Going to a Holiday party? Having friends over for a cozy dinner? From sparkling rosé to Bourbon, our staff tell us which bottles they like to have on hand / impress their friends and family with during this festive season. What’s your go-to bottle for the Holidays?
Lorena Ascencios, Wine Buyer:
Meinklang “Prosa” Frizzante Rosé
It’s my “welcome wine” for guests regardless of the time of year. It’s a friendly bubbly that’s full of ripe red berry fruit aromas. My friends and family love it because it’s not bone dry but finishes with mouthwatering acidity. They may not be able to verbalize this, but I can see the reaction in their faces and they keep asking for more of “that wine with the pink cow on it.”
We brought in so little of this wine the first time around; I wasn’t sure how customers would receive it. I totally misjudged this one! It was gone in a couple of weeks. Luckily, the winery had more – and now the Prosa Rosé is back!
Elizabeth Patrick, Assistant Wine Buyer:
Cheverny Rouge “Les Hauts Madon,” Venier
Les Hauts de Madon is a true crowd-pleasing red – deliciously gluggable and works the yumminess factor to the nth degree.
I love that this natural wine is so accessible; when at a party, you really don’t want to always wax poetic about producer methods and philosophies (though Christian Venier is truly wax-worthy)! So I just show up with a lightly chilled bottle, open it, and watch everyone’s face light up.
This Pinot Noir/Gamay blend is medium-bodied and perfect for a whole range of snacks and Holiday nibbles, like: savory crostini; mini quiches; pâtés and terrines; poultry; ham; and bacon-laden snacks.
Steve Bowles, Wine & Spirits Consultant:
1792 Ridgemont Reserve Single Barrel Astor Selection Bourbon
After sampling a number of single barrels, we HAD to have this one because we love the balance and expressive character. Notes of caramel, vanilla, and apple are present. The generous rye content lifts those sweeter notes, making it vibrant and enticing. Perfect for the Holiday season.
Kent Wilhelm, Senior Manager of New Media Design & Marketing:
Usually the rule of thumb for me concerning bringing a bottle to a gathering, party, pow-wow, or fiesta is not to be too concerned with what everyone else is going to like. The odds are, my friends are not going to be terribly discriminating about what they’re drinking. That means two things to me: bring something I enjoy, and make sure it’s not too expensive. This bottle not only fulfills both of those criteria, but is also a major crowd-pleaser. It’s inexpensive, delicious, and has a fantastic story that your friends will never remember.
Root is made by the nice folks at “Art in the Age” in the Keystone state. It’s based on the original recipe for root tea, which we know now as root beer. Root tea was a boozy libation, but when temperance and Prohibition hit, a pharmacist turned it into the PG soft drink we know today. The whole story is conveniently provided in a little booklet attached to the neck of the bottle, along with some really approachable recipes. Unless your friends are the fascist sort that don’t find root beer appealing, you can’t go wrong with this bottle. Also, I guarantee someone will take home the empty bottle with them at the end of the night.
Charlotte Gudmundsson, Graphic Designer:
Gewurztraminer Réserve Personnelle, A. Seltz
My family is Swedish, and we always celebrate Christmas on the 24th with an early dinner at around 4 p.m. that’s heavy on spiced, rich foods. We always have a number of small dishes, like red cabbage slow-cooked in port wine with cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom; different types of pickled herring; and dense homemade dark rye bread – not to forget the star of the Christmas table, the honey-glazed ham studded with cloves. I found that the full-bodied Alsatian Gewurtztraminer from Seltz works fantastically, given its not-too-sweet richness and aromatic quality; it stands up really well to the abundance of spices in traditional Swedish Christmas food.