I absolutely love the holidays. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate faith, family, and friends while being surrounded by the joy and decor of the season. Each year at Christmas, I make it a theme among my friends and family to celebrate small and local businesses through our gift-giving. And, what better way to support small than to buy from local vineyards? So, this year I thought I would extend that theme to you all with my suggestions for my Top Five Virginia Wine Gifts to Give this Holiday Season.
There are some great new finds that I have discovered on the trail, and I want to share them with you here.
- The “Can’t Say No To This Red” Red: 2014 Paco Rojo (Fabbioli Wine Cellars)
I recently visited Fabbioli Wine Cellars with my sister for one of their wonderful paired tastings. I’ve been many times before, but this was the first time that I tried their 2014 Paco Rojo. This red blend struck me as the perfect table red wine that would be enjoyable for any palate – even those “non-red wine drinkers.” It’s a light red with fruity undertones but it definitely stood up to my taste buds which typically enjoy a bolder flavor. I was even more pleased to see that the price was only $18. So, I quickly snagged three bottles that will be making their way to dinner tables this holiday season for sure.
- A Little Sparkle for the New Year: Traminette (Terra Nebulo Vineyards)
I was very pleased to come across this fairly new Virginia Winery recently. Apparently, Terra Nebulo Vineyards has been open for about a year but I finally had some extra time to venture through the winding roads of Waterford to this beautiful vineyard on the hill. Upon tasting their Traminette, I knew I had to have this slightly sparkling, effervescent, wine for New Year’s Eve. Reminiscent of a Riesling, this crisp white wine has fun tiny bubbles that will please any palate. And, boy oh boy, is this easy to drink. You might need two bottles for New Year’s or to bring to your upcoming holiday party.
- 2013 vs. 2014 Dusk Matchup (Sunset Hills Vineyard)
Last weekend, I went for my quarterly wine pick up party at Sunset Hills Vineyard, and included in this month’s picks was their 2014 Dusk – a Port-style wine. Coincidentally, I had just recently opened my 2013 Dusk from last year’s shipment just about a month ago. So, it was a great opportunity to compare the two years. While the 2014 Dusk was still very good, I must say that the 2013 is much more smooth and rich, with just a tiny bit more sweetness (which is okay for a small after dinner treat). I would highly suggest either year of the Dusk, but if the 2013 is still in stock, it’s definitely a must buy and gift (or keep for yourself) kind of wine. And, if you’re looking for that perfect guy gift (especially if he smokes cigars) this is it.
- The Wine Staple: 2014 Petit Verdot (Casanel Vineyards)
If you’re looking for the perfect red wine to have with your Christmas dinner or to give as a gift for the red wine lover in your life, look no further than the Petit Verdot from Casanel Vineyards. This is probably my current favorite Virginia red. It’s bold, rich, but with hints of chocolate and berries. It’s just delicious and calls to be enjoyed on the most special of occasions – or just because. This small, family-owned vineyard is really shaking things up with all of their new releases.
- Everybody’s Wine: 2015 Rose’ (The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek)
Rose’ is always the easiest wine to bring to a party or give as a gift. It can be a simple sipping wine or paired with the heartiest of meals. But, all Rose’s are NOT created equal (don’t even let me go there lol). If you want a sure fire winner without having to worry if the Rose’ you choose is going to be the ultimate party pleaser, then let me suggest the 2015 Rose’ from The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek. It’s a delicious blend of Merlot and Vidal Blac, fermented in stainless steel – so it’s very smooth, off-dry and subtle. It would make a great host gift, business / client gift, or to serve at your own holiday party.
So, there you have it – my top 5 picks this holiday season. And, I promise I *will try* not to stay off of the blogging grid for this long again. However, if you want to keep up with me on a more ongoing basis, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @vawineknow.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a joyous and most fulfilling 2017!