If you are like me you entertain far more and attend far more parties during the Holiday Season than any other time of year. One of my go-to items for a host gift is a bottle of wine and it is great to shake things up and try something new. But often I don't know where to start and with the chaos of the season I don't have time to spend researching the hot wines for the Holidays. Well, now you won't have to because we went straight to the expert!
We were lucky enough to get the scoop on this season's wines straight from wine expert, Nick Keukenmeester:
Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, Nick joined Lifford Wine Agency in Toronto, Canada to head up their Private Client Sales department in 2007.
Prior to joining Lifford, Nick spent six years working in the wine trade in London, England.
Nick holds a Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the UK's Wine and Spirits Education Trust and now lectures for them here in Toronto with the Independant Wine Education Guild. Nick lives with his wife and young son in Toronto, Canada.
He sucks at golf and ice-skating, but keeps trying in order to fit in.
We asked Nick for recommendations on 3 reds and 3 whites and tasting recommendations that will please any pallet.
Here are Nick's Tasting Notes:
Villa Sandi Prosecco - Who doesn't love bubbles? Great for mimosas on Christmas morning. Citrus notes and hints of ripe golden apple, the dry, fresh and clean sensation on the palate is followed by a fruity aftertaste. Also an excellent aperitif to accompany savouries, with steamed shellfish, or as the principal ingredient for Bellini's, or Sunday Brunch.
SM Pinot Grigio - Easy drinking white. This dry white wine has a straw yellow color. Its clean, intense aroma and bone-dry taste (with an appealing flavor of Golden Delicious apples) make Santa Margherita's Pinot Grigio a wine of great personality and versatility. Excellent as an aperitif, and ideal with seafood salads or pasta and rice dishes based on fish and shellfish. Also perfect with white meats, boiled or grilled fish and soufflés.
Ironstone Obsession - Highly aromatic with a touch of sweetness. Obsession Symphony is an ideal complement to many types of cuisine, especially ones that are on the spicy side. Obsession is exceptional with Pad Thai or other Thai dishes. The hot curry found in Indian cuisine is cooled by Obsession's fresh fruit flavors. It's also a great choice with grilled fruits.
Negrar Ripasso - Classic Italian elegance. Its colour reveals a strong ruby red with hints of violet. Its bouquet is complex aromas of red fruits, vinous and spicy. The flavour is well balanced, full-bodied, velvet-smooth with harmonious tannins. Best served at a temperature of 18°-19°C in very large glasses. Uncork the bottle at least 1 hour prior to serving. A fine companion for all meat dishes, both grilled and braised and also good with farmhouse cheeses.
Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon - Big red with a fun Zork closure. Deep red. Dark cherry conserve, cassis and cranberry fruit aromas along with hints of mint chocolate and roasted coffee lift from the glass. The richly structured, full-bodied palate is filled with ripe blackberry flavours and textured with velvety tannins and lingering French oak. Fresh acidity complements the long, sweet fruit finish, resulting in a wine with immediate appeal and varietal presence.
Junior Shiraz - Smooth, easy drinking full-bodied red. Bright black fruits on the nose with a subtle spice component. The palate is rich with firm savoury tannins and a long, generous finish. Drink with barbecued eye fillet, served with pan seared mushrooms, green beans and creamy potato mash.
Fabulous suggestions! A wine for every taste. And here's your chance to win a Gift Basket from Lifford Wines. Just comment below and let us know whether you are a red, white or bubbly and tell me why!