If you’re like me, you’ve already squandered the first 15 shopping days of December. The bad news for the holiday procrastinator? Christmas is a’coming in a little over a week’s time. The good news? We’re about to give you a quick and easy Christmas list for all of your wine-loving friends.
If you’re going to get someone just one wine-related gift this year, make it a set of stemware A good set of wine glasses will greatly improve the experience of every wine you taste. There are many different styles out there but look for glasses that are fluted in shape, as this helps focus the wine’s aromas and flavors. Personally, I favor the Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Forte Collection stemware as they are break resistant. Consider purchasing them in sets of two, four, or six.
Books on Washington Wine
There are numerous books out there about our state’s burgeoning wine industry. The most recent one comes from wine blogger and lifelong Walla Walla Valley resident Catie McIntyre-Walker. The book is titled Wines of Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History. It’s must read for anyone interested in the valley’s winemaking history and is a perfect holiday gift.
Two other high quality Washington wine books are WineTrails of Washington by Steve Roberts and Sunny Parson and Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide by Paul Gregutt. The former is a guidebook to the state’s wineries broken down into regions with descriptions of each of the wineries and suggested tours. It’s ideal for someone looking to do some exploring of the state’s wine country. The latter gives both a broad overview of the state, its wine regions, and grape varieties as well as descriptions of many of Washington’s best wineries.
Of course, if you want to give someone a bottle of wine, Washington has an embarrassment of riches. Here we focus on great gift bottles in the upper price tier.
I’ve written about this wine before, but in terms of Syrah, you’ll be hard pressed to do better than the 2012 Avennia Arnaut Syrah Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley ($50). It’s full of smoked meat, earth, and blue fruit flavors and simply sings from the mountaintops. I can’t recommend this wine strongly enough.
Looking for a classic Washington Cabernet Sauvignon? Look no further than the 2012 DeLille Cellars Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain ($67). It offers notes of black currant, dusty chocolate, and dried herbs with enough tannic structure to benefit from additional aging.
For Bordeaux-style blends, go with the 2011 Andrew Will Red Wine Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills ($52). While it needs some time in the cellar to fully show its charms, it’s densely packed with dark fruit flavors, tart acids, and firm tannins and will be well worth the wait.
Perhaps some year, Amazon.com drones will be able to drop each of these gifts right on your doorstep on Christmas eve. But right now, it’s time to get shopping. Happy holidays!