10 Top Wines for Holiday Parties and Gifts | Chow Bella | Phoenix | Phoenix New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Phoenix, Arizona

10 Top Wines for Holiday Parties and Gifts

Need a little help picking out a gift for the wine lover in your life? Or is your holiday party docket so full you need a stash of hostess gifts on hand? Or maybe you're just looking for the perfect bottle to accompany your family feast. Well, in any and...
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Need a little help picking out a gift for the wine lover in your life? Or is your holiday party docket so full you need a stash of hostess gifts on hand? Or maybe you're just looking for the perfect bottle to accompany your family feast. Well, in any and all of the above cases, we're here to help with your holiday wine shopping needs.

We stopped by AZ Wine Co.'s delightfully stocked shop to get the scoop on their best wine deals with wine master Jock Wulffson. From Willcox to Côte-d'Or, Wulffson gave us the goods on which bottles to buy for the holidays.

Arizona Wine

Chateau Tumbleweed 2014 "Wild Will E. Cox" 

Chateau Tumbleweed is a relative newcomer to the Arizona wine scene, but you wouldn't know it by the quality of their products. If you're looking for a unique Arizona wine to impress your your out-of-state friends, grab a bottle of Tumbleweed's Wild Will E. Cox red blend ($17.99). Made from a blend of Arizona grown Grenache, Syrah, and Tempranillo grapes, the wine gets an added kick from the addition of Carignan and Mouvedre grapes from New Mexico. Pair it with lamb dishes, hearty mushrooms, or use it to add an extra punch to some spicy tamales.

Dos Cabezas 2013 "El Campo Blanco" 

If your goal is to blow your friends' expectations of Arizona wine out of the water, head for Dos Cabezas' El Campo Blanco ($33.99). This aromatic wine is sophisticated and elegant, and is a well-balanced glass with which to start a long evening of culinary indulgence. Made with Roussane, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and Malvasia, El Campo Blanco's floral notes will complement lighter hors d'oeuvres like cheese spreads or vinaigrette salads. 


Francine et Olivier Domaine Savary 2012 Chablis 

Surprise those who think they don't like Chardonnay by presenting them with a bottle of Francine et Olivier Domaine Savary 2012 Chablis. Grown in northern Burgundy, halfway between Dijon and Paris, Chablis is a dry and focused delight, made from 100 percent Chardonnay. Priced at $23.99, AZ Wine Co. offers Domaine Savary's Chablis at an incredible price. Tasting of fresh lemon, green apples, and stonefruit with a light minerality, this Chablis is a great accompaniment to poultry, white gravies, and baked fruit desserts.

Sean Minor 2014 Chardonnay 

Head to the opposite spectrum of Chardonnay with a standard California varietal. Buttery, moderately oaky, and with flavors like guava, pear, and apple, Sean Minor's 2014 Chardonnay ($10.99) is a solid California wine that will please even moderate wine drinkers. Pair it to starchy dishes like sweet and savory pies, or light seafood. 

Brotherhood 2011 Riesling

Brotherhood bills itself as America's oldest winery, and they have a selection of Rieslings that make us fairly convinced of that pedigree. Offering both a sweet and dry Riesling at $11.99, you can choose which side of the spectrum works best for your dinner. Like many white wines, Brotherhood's Rieslings are great with salad, crab, scallops, and mild cheeses. 


Joseph Drouhin Lafôret Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009

Almost every Burgundy is a treat for the palate, but Joseph Drouhin Lafôret 2009 Bourgogne is especially so. Priced at $16.99, AZ Wine Co. is offering a fairly unbeatable price for a wine so refined. With rich flavors of raspberry and red currents, the wine has soft tannins and an elegance your recipients will love. Serve it alongside a traditional turkey dinner complete with stuffing, or something lighter like salmon or mushroom dishes.

Force of Nature 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

The central coast of California has made waves in recent years with outstanding winemaking. Excellent wines coming out of Paso Robles represent the terroir of its setting so well that to sip a glass is almost to be in the vineyard itself. Force of Nature's juicy 2014 Cabernet ($19.99) is a dense wine with flavors of cocoa, juicy red fruits, plums, and cassis. Use it as a powerful addition to juicy steaks, or think of it as a grown-up cranberry sauce to compliment your rich, salty holiday meal.

Lestage Chevillon Bordeaux Blend 2009 - Médoc

Circle back to France with Lestage Chevillon Bordeaux Blend from Médoc. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot grapes, this Bordeaux is what you might call a "jam bomb." Deep purple with flavors of plum and licorice, this showy wine will satisfy even your most snobbish wine friends — even though it only costs $14.99. Pair it to more creative dishes with ingredients like veal, goose, foraged mushrooms, and earthy vegetables.


Lucien Albrecht Crémant D'Alsace Brut Rosé 

If you're looking for something sparkling but aren't willing to break the bank on champagne, Lucien Albrecht Crémant D'Alsace Brut Rosé ($19.99) is a great alternative. Like most sparkling rosés, it tastes of strawberry, bright red berries, with light florals and minerality. The best part is that this Brut Rosé will pair with just about anything. From salmon to light fruit dishes to fried foods, it's a versatile wine that is as festive as it is lovely.

Champagne Jacquart Blanc de Blancs 2006

Impress your boss or subtly tell your parents that you're "doing very well at work" by bringing a bottle of Champagne Jacquart Blanc de Blancs ($54.99). This 100 percent Chardonnay Champagne is bright gold and tastes of white peaches and citrus. Elegant and bright, you can drink this champagne all night — from the hors d'oeuvres to dessert — or pair it with freshwater fish, oysters, and acidic cheeses.
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