The past two years I have published the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” (still worth a look for suggestions.) With my many roles now, and a trip to Europe (I write this jet la
gged awake as I type) this years series bit the dust.
However I decided to share a compilation of some of my top choices you can still get in time for Dec 25th.
Please forgive lack of graphics, hyperlinks. Finishing this up on a iPad mini in Denmark via expensive remote broadband.
(1) A Wine Club Membership
This was a separate article previously, (http://simplehedonisms.com/archives/3244) that is worth looking at again. Consider gifting a partial or full year to a winery you love. You can print out the order and put it in a stocking, oversized box, or card.
Your local wine shop often has a wine club you can join. Or you can look at specialty importers like Kermit Lynch. (To whom I belong.)
Need a winery suggestion? Look to some of last years suggestions or email me or post in comments to contact you – always happy to share a top favorite!
(2) A Wine Book
I receive a number of books each year to review, as well as purchase many. Here are a few top picks, and one of my personal favorites
The Wines of The Northern Rhone
An amazing resource, and easy to read. Don’t let the size dissuade you. If you love Rhone wines, especially the Northern Rhone – this is your book, period.
Only SIX left on Amazon.
Kermit Lynch: Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France
One of my most inspirational books both as a consumer and a vintner. An easy read, that will make you also love the old world of wine, and be glad Robert Parker is moving on. The paperback is $13. Buy it for yourself even.
The New York Times Book of Wine: More Than 30 Years of Vintage Writing
Eric Asimov’s new book is getting all the press (and well deserved) but this is a great, easy read, (with a lot by Eric) with lots of short soundbytes you can read for minutes, or hours. A steal for a hardback under $20 on Amazon.
I also blame this book, and Eric, for making me covet the T38 $400 corkscrew.
Wines of the Southern Hemisphere: The Complete Guide
A great anthology and resource on wines from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, and Uruguay. A great hardback gift at under $20 on Amazon.com.
(3) Tickets to A Wine Event
Some of my favorite wine memories are spent attending wine events, where you can immerse yourself and be surrounded by fellow aficionados. Make your wine lover jump up and down with a print out of this in their stocking.
Ultimate Wine Weekend – International Pinot Noir Festival (IPNC)
Both are quite different: IPNC is focused solely on Pinot Noir where as HdR covers the gamut of Rhone wines. HdR was a bit more geeky and industry attended, IPNC was a better fit for consumers.
Now that HdR is basically no longer (until they come out of hiding and announce otherwise) that leaves IPNC as the king. I must confess, with 2+ decades of doing this IPNC has this experience down to a science.
This was the first year I attended the entire weekend, and I must say, while its not inexpensive, its worth every penny. The pace and setting is relaxing, the wines and topics well done, and the food is to die for.
There is also special early bird pricing that expires Dec #31st. Make someone delighted by buying them one of the most hedonistic wine weekends there is.
(b) Wine Road Season Pass
For the first time ever, the Wine Road of Northern Sonoma has created a season pass. It includes:
- 1 ticket to Winter Wineland
– January 19-20, 2013
- 2 tickets to Barrel Tasting – March 1-3 & 8-10, 2013
- 1 ticket to A Wine & Food Affair – November 2-3, 2013
- 1 1-day Ticket to the Wine Road – you pick the date that works for you (some blackout dates apply)
- A canvas Wine Road tote bag AND a Wine Road license plate frame.
- Early Bird check in at our annual event – one hour before other attendees.
- AND your name will go in the hat for a Wine Road Get-Away raffle package. Winner will receive two nights of lodging, wine tour, lunch and winery goodies.
(c) Rhone Rangers San Francisco Weekend Pass
With the demise of the April Hospice du Rhone in Paso Robles, the San Francisco March Rhone Rangers event is now your main Rhone immersion experience. The 2011 event was the most widely attended, and the Rhone Rangers have stepped up to make the 2013 the best ever, with some changes to make attendance easier than ever. This year the Winemakers dinner is Fridayb night, and the seminars and Grand Tasting are on Saturday day and early evening. Grab a hotel in San Francisco for 1-2 nights and have a Rhone filled weekend!
- FULL WEEKEND PASS: Friday, March 22, 2013 & Saturday, March 23, 2013. BUY TICKETS. $275/person. Includes all events: the winemaker dinner (on Friday) plus two seminars, and VIP admission to the Grand Tasting (on Saturday). The seminar topics are: “Old World Inspiration, New World Innovation” and “Mourvedre, A Rising Star in the World of American Rhones.”
- SATURDAY ONLY PASS: Saturday, March 23, 2013. BUY TICKETS. $150/person. Includes two seminars & VIP admission to the Grand Tasting. The seminar topics are: “Old World Inspiration, New World Innovation” and “Mourvedre, A Rising Star in the World of American Rhones.”
Literally hand machined, its a stunning gift a true wine aficionado will go nuts over.
No they won’t get it in time for Christmas. Print out a pic, show them the video, watch the drool. I ensure you I would.
A special warm thank you to the readers and loyal followers of Simple Hedonisms. Your support and feedback has made this a great labor of love and enjoyment.
Life is short, drink great wine this holiday season, try new things, explore and live a little, and if you can, share it with someone.