Wine

 

From Thanksgiving to Christmas morning brunch and all of the cookie swaps and dinner parties in between, wine will always be near. Pairing wine with food can be a stressful task, but so can gifting the perfect bottle of vino too! For as complex it can seem at times, at the end of the day wine is simple, thoughtful, and wonderful at bringing a group together.

We’ve asked our Sommeliers to share their favorite bottle of vino for the holiday season so you can enjoy the simple, cheerful, glass-clinking, toast-worthy side of wine. Scroll through this year’s Holiday Wine Guide for crowd-pleasing bottles to geeky showstoppers. Visit our knowledgeable staff of wine connoisseurs and Sommeliers to help find a wine listed or something similar and equally endearing. We’re here to help you find the perfect finishing touch to your holiday affairs. And that’s something we can make a toast too.

 

2014 Nielson by Byron Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara Plum Price $16.97 List $23
“Aromas of rose petals, pungent violets, and raspberry juice show just a touch of chai tea, and the palate proves juicy and fun, with cranberry, pomegranate, and raspberry elements. Black tea and mocha flavors add just enough seriousness to make this a perfect pairing to holiday season.” – Anthony Minne, IL Beverage Coordinator & Advanced Sommelier, Old Town

 

2016 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly  Cru Beaujolais Plum Price $24.97 List $30
“Totally delicious French Gamay!  The aromas are stunning – pure red berry fruit (ripe raspberry & strawberry) laced with white pepper and dried herbal notes.  The palate is as smooth and welcoming as any pedigreed Pinot Noir… Give this beauty a little chill (around 50F, half an hour in the fridge) to fully release its perfume. Château Thivin, the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, is a master of this category and a big reason why Cru Beaujolais is enjoying renewed and well-deserved appreciation.   Importer Kermit Lynch says, “…the wines resemble a country squire who is not afraid to get his boots muddy.  Handsome, virile, earthy, and an aristocrat.” Indeed!” – Madeline Triffon, Master Sommelier

 

2015 Domaine Gachot-Monot Côtes de Nuits Villages Plum Price $29.97 List $35
“Damien Gachot may work the vineyards of the lesser known Côtes de Nuits Villages appellation, but he works his vines as if they were premier cru fruit from Nuits-Saint-Georges. This fifth-generation vigneron and his Danish wife, Lise, farm twelve hectares in the village of Corgoloin, in between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune. They first came to Kermit Lynch’s  attention via a trusted source—the master of La Tâche himself, Aubert de Villaine—and it certainly doesn’t hurt that Damien also received an endorsement from his friend, Bertrand Chevillon, either! His Côtes de Nuits Villages is a true gem. From the fabulous 2015 vintage, it’s already showing opulent cherry, strawberry, plum and currant fruits with very fine-grained tannins that allow early drinkability yet excellent aging potential. It tastes more like a Nuits-Saint-Georges and is easily one of the best Burgundy values anywhere in the market place!” – Rod Johnson, Wine Team Leader, Ann Arbor West 

 

 2014 David Bruce Pinot Noir, Sonoma County  Plum Price $32.99 List $38
“The winery has adhered to traditional European winemaking practices that trace their lineage back to the early pioneers of winemaking in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley. Created from five vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Alexander Valley. Traditional open-top tanks are used and whole-berry fermentations combining “punched cap” and gravity-fed “rack and return”, separating juice from the solids for a time, to gently extract flavor from the grapes. Aged 12 months in French, American, & Hungarian oak. Very ripe raspberry/cherry flavors that will work perfectly with turkey dressings and the cranberry recipes that show up on the table.” – Patrick Peterson, Advanced Sommelier, West Bloomfield

 

2012 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva  Plum Price-$32.99 List $40
93 Points James Suckling | “The holiday’s mean Family and food.  This Chianti brings both to mind as it craves food.  The wine is versatile and can roll with meals from baked lasagna to smoked turkey.  It drinks well on its own but is better with anything Italian. There are mushrooms on the nose of this Chianti Classico, but these soon give way to subtle, deep aromas of blackberry crumble with hints of mint and ivy. It soon fills up the mouth with beautifully dense fruit and fine tannins, nutty, woody undertones and long finish.” – Michael Timpa, Assistant Wine Team Leader, West Bloomfield

 

2012 Brancaia Ilatraia Toscana  Plum Price $44.97  List $70
“Even though the 2013 got that huge 97 points score, when tasted next to each other the 2012 showed magnificently.  We tasted the wine with the winemaker Barbara Widmer, and the staff all thought that extra year made all the difference in the world.  The wine shows attractive notes of mulberry, dark cherry, fennel seed, woodsy elements, and a stately presence.  The palate confirms what the nose suggests but adds pliable tannins, and a never-ending finish.  Their vineyards in Maremma, closer to the ocean and a two hour drive southwest from Florence, get a lot of sunlight and have a different microclimate than the rest of Tuscany—some say it is more like Sicily.  This spectacular wine is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc.” – Jorge Lopez-Chavez, Wine Team Leader, Ann Arbor North Campus

 

2014 Domaine de la Cote Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir Plum Price $47.97 List $55
97 Points Decanter | “This wine was fermented with 50% whole bunches and no new oak was used in the elevage. This wine has a brilliant, translucent red color with perfumed flavors of red cherry, allspice and licorice. A soft texture and silky tannins mark all the wines from 2014. This wine has a long life in the bottle and should develop aromas and flavors of great complexity over the next 7+ years.” – Patrick Mulrooney, Wine Team Leader, Bloomfield

 

2015 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Plum Price $79.97 List $100
“Iconic Napa! The palate is explosive with bright, balanced cassis at the center and flourishes of cocoas and sweet tobacco that provide nuance and continually shifting points of interest. Velvety meshed tannins make this wine lush yet structured, with a texture that grabs attention, expands, and unfolds.” – Marc Jonna, Co-Founder

 

2016 Dr. Konstantin Frank Grüner Veltliner Finger Lakes  Plum Price $14.99 List $18
“15 years ago there were probably only two Grüner Veltliner wines rotting on the shelves at Michigan wine stores, today we at Plum Market North Campus carry eight from Austria and this graceful beauty from the Finger Lakes in New York state.  There are many more out there but we think that nine is enough.  Grüner is a very versatile wine, a darling of many sommeliers, and it pairs well with all kinds of food including difficult matches like asparagus, lemon or sharp vinaigrette salads, or even artichokes.  This wine shows an expressive nose of orchard fruits, mountain herbs, preserved lemons, and a lush and somewhat fleshy mouthfeel with a long finish.  Plenty of acidity is also present.” – Jorge Lopez-Chavez, Wine Team Leader, Ann Arbor North Campus

 

2016 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier Plum Price $19.97 List $28
“One of the most consistent values from Australia every year!  The Yalumba Eden Valley Riesling, made by award-winning winemaker Louisa Rose, is always a stunning example of the potential of the Viognier grape.  This dry white is the perfect wine to pair with your holiday turkey.  Medium-bodied with exotic, perfumed notes on the nose and  peach and honeysuckle notes on the palate, while still retaining refreshing acidity.  If you’re looking for something a little different this holiday season this is the wine for you!” – Jason Kugel, Wine Team Member, Bloomfield

 

2014 Georg Breuer Rauenthal Estate Rheingau Riesling Plum Price $27.97 List $35
“The perfect white for your get-togethers!  This outstanding German producer is back in Michigan after a long absence and in perfect time for your Thanksgiving turkey.  Georg Breuer produces the purest form of Riesling.  Dry with bracing acidity and subtle minerality with just the slightest touch of petrol.  It works perfectly as an aperitif and is an amazing accompaniment with your traditional holiday entrees.  Keep this wine on hand for consumption or even cellar it for the years to come.  It will age beautifully.” – Jason Kugel, Wine Team Member, Bloomfield

 

2006 Clicquot La Grande Dame ‘Charlotte Olympia’ Edition Plum Price $129.97 List $200 
“One of the Great Grand Marque Champagnes in the world, La Grande Dame is all dressed up in a limited edition Gift package for this year’s Holiday Season. A great vintage for this stellar Champagne and even more fun in this unique presentation…a perfect gift for the perfect women in your life.” – Dennis Walsh, Wine Team Leader, West Bloomfield