Where do we start with wine recommendations and just as important – where does it end?
Wine, like food, is a matter of taste. Luckily we have so many wines to choose from made in a wide array of styles and offered at prices from modest to absurd. Do yourself a favor and take on pass on the absurdly prices wines.
This year I offer a narrow focus of wine recommendations focusing on a few wine producers that have caught our eye in the past year.
Be certain not to miss our Spirits Recommendations for the holidays.
Tongue Dancer Wines
Tongue Dancer Wines is the latest project from James and Kerry MacPhail. If you are a California Pinot Noir lover you likely know James’ previous work with MacPhail Family Wines. In over two decades of work MacPhail built a well-deserved reputation as a Pinot Noir guru. Tongue Dancer Wines are Pinot Noir specialists but they do offer a unique Pinot Noir Rosé and a brilliant Chardonnay. They are a true boutique winery making fewer than 200 cases of any offering. The Pinot Noirs are an expression of Sonoma Coast fruit with a bit of an Old World touch. These are wines with personality and I absolute love them. It can be tricky to find these wines in your local store but thanks to the internet making the world a good bit smaller you can find these wines online – https://tonguedancerwines.com (We suggest that you join their mailing list.)
See our review of Tongue Dancer Wines Putnam Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2015
Troon Vineyard started quietly over four decades ago when Dick Troon planted vineyards in Southern Oregon. He sold grapes to local wineries but soon discovered that the best business decision was to create his own wines. He converted his barn to a winery and slowly built the brand until he sold the winery to his friend Larry Martin in 2003. Martin undertook a major renovation of both facilities and vineyards establishing a very diverse collection of wine varietals that we see today from Troon Vineyard. In 2016 Craig Camp joined the Troon team. Craig is a wine industry veteran with a sharp palate, encyclopedic knowledge of the wines of the world, and relentless energy.
Troon offers a wonderfully diverse selection of varietal wines and blends ranging from Merlot to Tempranillo and Vermentino to name just a few. If you are seeking unique wines with style and gusto you need to get acquainted with Troon Vineyard. http://www.troonvineyard.com
See our review of Troon Kubli Bench Montepulciano Applegate Valley 2016
How About Some Real Bang for the Buck?
Holidays are all about sharing and opening your home to friends and family. So how do you keep everyone’s glass full whilst not tempting your wallet? We suggest Nia Pinot Noir from California. Nia translates as intention or will in a number of languages. The intent of the creators of Nia was to create the best value Pinot Noir. The wine is crafted by Ed Killian, a veteran California winemaker with over 30 years of experience. Killian has been the lead winemaker at Chateau Souverain since 1995. Nia’s creator, Phil Laramore, had a line on some great Pinot Noir in Mendocino County just north of Ukiah. The lovely fruit along with Killian’s touch conspire to create a Pinot Noir that would turn heads at twice the price.
See our review of Nia Pinot Noir California 2015
Everyone Loves Sangria – Especially when It’s Easy & Delicious
The Beso Del Sol Red Sangria is made with 100% La Mancha grown Tempranillo (one of Spain’s most important red grapes ) blended with Spanish orange, lemon, and a touch of cinnamon. Beso Del Sol, which in Spanish means “Kiss from the Sun,” is perhaps the finest genuine Spanish grown and produced Sangria we have tasted.
Produced in Valdepeñas, Castile-LaMancha in the heart of Spain, a region respected the world over for producing great wines and sangria. Their Sangrias are made with 100% natural ingredients. The Beso Del Sol Sangrias are offered in three-liter bag-in-box, 1.5 liter bottle, and a 500ml tetra pak. This ready to drink Sangria is an instant party hit. Simply cut up some fruit, add it to a carafe along with the Beso Del Sol Red Sangria and the party has started.
See our review of Beso Del Sol Red Sangria Spain