Updated: Oct 11, 2018
I promise I'm the last thing from a Grinch...
OK, I know what you're thinking..."got me through it?" Just hear me out. I love Christmas just as much as anyone...maybe even more than most. I plan my last PTO day of the year around which day we're going to get our Christmas tree. I buy Bath & Body Works out of every balsam scented 3-wick candle they have in stock. I still get butterflies when I walk down the notorious 5th Avenue all lit up with thousands upon thousands of tiny lights. I love the Holidays...especially in New York City.
However along with the Holidays comes its challenges. Tourists crowding the sidewalks, insane airport security lines, draining bank accounts, end of year stress at work, and of course, jamming into a tiny space with all your family. I love my family unconditionally, and am so lucky to have in-laws that treat me as their own sister/daughter. But let's get real...multiple personalities under one roof calls for multiple bottles of wine! This Christmas I drank around the world and I'm here to share with you some of my favorites (all from Total Wines). #1 may just surprise you:
In my book all Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wines are winners. Something about those silky cherries get me every time. Retailing between $17-$19/ bottle, this wine was a great way to ease into the Holiday. I find that Pinot Noir has such a wide range of suitable pairings, and is quite a "low-risk" wine that the whole family will love.
All hail Piedmont! No holiday is quite the same without a great Barolo at the table. It's no surprise that Wine Enthusiast scored this wine 94 points. Juicy red berries and gripping tannins were an Italian's delight while devouring endless meatballs. Complex yet easy drinking, I was wishing at the time we bought a second bottle.
My first ever Crémant d'Alsace! There has been so much hype on social media these days about Alsace, especially Crémant d'Alsace. Many wine enthusiasts have been making large claims that a Crémant can be just AS GOOD as champagne for about half the price. Well guess what...THEY WERE RIGHT! In actuality, Crémant is made with the same technique as Champagne, but cannot own the dignified title because they are made outside of the Champagne region. It was the perfect way toast to the evening. Now I can say it...#DrinkAlsace.
If you've ever checked out my Instagram page, it comes as no surprise that a Brunello would be at the top of my list. This particular bottle scored 95 points with Wine Advocate...and my heart. This is this kind of wine that will wisp you away to Tuscany, and quiet an entire dinner table. Remember the candy called, "Good & Plenty?" If you grew up in the late 80's/early 90's you may have had a few boxes at the movie theater. Licorice was the FIRST note my nose picked up, and it brought me straight back to my childhood. The power of wine! Luscious wild berries and leathery notes were also great company. Brunello continues to amaze me every time, bottle after bottle.
Well here it is...#1! I'm surprising myself with this one as usually Italian wines take precedence in my lineups. This was the bottle that brought the family together in a way the others didn't. Maybe it had something to do with my brother and sister in-law recently accepting a position in Spain, the fact that I went to Barcelona on my Honeymoon, or, maybe it was the dark plum & smokey notes that were agreeable to everyone's palate. Either way at a price range between $17-$19, this was the wine with the best value bar none!
Family parties and hosting can be stressful, but there's something so captivating about a great wine that can really silence the "noise" and bring everyone together. If you leave here remembering anything, I hope it's "when in doubt, just drink around the world."