Yep, we are almost through with 2020. I think we will all be ready for a fresh start in 2021, but if you are hosting a small crowd and want to sip affordably for the holiday, consider one of these tasty options. All are under $20, and all are delicious.
For over 30 years J Lohr has been crafting varietally correct wines in the heart of Paso Robles from vineyards dotted throughout California. From Monterey Country, J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay ($14) opens with tangy green apple, pear, and peach with zippy acidity, and freshness. Bonus, as taking care of Mother Earth is as important as taking care of each other, the new release features the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) wine logo on its back label indicating that at least 85% of the wine was made with certified sustainable grapes, and the wine was made in a certified sustainable winery. Seems like a win-win to end the year!
Rich, creamy, and well-rounded, melding with a lovely freshness, South Africa’s Lievland Chenin Blanc ($19) melds ripe tropical pineapple and guava with zesty lemon-lime citrus and a nice note of minerality. Balanced and clean, the certified sustainable Old Vine Chenin from the northern end of Stellenbosch is an incredible example of why the variety has thrived in the country for so long. It is delicious!
Also from South Africa, Wolftrap Red Blend ($12) shows the range of wines the country can produce, as this structured Rhone-style blend reveals approachable versatility. Juicy and bright, with blackberry, licorice, and black plum on the palate, with a hint of smokiness and baking spice lingering throughout.
Napa Valley-based Bread & Butter Wines has a simple philosophy, don’t overthink it. They make easy-drinking, approachable wines. Their Cabernet Sauvignon ($16) is a perfect pairing with anything from burgers to Mexican to barbecue, layering red cherry, blue and blackberry, cassis, and a touch of dark chocolate. Their Pinot Noir ($16) is filled with red fruits and a hint of dried herb and spice, making it ideal to enjoy with grilled salmon or roasted chicken.
And, because a bubbly is always required for the holiday season, consider a Cremant or a Cava. I love Segura Viudas Brut Rose Cava ($20) from Spain, as the wine is produced with Spanish grapes in the classic method of Champagne, ensuring the sparkler is filled with creamy, toasted brioche and spice, melding with red apple, strawberry, and raspberry. #Cheers #HappyHolidays