When considering gift ideas this season, just go with the flow...with a tasty libation, that is. Indeed, a luxe liquor will never disappoint. Should the spirit of giving inspire the giving of spirits, here’s a third round of palate pleasers that have my resounding recommendation:
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut 2004 (www.WallyWine.com) - $139 per bottle/$150 for gift set
In celebration of its 200th anniversary, Perrier-Jouët champagne has rolled out something very special for gift-givers in search of the very best. In honor of its rich heritage and in returning to its roots, Perrier-Jouët has launched Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut 2004. It can be purchased as a standalone bottle or as a gift set, which includes at bottle of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut 2004 and two elegant champagne flutes. Perrier-Jouët champagne is the perfect way to inject a little glamour into your gift giving this holiday season. This is one of the world’s leading champagne houses with a strong perspective on luxury and a passion for beauty. Each bottle is, of course, ordained with the company’s lovely signature floral design, complementing any bouquet or centerpiece perfectly.
Shafer Vineyards Relentless (www.shafervineyards.com) - $60
The Shafer Vineyards Relentless is a rich, elegant Syrah/Petite Sirah blend that wine critic Robert Parker calls a “thorough breed … sensational … a powerhouse.” This makes a great business gift because it has been adopted by people in sports and business as they believe it describes themselves. Therefore, you might see it as the perfect gift a boss or a colleague. Relentless is born on a rugged ridgetop vineyard in the southern foothills ofNapaValley’s Vaca mountain range. The wine is a field blend of 80 percent Syrah and 20 percent Petite Sirah, which means that these two grape varietals grow side by side, and are picked and crushed together. The wine is liquidmidnightwith rich, glass-hugging color and rich flavors of black plum, cassis, black berry, smoke and pepper flavors. The wine was named Relentless to honor long-time Shafer Winemaker Elias Fernandez and his relentless pursuit of quality in the vineyard and cellar.
Herradura A?ejo (www.Herradura.com) -- $59.99 for 750ml Bottle
Founded by Ambrosio Rosales and Aurelio Lopez, Casa Herradura is one of the oldest and most respected producers of tequila. Many believe they deliver the world's highest quality, most authentic tequila experience because of the expertise and leadership the company has cultivated since 1870. Located and produced in the heart ofMexico’s tequila region, in the tiny town ofAmatitan, Jalisco, Tequila Herradura is 100% blue agave tequila carefully crafted using traditional methods, such as cooking the agave in clay ovens and fermenting naturally with wild yeast. Herradura A?ejo is aged for 25 months, which is 13 months longer than the industry standard. Its deep copper color hints to its oaky, spicy taste, which is apparent at the sniff of this refined expression and lingers on even after the first sip. Enjoyed like a fineCognacor bourbon, Herradura A?ejo is truly one of the world’s finest ultra premium spirits.
Louis M. Martini Napa Cabernet (www.LouisMartini.com) - $30
More than 75 years ago, Louis M. Martini adopted the philosophy that the best wines come from the best grapes as he constructed his winery in the heart ofNapaValley. Today, Louis M. Martini winery continues to craft impressive vintages with the same philosophy. The Louis M. Martini 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one such example. This wine exhibits a deep garnet color with intense aromas of ripe cherry, cedar, and pipe tobacco. Concentrated flavors of ripe plums and dark Bing cherries marry perfectly with the oak nuances, imparting notes of brown spice and vanilla. This is a well-structured wine that is balanced with firm, velvety tannins which culminate in a long, elegant finish with hints of tobacco, dried herbs and fruit. This wine is ready to enjoy now or can be aged for 3‐5 years.
Adult Chocolate Milk (www.AdultChocolateMilk.com) - $18.99 for 750ml Bottle
Introduced in 2009, Adult Chocolate Milk is the signature product in the Adult Beverage Company’s portfolio. The retro-inspired, forward-thinking brand has become an instant classic, reinvigorating the pour-and-serve category with its premium ingredients and artisanal approach to manufacturing. Adult Chocolate Milk is characterized by a proprietary cream-based recipe featuring the classic taste of chocolate milk and the unmistakable smoothness of premium vodka. The cocktail was born from the creativity of co-founder Tracy Reinhardt in her own kitchen, which she shared with friends as an innocuous Facebook post, describing the cocktail that she had just created as “adult chocolate milk.” The concoction struck a chord with co-founder Nikki Halbur, one thing led to another, and the two decided to build a business together. The pair began to distribute their creation in October 2010 in four states, and just a few months later it is now available in 40 states across the country with plans to introduce it nationwide by the end of the year.
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec from Argentina (www.GasconWine.com) - $15
Mendozais a mountainous province at the foot of theAndesMountainsand is regarded as the most important wine producing province inArgentina. The high altitude allows for intense sunlight that produces fruit with thicker skins. This delivers extraordinary color, body, aroma and structure, and it creates unique flavor and aromatic expressions in the finished wine. Don Miguel Gascon Malbec is a pure expression of the fruit; it is a full-bodied wine with a deep violet color, showcasing unique flavors and aromas. Flavors and aromas include blackberry, blueberry, plum, dark cherry and a hint of mocha. The wine is elegant and rich in texture with plush, round tannins and finely integrated oak characteristics. Final flavors of black spice and maple combine to create a long, velvety finish. It is the perfect match for red meats and winter stews.
Bridlewood Estate Winery Monterey County Chardonnay (www.BridlewoodWinery.com) - $15
The Bridlewood Winery sits on a picturesque 105-acre estate, which rests on a high bench of ancient seabed, facing the Pacific breezes. Days are warm, nights are cool, and the abundant sunshine is tempered by wind and fog. It’s Central Coast Wine Country at its best. The result is this aromatic Chardonnay that displays juicy tropical flavors mixed with hints of vanilla and spice. Flavors of lush pineapple, mango and tart pippin apple give way to clover honey and toasted sugar notes. The wine is nicely paired with lobster bisque and cream-based soups. Wrap up this Monterey Chardonnay to give someone sunshine in a bottle during the dreary winter season.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***