Welcome to day two of
Tis the season of gift giving and party going.
Peter and I are looking forward to spending time with friends and family at parties, quiet dinners and holiday celebrations. We enjoy sharing our love of wine with people both by serving it to our guests and by giving it as gifts.
Last weekend we had the good fortune to attend the San Diego Wine and Food Festival.
Or, as Peter called it, Heaven.
Our brother-in-law, PJ, works for one of the big sponsors and he was kind enough to treat us to some tickets.
Peter and I really got in the holiday spirit as, armed with our shopping list, we toured the festival looking for some ideas to help us celebrate the season.
Here are a few gems we found. (FYI – this is not a sponsored post. We selected and tasted all of these wines ourselves.)
GIFTS FOR COLLEAGUES
Peter likes to pick up bottles of wine to give to a few key people on his team – folks who work very hard and enjoy great wine. Spoiler alert – it’s possible that this year these colleagues will be getting some wine from Daou Vineyards.
At $36 per bottle their 2012 Chemin de Fleurs white wine blend will be perfect. It is a wine that will appeal to both white and red wine drinkers because it has many of the yummy white wine notes (honey, cloves, orange blossom and a touch of vanilla) but has a nice long finish and medium body that red wine drinkers will appreciate.
Don’t we all love to have some hostess gifts stashed away that we can pull out as needed?
As you might imagine, we often bring wine to parties but after sampling some port from Hunt Cellars, I might vary that theme a little.
Fortified wine like port is great as an after dinner drink or dessert wine.
Hunt Cellars makes port from many of the different types of grapes they grow. At the festival I tasted their 2003 Zinful Delight port made from (obviously) zinfandel grapes. Although that wine is sold out, Hunt Cellars offers a Cabernet Sauvignon Port (“Good Vibrations”) and a Petite Sirah Port (Sweet Serenade Le Petite”).
At $50 per bottle, this may not be a port that I buy in bulk but the Hunt Cellars port might be good for that special hostess on our list.
We have a couple of friends on our gift list to whom we send wine each year. These are folks who appreciate learning about new and different wineries – and we sure have fun searching for something new!
This year, that something new will probably be The Farm. We first discovered this wine at The California Family Winemakers event last spring. Once again we had the chance to visit with two of the owners of the winery, Jim and Az Madsen. Peter was delighted to get the inside scoop on The Farm’s 2010 Big Game and Cardinal wines which are spectacular.
The Farm produces a tiny amount of big, big red wines. To us that means the perfect “very special wine” gift.
WINE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
We will be spending Christmas this year in Nashville with PJ and his family. So, wine tasting at the festival was the perfect opportunity for Peter, PJ and I to select some wines we can enjoy at the family gathering.
We found a winner in the array of wines produced by Cholame Vineyards. Pronounced “Show-Lamb”, this is a new winery in the Paso Robles area of California.
In its very first year, their 2010 Cross Country Rhone Style Blend ($28) won a gold medal at the Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition.
Actually the list of awards won by Cholamb’s red and white wines is pretty impressive! Great selections for everyone!
We liked these wines so much that we bid on and “won” eight bottles in the Festival’s silent auction. Those bottles were sent home with PJ to serve when the family is in town for Christmas.
What a great way to kick off the month. Peter and I got to enjoy an amazing wine tasting festival with our brother-in-law and we got a great head start on our holiday shopping list.
I call that: Win-Win-Cheers! And add another ornament to our Partners in a Pair Tree!
What about you? Have any favorite holiday season wines?Thanks for stopping by,
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