Maybe you’ve been making your list and checking it twice for months now, and had all of your gifts handily purchased by Black Friday… but if you’re like most of us, there’s at least a couple people you still need to shop for! Don’t panic: wine makes a great last-minute gift that’s always welcome; and it’s as simple as swinging by your local wine shop. However, make sure you’re giving thoughtful wines that they will appreciate, not your average Tuesday-night-and-Netflix bottles.
These sommelier-recommended picks are sure to delight everyone (still) on your list!
1- For Your Mom:
The Masciarelli Winery in Italy’s Abruzzo region is owned and operated by Marina Cvetic and her daughter Miriam Masciarelli: an incredible mother-daughter team that has grown the family business from a small, local operation to a worldwide brand over the past 10 years. Tell your mom this story to make your gift extra meaningful! This is a lovely and elegant white wine, made with 22 months of aging in new French oak barriques. It’s full bodied with notes of apple, vanilla, honey, and plenty of complexity.
2- For Your Dad:
A classic wine for the classic guy that’s been there to save the day more times than you can count… let’s splurge for Dad! Founded in 1895, the Larkmead estate is one of the oldest family-owned establishments in Napa Valley. Rich, full, delicious, this is a benchmark example of Napa at its best.
3- For Your Boss:
Show your boss you are in full ‘adulting’ mode with this gorgeous Brunello! Classic, full of red fruit and spice, opulent and lush but incredible balanced and elegant--- this can easily be cellared for a collector, but it is drinkable now. This sophisticated choice will drive home that you are more than capable of entertaining clients and presenting with total authority.
4- For Your Kid’s Teacher:
Frescobaldi Ammiraglia Alie Rose 2017, $23.99
Rosé is now officially something to open year round! A refreshing blend of Syrah and Vermentino from the Frescobaldis, one of Italy’s oldest and most import wine families, this makes a really beautiful gift that, based on the teachers we polled, would be FAR more welcome that just another Starbucks gift card! After all, your kid might be the reason they need a glass of wine… it’s the perfect time to pamper the teacher in your life.
Learn more about rosé here.
5- For Your Holiday Open-House:
Prosecco: the new holiday classic! Perfect for pouring into punches, mixing into cocktails, or filling your whole bathtub with at the affordable price point. Masottina is one of the premiere producers in Conegliano, and their ‘brut’ style is a crowd pleaser. Pear, peach, elderflower and almond notes finish with a delicate minerality.
Learn more about sparkling wine styles here.
6- For Your Office Secret Santa:
Anyone that’s ever struggled with an office-mandated price limit- say, $15 or under- knows the challenge. Throw in the fact that you may not know your recipient on an intimate, personal level and it’s even harder. This Primitivo from emerging Italian wine region Puglia is a gorgeous choice that taste way more expensive than it is! Rich cherry, blackberry and plum mingle with soft tannins for a truly beautiful sipping experience.
7- For Your Hipster Cousin:
Tajinaste is a family run bodega in the Canary Islands, named after the beautiful flower that grows on Tenerife (depicted on the labels), and winemaker Agustín Farrais trained in Bordeaux and works with vines planted in 1914. Made from the Listán Blanco grape, this is a mineral-driven white with amazing acidity. For anyone that likes to experience as-yet-undiscovered, soon to be very hip wine regions, the Canaries are where it’s at!
8- For Your Best Friend:
This beautiful sparkling rosé is made in Trento, at the foot of Italy’s Dolomite mountains- which is the #1 place outside of Champagne for high-quality sparkling wines right now (in this sommelier’s opinion). It’s soft and elegant, with wild strawberry and floral aromas, and refreshing on the palate. An anything-but-basic choice for your bestie.
9- For Your Boyfriend:
If your boyfriend loves big, rich reds--- but if you hear him order ‘a nice Cab’ one more time you kinda want to scream--- turn him on to the luscious, muscular red blends from France’s Languedoc region! This is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan; full bodied with intense black currant, cocoa, cedar, and spice, and just the right amount of tannin.
10- For Yourself:
It’s tough to make a trip to the wine store and not grab a little treat for yourself! Based on Garnacha with a bit of Carignan, Cabernet, and Syrah, this Priorat from Scala Dei is a truly special bottle and one of Spain’s best-kept secrets. The winery was built by Carthusian monks in the 12th Century who believed that a pine tree on the site was visited by angels, and this special history makes experiencing the wine even more enjoyable.
It’s been a busy season and a busy year, you deserve something nice to sip on while wrapping your gifts!