The Best Wine for the Holidays

Without a doubt, the holidays are going to look different this year. However, one thing doesn’t have to change: enjoying delicious wines with friends and family. Below are my recommendations to make this holiday season a little brighter, with best wishes for a safe and healthy ending to this wild year.

Thanksgiving Dinner

2018 The Hilt Cuvée Fleur Pinot Noir ($45)

The Hilt produces the finest Pinot Noirs in all of Santa Barbara County. The 2018 Cuvee Fleur Pinot Noir is a stunning cuvée full of aromatic black cherry, cassis, violet, allspice, and light cedar. It has a soft, supple texture and an elegant, balanced core. Bright fruit leads to savory notes, finishing with mouthwatering acidity perfect to cut through a turkey dinner.

To Gift to Associates

2016 Marciano Estate M ($125)

This is a special wine. It is a silky, rich, and layered Bordeaux-like blend that balances richness and power with style and grace. It boasts aromas of wild blackberry, dark chocolate, and violet that overwhelm your senses in the best way. On the palate it expresses dark cherry, currant, and baking spices. This wine is the result of terrific winemaking and a tremendous vintage in Napa that will only get better as time goes on. Enjoy with a great steak.

To Drink While You’re Decorating the Tree

2017 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($60)

Daou’s iconic Paso Robles reserve Cabernet Sauvignon seriously impresses with its stellar 2017 vintage. It boasts the perfect combination of richness, elegance, and balance. Complex aromas of cassis, blackberry, and cinnamon spice delight the senses. The palate is full-bodied and layered, while velvety tannins lead to a long finish and flavors of dark berry and cherry vanilla. This beautiful Cab truly showcases the majestic power of Daou Mountain.

To Drink During a Storm

2017 Happy Canyon Piocho Red ($25)

One of my favorite Santa Barbara producers! This is a smooth, very easy-drinking Bordeaux-style blend, that provides unique complexities and great structure. Dried cranberry and strawberry aromas meet charred wood on the nose. On the palate there is dark blackberry, dark chocolate, and savory charcuterie flavors.

For Christmas Eve

2018 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone ($65)

The Kistler family doesn’t mess around when it comes to their famed Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs. This gorgeous Pinot opens with aromas of crushed blueberry, Earl Grey tea, and orange peel. In the mouth it explodes with silky, lush fruit, minerality, and mouthwatering acidity. Perfect with any Christmas dish, from tamales to lamb chops.

For Christmas Brunch

Roederer Estate Brut ($23)

Who doesn’t want to wake up on Christmas morning to some delicious bubbles? Roederer’s Estate Brut provides green apple, pear, and lemon peel fragrances on the nose. The palate is silky with flavors of strawberry blossom, hazelnut, and creamy mousse. Bright acidity rounds out this perfect sparkly experience.

For the First Night of Hanukkah

2016 Terra Gratia Napa Valley Red Kosher ($150)

This incredible kosher red blend from Marciano Estate is extraordinarily rich and layered, with a black-fruit profile and forward notes of confiture, blueberry pie, vanilla bean, and wood shavings. The texture is broad, plush, and deep, with the ripe, forward fruit expanding across the palate. This wine is immensely pleasing and will certainly bring happiness to kick off Hanukkah.

For the Last Night of Hanukkah

2017 C Proprietary Red by Covenant Kosher ($45)

This wonderful kosher wine out of Sonoma County is the perfect way to end Hanukkah. Ripe cherry, berry, and spice flavors greet you with soft, supple tannins and a long finish. Silky fruit and deep notes of spice and earth jump from the glass. There is irresistible richness and structure that can stand up to anything from latkes to brisket.

To Celebrate the End of 2020/New Year’s Eve

2009 J Schram by Schramsberg ($100)

Toast 2020 goodbye with the sensational 2009 J Schram Brut. This incredible Napa Valley sparkling easily rivals all the greatest Champagnes. It is a delicate balance of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with aromas of pear, pineapple, apricot, and toasted almond. It is fresh and elegant on the palate with elements of melon, papaya, and lemon custard. The finish is bold and generous.