Wines for the Holidays:

The Wine Guys

Well, believe it or not, we already entered another holiday season. Since it’s hard to imagine the holiday season without a glass of wine in hand, so, to continue with tradition, here are our annual holiday wine picks! This year we have recommendations from some old familiar faces as well as some new young wine guys who have suffered through lots of wine so they can recommend holiday wine picks that will bring together all the flavors on the table without breaking the bank.

Terry Brown, Wine Manager

Hatton Daniels Sonoma Pinot Noir 2010

2010 Pinot Noir is medium to pale ruby in color. The nose offers an intriguing blend of black cherry, sassafras, red berry, and grilled peach aromas. The palate shows cherry, berry and spice flavors accompanied by a hint of toasty oak. The finish is piercing and persistent, with a racy structure that will heighten you Thanksgiving meal. This wine is ready to drink now but will age gracefully with 2 to 3 more years in the bottle.

Ovum Off the Grid Riesling 2011

Light gold in color. This wine is a feast of aromas starting with white flowers, marzipan fruits, and sherbet, coupled with a chalky-flinty character. As it opens, it shows citrus blossom, orange peel, and a fresh bacon element. An expansive mid-palate with tight, persistent-linear acids. A slightly unexpected but pleasing oily richness elucidated by the low alcohol level. It will both stand up to and compliment your Thanksgiving meal. If you happen to have some oysters on the half shell this wine is a must!

Felix Milner, Wine Expert and New Media Manager

Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006 ($100)

Washington state is fast becoming the home of some of the country’s finest Cabs and this is definitely one not to be missed. Patiently crafted by boutique winemaker Rob Newsom, this wine was made from grapes grown two of Washington state’s most famous vineyards, Champoux and Loess. Opaque purple, it offers up a nose of black forest fruits, pencil lead, and lavender that carriers through onto the palate with great intensity, exuding lots of juicy flavor with a velvety texture. 

Alex Gambal & Domaine Dublere

Here at Schneider’s we’re lucky enough to have two friends who left DC to follow dream of making wine in Burgundy. Although I’m a big fan of all their wines, Alex Gambal’s Chorey-les-Beaune 2009  ($40), a delicate yet concentrated Pinot, stands out. Supple and vibrant, it has lots of fleshy red Pinot fruit defined by finely grained tannins and great length. Although most of Blair Pethel’s wines (Domaine Dublere) come from the cote de Beaune he has also acquired grapes from a small plot on the esteemed ‘les Preuses’ Grand Cru vineyard in Chablis. The 2008 ($70) has extraordinary energy, exhibiting tons of exotic fruit, citrus, and flowers on the nose. Mouthwatering on the palate, it carries lots of mandarines and stone fruit coupled with an elegant mineral streak.

Stewart Philips, Beer Manager/Wine Consultant

Dublere Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Planchots du Nord 2009

This pinot noir from the region of Savigny-Les-Beaune demonstrates hints of minerality and rose petal. A gorgeous nose of bright cherry and red fruits followed by a lively acidity make this a perfect pairing for all of the holiday fair.

Montaudon Brut Non Vintage

Who doesn’t need some champagne for the holidays? At $30 a bottle, this is a fantastic deal. Displaying aromas of toasty yeast and crisp green apple. A favorite of ours at Schneider’s, it can be enjoyed on any occasion but also pairs well with a rich, pastry based hors d’œuvres.

Joe Prebble, General Manager

2009 Baigorri Blanco    

Not your classic pairing with a typical holiday dinner, this white rioja will not disappoint. Aged in new French oak on the lees this wine displays remarkable balance of oak and fruit. Showing a deep gold color and a silky mouth feel one will be amazed with its long and intense finish.

2009 Wesmar Pinot Noir Hellenthal

 This wine is the perfect match for the wide array of delicious foods sure to be found on your table this Thursday. Its complexity boasts flavors of black plum, blackberry and cherry with a slight nuttiness on the finish. The nose displays a concentration of jamminess along with striking aromas of spiced black fruit and clove. With fine tannins and a lengthy finish you and your guests will truly be pleased.  

The above wine experts are employees of Schneiders of Capitol Hill, 300 Mass. Ave. NE, 202-543-9300,