Area Wine Experts Pick Holiday Favorites

It’s the season to give and, yes, to celebrate. Whether it’s an office holiday party, Christmas dinner with the extended family, or New Year’s Eve with good friends, here are some choice wine suggestions from local people in the know.

From Linda Collier at Collier’s of Centreville
Under $25
The Clos Cibonne Rosé from Provence is a beautifully-balanced blend composed of 90 percent Tibouren and 10 percent Grenache. One can taste earthy tones of dried cherry, mineral, herbs, raspberry and spice. As a result, it pairs well with turkey with all the fixings, seared duck breasts, goose and tomatoes provencales.

Over $25
The Salon 2002 Champagne is an exotic and voluptuous grand cru hailing from the village of Les Mesnil-Sur-Orger. This magnificent Blanc de Blanc is hard to come by, but if you can find it, it promises to make your holiday special.

From Ed Mulvihill at Peco’s Liquors
Under $25
Dry Creek Valley Vineyard’s Meritage is a favorite wine of mine. This Sonoma County Bordeaux blend is sure to impress this holiday season. A full bodied red, it has wonderful notes of cocoa and red berry, balanced out with silky smooth tannin. Great for holiday gift giving or for pairing with your holiday feast. It’s a steal at only $24.99.

Over $25
From the same great Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Vineyard’s Endeavour is a Cabernet for the true Cabernet lover. Only 298 cases were produced for the 2011 vintage, meaning get some while you can! This is a true expression of just how good Dry Creek Valley cab can be. It’s elegant, full flavored and masterfully balanced. At $65.99, you can drink now or cellar for years to come.

From Michael Whitwell at Premier Wine & Spirits
Under $25
The Bliss Family Winery, Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99) is sustainably grown at their 60-year-old, third-generation winery. Bliss wines are perfectly priced, everyday wines, and the Sav Blanc is balanced with citrus and tropical flavors with notes of straw, herbs and grass. I keep a few bottles of all their varietals in the house for whoever stops by.

Over $25
Crosby Roamann is a husband-and-wife collaboration of single vineyard, single appellation hand-crafted wines making only about 1000 cases annually. The 2010 Oak Knoll Napa Merlot ($49.99) is a 90pt wine described as lush, blackberry and cherry, rich tannins, easy to drink with hints of rose and violet. Only 178 cases made … get yours now.

From Stephen Allegretto at Wine & Spirit Co. of Greenville
Under $25
With the cold weather upon us, I would recommend a hearty wine from the south of France, particularly from the region of Bandol: Domaine Terrebrune, Terre d’ Ombré 2014 ($20.99). Referred to as a “Baby” Bandol, it is a blend of 80 percent Mourvedre, 10 percent Grenache, 10 percent Cinsault, from the Domaine’s younger vines. It shows bright black currant, cassis fruit immediately on the nose and palate. It has nice mid-palate fruit and medium to firm tannins. You can drink now or hold for a few years. A great match with cheeses, stews and red meats.

Over $25
A great way to finish a meal, to warm up from a cold day, or as a soothing nightcap is to have a glass or two of Taylor-Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Port ($61.99). This famous Portuguese Port House ages this wine in barrels for an average of 20 years before bottling it. This fortified wine takes on the amber color from the barrels and a flavor profile of toffee, nuts and orange with hints of spiciness and a smooth, mellow finish.

So, what do you think? Please comment below.