Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Wine Gifts - II

Okay, so you didn't get to the wineries and it's too late to order direct. No problem! There are lots of options. You can go to the state liquor store, high end supermarkets, wine shops or the local gas station. Here are some suggestions for last minute shopping.

At the state liquor store, you can buy 2003 Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot or Chardonnay for seven bucks. Or you could get the Sagelands 2002 Four Corners Cabernet or Merlot for $10. All the Red Diamond wines are good at $7. Barnard Griffin wines are old standbys. Hogue Genesis works, too. For $15 you can buy Gordon Bros. 2004 Merlot, 2004 Helix Syrah, or 2004 Waterbrook Melange. For $18 you can get 2004 Willamette Vineyards Pinot Noir and for $25 to $30, great buys are the 2002 Whitman Narcissa, the 2003 Novelty Hill Cab, the 2002 Basel Cellars Claret and the 2001 Reininger Red. By the way, Linie Aquavit is just great herring.

At Costco, you can choose from several Reininger wines. choose from several Bordeaux, or buy the spectacular 2001 Terra Blanca Onyx for about $35. It's worth it just for the Label Art, but the wine is incredible! Dunham Cabernet VIII is available for about $35. To impress the boss, 1998 Dom Perignon is available at a mere $115.

At Trader Joe's, there are several good Zins under ten dollars and a variety of California wines from Wineries such as Caymus and Stag's Leap for $30 to $50. Sorry, but in my book two buck chuck and Yellowtail won't do the trick as gifts, even though they are certainly good enough wines.

At Whole Foods, check out the special reserve wines in the back. Almost any of these would make a spectacular gift. Strength in Pinot Noir, California, and Northwest. At the PCC, you can buy a wonderful Zinfandel from Shenandoah Vineyards in Amador county for less than ten dollars and the last I heard it was still organic. Pete's is another place to look. They are particularly strong in the Champagne department.

Okay, let's get really serious, for the connoisseur in your family you should buy her or him a bottle of great Bordeaux, Burgundy or Port. If she has a taste for American wines then I recommend some of Washington's great wines. Januik, Brian Carter, Northstar, Pepper Bridge, Terra Blanca Onyx, Sheridan L'Orage, Andrew Will, Cadence, and Fall Line are some wines to look for. Wines from McCrea, Buty, Reininger, Apex, Syzygy, Sandidge, Cougar Crest, Beresan, Isenhauer, Dusted Valley, Amavi, Three Rivers, Kestrel, Walla Walla Vintners, K Vintners, Hightower and Palouse are other wines to look for. Where are you going to find these wines?Metropolitan Market, Whole Foods, University Village QFC, Larry's Market, Mc Carthy and Schiering, Seattle Cellars are good places to look.

Now the hard part! Where are you going to find Bordeaux, Burgundy and Port. La Cantina on Sandpoint Way in Laurelhurst has a great selection of Burgundy carefully chosen by proprietor, Mike Dodson in his annual Pilgrimage to France. Mike also has a great selection of Bordeaux including some fabulous 2000s on sale. Try the 2000 Fourcas Dupre at $16 a bottle, a phenomenal buy from one of my favorite Chateaux. Champion Cellars, owned by my friends Stephanie and Emile Ninaud, has a great selection of French wine. Pike and Western, in the Pike Place market, has a nice selection from virtually every region. If you are looking for Italians, DiLaurenti's might be the place to go and the Spanish Table specializes in, guess what, Spanish wine.

Have fun! Next up - bubbly for the New Year!

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