‘Haut des Ruettes’ is the demi-sec offering from our favorite Vouvray producer, Maison Darragon. Demi-sec means “half-dry” so the other half is sweet, though in this case you could argue it’s more a sense of richness than syrupy sweetness. The palate is silky and generous thanks to the later harvesting of Chenin blanc grapes. Flavors of honeyed apple, ripe pineapple and rich apricot end with mouthwatering acidity to tie everything together, like a tart-then-sweet Sour Patch Kid. Don’t be put off by the demi-sec moniker, this Vouvray has just a trace of sweetness to carry the beautiful ripe fruit flavors.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: The perfect way to start 12 Nights of Wine. Wash away the lingering Gingerbread Spiced, Pumpkin Spiced, Fermented Turmeric or whatever kind of lattes that got you through your hectic day and prepare your palate for the next 11 stunning wines.
Piedmont’s ancient red wine-rosé hybrid is the perfect chillable red for when the occasion just doesn’t call for white. This cuvée, L’Equilibrista, is exactly that; an equilibrium in wine that manages to balance ripe red fruits with subtle spice and a soft, velvety structure. Often referred to as the Beaujolais of Italy, this fresh fruity and meant to be consumed young wine is what the winemakers enjoy whilst they wait for their heavier reds to age.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Enjoy while putting the TV news cycle on mute, unplugging and reading a book. Fiction, please!
The full-bodied Cabernet fruit shines with red currant and raspberry aromas surrounding a strawberry-led palate with just a whisper of sweetness.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Easy and satisfying, like walking on crunchy Autumn leaves. Expertly tested and proven to expedite the wrapping of presents though sometimes with a touch less-tidy results. (They’re just going to rip it open anyways…)
Classic Muscadet with a bright, pale yellow color with scents of pear, peach and grapefruit. The palate opens with citrus and lively minerality and the mouthfeel is velvet smooth thanks to aging on lees.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: From fancy dinner parties to after-workout Netflix binges, there’s always room for a glass (or two!) of easy-drinking Muscadet.
100% Frappato and 100% drinkable. This indigenous Italian grape produces a light bodied red wine with delightful strawberry and tart raspberry flavors and a dash of pretty pink and purple flower scents.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: It might seem strange, but place this red in the fridge for a few minutes before enjoying. It'll make sense once you taste it, or at least make as much sense as the word ‘yeet’ your nephew keeps shouting.
A 50-50 blend of local white grapes, the nose is powerful but still fresh with notes of ripe stone fruit and sweet summer hay. The palate brings a touch of grassiness before the fragrant fruitiness wallops you with ripe pear and peach.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Pop this one in your bag and bring it to a holiday blockbuster (Fantastic Beasts, anyone?) A crisp white paired with movie theatre popcorn and a matinée is perfection.
Cabernet that's ready to drink now (yes, please!). Seductive aromas of cherries, blueberries and rhubarb enrobed in warm scents of dark chocolate, juniper and tobacco are silkier than Mr. Grey's tie collection. All those scents translate to palate, bringing along smooth tannins that further up the sexiness of the wine inside. Whew.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Cheese and crackers! Take out the Boursin and salty crackers or strong blue and fruit preserves and make it a “fancy” night. You deserve it.
Citrus and green apples on the nose. Key lime, kumquat blossom and fresh nectarine flavors along with a slight pith-y note bring the balance.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Use that discount code you’ve been holding onto for your favorite food ordering app and add some hot Thai or Indian takeout to your cart. This slightly weighty white (it’s just winter weight!) is beautiful with spicy food.
A semillon heavy blend makes for a rich and tropical fruit filled bouquet of lychee and honeysuckle. The Sauvignon blanc dominates the palate with tart, zesty lime and under ripe kiwi, like you forgot to cut off all of the skin. The semillon lends itself to mouthfeel here with a nice weight and texture and also to complementary floral undertones.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Think of it as an intermezzo before the final two wines. This crisp white pairs with almost everything and is quite the crowd pleaser - unlike Buzz’s girlfriend. Woof.
2011 was a tough year for Bordeaux, especially following the historic harvest that 2010 was. However, that doesn’t always mean a bad thing when you’re talking about wines that “need age.” Due to low yields and lower alcohol, the 2011s are peaking right now! Expect a nose dominated by subtle leather and violently aromatic cherry, a concentrated palate with noticeably brighter tannins and acid, and a slight spice.
HOLIDAY PAIRING: Paired best with Disney movies and oversized sweaters. Enjoy this last glass while getting ready for your holiday party or making final preparations for the big day.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at VINEBOX. You got this!
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