The City Magazine Since 1975

For the Host

For the Host
December 2015
Gifting wine is a no-brainer—until it’s time to select a bottle from the shelf. Do you go with an attractive label? An impressive price tag? Natalie Berejan, wine supervisor at Whole Foods Market in Mount Pleasant, suggests thinking about the recipient’s tastes. “If your friend is serving spicy food, for example, you might try an opposite pairing—a sweeter wine to balance the heat. Or choose a bottle from a region known for fiery fare.” Still unsure? “Go with bubbles!” Read on for three of Berejan’s no-fail gift ideas.

Under $25
Cabernet Sauvignon, Justin, 2013, California

“This cab is hearty but well-rounded, with layers of dark purple and blue fruit; hints of licorice; and a smooth, silky tannin finish. It’s also consistently highly rated, more elegant than its price suggests, and perfect for serving with a Christmas Eve lamb.” Available at Total Wine, $22

Around $50
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Brut, 1er Cru, Blanc des Blancs, Champagne

“This Champagne, made from chardonnay, is vivacious and lively, with notes of white peach, fresh brioche, and a touch of toasted almond. Because it’s a grower Champagne, it’s great for foodies who appreciate knowing that the vintners had a hand in every part of the wine’s process.” Available at Whole Foods, $50

Under $100
Pinot Noir, Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve, 2011, Oregon
“Fans of California-based pinot noirs will love this wine for its firm, structured tannins as well as for its Oregon-style fruit-forwardness. The wine’s hearty flavor pleasantly hangs in your mouth. And its notes of exotic spices go well with holiday dinners or spicy gingerbread.” Available at Bottles, $77