DJ Kearney’s Holiday Wine Picks 2013
A bottle of wine is about as ideal as gift-giving gets. Easy, always received with delight, and actually fun to choose if you get into the spirit. And the holidays are here, so the spirit part should be easy. (Note: Not all wines are available in all provinces, but BC should be well covered!)
Best Buy Wines for a Party
So it’s the neighbourhood street party, or your zumba or soccer team holiday shindig and you’re on wine detail. You want to take lots because a) you’re a generous person and b) as an insurance policy against having to drink your goalie’s home-made plonk when the bottle you brought is emptied. The brief: delicious and appetizing wine that’s a great deal, priced so a full case won’t break you. Up-front fruit for broad appeal is a good idea, without too much thick oak or sugary sweetness. You’ll look good if you think a little outside the box and try one of these colossal values. Must go with easy, convenient party food like a supermarket shrimp ring, zesty chicken wings or molten brie in pastry. And these affordable gems make great gift bottles for lucky people: dog walker, barber, butcher, mechanic etc.
Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap White ($14.99)
It feels good to support our local bounty. Ontario and BC each produce minuscule amounts of wine in the context of world production. BC bottles 1.5 million cases of VQA wine per year from about 10,000 acres of vineyards, and Ontario manages a million more from 15,000 acres of land devoted to wine grapes. Very little production of either province is exported, so wine locavores have fantastic access to the best of the best.
Burning Kiln Gewurztraminer 2012 ($24.95)
Blue Mountian Pinot Blanc ($17.95)
Stag’s Hollow Grenache ($29.99)
Special Pressie wines:
Hors Classe – meaning wondrously outside-the-box gems – wines for the esoteric wine lover or adventure-drinker. There are times when you need an ‘out there’ wine, for the wine smarty pants in your office, or to wean a friend off their usual plonk with the taste of something diverting. These wines brim with character, singularity, and stories galore. They’re also sensational dinner wines, and if we all buy, drink and love them regularly, we can do a lot to encourage everything that is authentic and precious in the world of wine.
Jean Bourdy Cremant de Jura N/V ($35.99)
Quinta do Ameal Escolha White 2011 ($34.99)
Wines for the Big Dinner OR Pressies to Impress:
The Holiday Dinner needs wines that can embrace an expansive range of flavours from oysters on the half shell; meaty roast (turkey, goose, duck, beef, pork); pungent vegetables like Brussels sprouts; luscious richness like roast or scalloped potatoes, sausage stuffing; and sweet-tart cranberry sauce. And all of this liberally anointed with the tastiest gravy known to mankind. Rich reds with a deft balance of fruit and structure work well, and whites need a broad palate with ample fruit, spice and body. Don’t forget rosé and sparkling wines which can bridge multiple flavours and solve all your wine pairing dilemmas. Each of these splendid wines make perfect pressies: they look swanky, have great pedigrees and you’ll look as good as the wine tastes.
Mas la Plana 2008 ($56.99)
Ridge Three Valleys 2010 ($34.99)
Editors Note: You can find DJ Kearney’s complete reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 30 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!