Great Buys for your Holiday Table – Wine & Spirits Magazine

Great Buys for your Holiday Table


Our December issue focuses on some pretty high-powered wine regions where it’s easy to justify splashing out for a special dinner. We’ve combed through our recommendations from the December 2021 Edition to find these 12 wines at prices that may lead you to treat yourself more often.


SPARKLING WINE

Karas
Extra Brut Sparkling (Best Buy)

90 | $15

Light, crisp and herbal, this is a palate-whetting, bone-dry sparkler made from rkatsiteli grown in Armenia’s far west. —T.Q.T


WHITE WINE

Royal Tokaji
2019 Tokaji Dry Furmint

90 | $17

Savory to the point of austere, this balances its saline mineral flavors with a smooth, unctuous texture. Hints of lemon oil are its only concessions to fruit; otherwise, this is all about rocks. That nakedness makes it a particularly good companion with delicate dishes, like sashimi. —T.Q.T.
Imported by Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, CA


Georgian Legend
2019 Kakheti Rkatsiteli (Best Buy)

91 | $18

An amber-hued qvevri wine, this plays up rkatsiteli’s herbal edge, adding crunch and freshness to its golden-raisin fruit. It feels clean, with dry tannins and a salt-and-pepper spice. —T.Q.T.
Imported by Georgian Toast Imports, Cambridge, MA


RED WINE

Columbia Crest
2018 Columbia Valley Syrah

90 | $12

A steal of a syrah, this doesn’t skimp on dark plummy fruit and oak: The glass seems filled with a smoky savor. Pour early and often for barbecue. —P.J.C.


J. Lohr
2019 Paso Robles Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy)

90 | $17

Despite a generous rasher of cocoa nibs and chocolate from the oak, there’s a cool savor to the flavors beneath, of olive and black fig and eucalyptus, with a texture that’s polished, even fleshy. It’s a lot of wine for the price. —P.J.C.


Geyser Peak
2019 Alexander Valley Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy)

90 | $25

Easy richness fills this wine with red-cherry scents, notes of tobacco and charcoal. It’s full and ample, ending with a little salty bitterness that would meld with seared duck breast. —J.G.


Eguren Ugarte
2016 Rioja Cincuenta (Best Buy)

92 | $15

Inky-black and concentrated, this wine holds itself with graceful power. With air, pretty notes of strawberry and pomegranate emerge, vivid red fruit with a sunny character over the blackness. —J.G.
Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection, NY


Keuka Spring
2020 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc (Best Buy)

92 | $20

With bright wild-strawberry and red-cherry scents grounded by a green-olive verve, this wine’s youth is its best feature: Like a plump Chinon, it leads with berry fruit, cut grass and tobacco. —P.J.C.


Eden Rift
2018 Central Coast Valliant Pinot Noir (Best Buy)

92 | $25

At once fleshy and bright, with black tea and pomegranate accents, this estate-grown wine has a light minerality to ground that bright fruit. Irresistible. —P.J.C.


La Perla
2014 Rioja Alta Reserva (Best Buy)

93 | $21

From vineyards surrounding Fuenmayor, this wine ferments without additions, presenting a crunchy, dynamic RIoja with rose and barnyard scents to its lean and ferric tannins. —J.G.
Imported by The Artisan Collection, Brooklyn, NY


TOKAJ

Disznókő
2018 Tokaji Late Harvest

93 | $20/500ml

Made solely from superripe, late-picked fruit rather than undergoing the complex winemaking process of Tokaji Aszu, this is sumptuous wine. It tastes like late fall, with notes of baked apples and burnt orange; its earthy gingerroot notes add savor, warm spice and complexity. And the acidity shines through it like autumn sun, cool and bright, cleansing the palate and setting the wine up as an excellent partner to cheese. —T.Q.T.
Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection, NY


PORT

Fonseca
Porto Bin No. 27 Reserve (Best Buy)

92 | $21

Bin 27 presents the plump Fonseca style in a wine that’s remarkably easy to drink. Its scent of purple plums emanates from a luscious texture, the wines freshness firmed up by schist tannins. —J.G.
Imported by Kobrand, Purchase, NY


The wines on this page were chosen by our editors, from our tastings for the December 2021 edition. After our editors made their selections, we offered wineries the opportunity to promote their award with a bottle image and brand links.

is W&S’s editor at large and covers the wines of the Mediterranean and Central and Eastern Europe for the magazine.

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.


This story appears in the print issue of December 2021.
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