From Champagne to Scotch whisky, use these recommendations for holiday gift giving.
What does it take to be considered a top wine pick for holiday gift giving?
Nothing short of perfection.
Two of our choices, 32 Winds Cabernet Sauvignon and Bliss Late Harvest Chardonnay, even have Tulsa connections, making these choices extra special.
Champagne: French Champagne is a winner any time of year. It symbolizes sophistication and celebration.
“Rosé” French Champagne takes your selection to a higher level. More time and attention are required to blend red wine into the Champagne for the rose color or to macerate the grapes in the red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grape skins to leech out the beautiful rose color into the wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon: The 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was an excellent vintage. It’s also a fantastic gift because the wine can be put away to age for a few years or drunk in its youth. The wine will slowly evolve over a number of years, softening and smoothing out as it goes.
Although most Cabs are made to age for five to 10 years, most can also be popped the day you buy them. Just allow them 30 to 60 minutes to breathe in the glass or decanter.
French Bordeaux is another excellent Cabernet Sauvignon blend that signifies a wine that has power, structure, balance and also the “wow” factor.
Scotch single-malt whisky: This is a gift that will keep giving over time because it’s rarely consumed all in one sitting. You often see Scotch aged in Sherry or Bourbon barrels but seldom in highly reputable French oak. The 15-year-old Glenlivet is aged in oak from the Limousin region of France. French oak lends notes of baking spices, such as nutmeg and allspice, to this single malt. The final result is a smooth, refined Scotch, rippled with elegance and a memorable finish.
Dessert wine: A sweet and special gift in several forms. Port is fantastic; French Sauterne is incredible. Or consider something new and unique, such as the Tulsa Deco late-harvest “Bliss” Chardonnay. It hit the Tulsa market in early October and is a new product for Tulsa Deco, made from California grapes but bottled right here.
Sips at home
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé French Champagne — $49.99
A dry rosé Champagne — extraordinary in every way. Made from mainly Pinot Noir plus Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this is a weighty bubbly that will pair with a whole holiday meal, if you choose. From the first sip to the last, this is a sheer delight.
32 Winds 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — $71.49
Local ties come into the picture with Tulsa owner Ed Mascarin. His 32 Winds just keeps getting better and better. The Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced with jammy black fruit and smooth tannins — not too heavy and cloying. It has complexity and is age-worthy, yet it is also terrific in its infancy. Give it to yourself!
The Glenlivet 15-year-old Single Malt Whisky French Oak Reserve — $51.99
I had never seen this offering before and jumped on it. Anyone who loves single-malt Scotch will love this for its alluring aromas of baking spices, slight peat character and burnt smoky oranges. It’s refined, silky smooth and perfect neat or ruined, the way I like it, with ice and Perrier.
Take me back to Tulsa
Tulsa Deco 2009 Late-Harvest Bliss Chardonnay — approximate price $35 for a 375-milliliter bottle
Chris Girouard’s first sweet dessert wine has blown Tulsans away. It is a deep golden-brown color and slightly oxidized, like Tokay from Hungary, with notes of oranges, apricots, raisins, figs, dates, toffee and caramel. Perfect with custard, fruit and pumpkin desserts.