start their new venture in Sonoma, where they're producing aromatic, intense Pinot Noir under the Raen label. Check these wines out. They'll soon be harder to get, so now is the time.
It's not the first time I've mentioned Voge in my Somm Picks column. But let me remind you, this Master Sommelier wishes he could buy all the Voge that was out there. And there will come a time when Voge is as hard to get as Allemand or Clape. Let someone who's poured these wines for guests in restaurants tell you how good these are with food and how underpriced they are. It won't be that way forever.
The last Bruno Colin I opened was stellar and they've done nothing but improve their winemaking. The 18 vintage is one that will be opening early and offering delicious dividends to white Burgundy lovers. The Bruno Colin domaine comprises eight hectares spread throughout Chassagne, Puligny and Meursault. They pride themselves on meticulous farming, gentle barrel aging and precise winemaking. I expect these wines to age well and give lots of drinking pleasure throughout their life.
This selection of wines for the holidays has been made taking fully into consideration how fatigued our palates are this year. We've all been on the hunt for new flavors and ideas to inspire us, so hopefully something here did the trick.
Thanks for checking these out and we hope you have a great Thanksgiving, or whatever holiday you celebrate with your loved ones.
View more of Jackson’s carefully curated wine selections here: