By Rick Riozza

As is usual in this time of the holiday season, we try to get to as many last minute wine recommendations out to our beloved valley quaffing public! And there are a bunch of super treats, good buys and good deals.

So we’ll just wish you and yours all the holiday best—and get to the rest. Holiday Cheers!!

Let’s begin with the season’s festivities with a very festive Prosecco. It’s a great party starter and one cannot beat the flavor profile for the price. Mionetto Prosecco Superiore Brut ($20). A classic Italian wine that brightens every glass. Aromas of fresh McIntosh apples combined with yellow peach and wildflowers swirl from the glass. It’s crisp and refreshing on the palate with notes of pear and crushed rocks all wrapped up by lively and vivacious bubbles.


There’s an exotic thread of jasmine, cardamom and turmeric winding through the blood orange granita, melon, lime zest and stone notes in this bright and bubbly. How easy is it to grab this wine that’s available all over the shelves!

As time flies by, many wine enthusiasts forget to try the classic white German wine of Christmastime. 2021 Fritz Haag Riesling Kabinett Mosel ($29). Most of us don’t really like gooey sweet wine—but, we love a sweetish wine that is balanced by laser focused acidity. It’s where the vino world happily collides and settles along some minerality as well. It works very well as an aperitif.

The Fritz Haag Kabinett is a very fun holiday wine that surprisingly continues to match much on the holiday tables. There’s plenty of lively fruit too, with apple blossoms and orchard fruit. A desirable treat for those wishing to expand the envelope with a sexy choice. Such a well-produced wine that will bring a tasty smile. Careful!—you may need to grab an extra bottle once the wine gets passed around!

So many of you love the Savvy Blanc, and, as one can expect, there are some tasty deals. Three great deals for the flavor this season come from:

(1) 2022 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($23). “Greywacke Winemaker’s Notes: Aromas of cassis and passion fruit are first to emerge, with guava, crisp pear and white peach adding a delicious fruit salad intricacy. On the palate, it’s generous yet refreshing, with ripe pineapple and a lime sherbet zing, layered with elderflower and hints of citrus blossom. 95 points!!

(2) 2022 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($23) “Checking all the boxes, this stunning version is fresh and vibrant yet also complex and full of flavor, from toasted green tea and lemon thyme to mouthwatering passion fruit, yuzu and mango. Ends with hints of white pepper, lemon blossoms and sea salt on the long, expressive finish. 94 Points!!

(3) 2022 Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Black Label ($15) Can you believe the price on this Babich baby! “Elegant and intense nose, a dance of

blackcurrant, passion fruit and complex smoky herbals. Textured and very long palate with exuberant, yet integrated, fruit. Citrus notes and flint add drive. Layered and powerful. 93 Points!!

Recommended Food: Can be enjoyed with a variety of food. Serve it with veal, seafood (brilliant with oysters) or a chicken dish such as a mild chicken korma with crispy popadoms.

Okay a quick Chardonnay deal you can’t beat: 2022 Diatom Chardonnay Santa Barbara County ($23). Look at these reviews! “Fascinating aromas of Asian pear, lime and white rocks create a cohesive combination on the nose of this bottling by Greg Brewer. The palate is tremendously tense and lively, using crushed seashell and yuzu flavors to offset the tropical hints of guava peel and spicy pepper touches.

Offers grilled pineapple, white peach and lemon blossom notes that are robust and effortless on a sleek, juicy frame, with fresh-cut green apple, tarragon and sea spray emerging on the mouthwatering finish. 92 Points!!

We all voted for the Etude Brands of Pinot Noir from Carneros last time. Ditto that again here.

Tis the season to treat ourselves to yet another wonderful Pinot Noir. This time let’s pick a wonderful wine from Oregon wine country: 2021 Résonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($40) is sourced from both estate vineyards and top vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This wine showcases Maison Louis Jadot’s winemaking history with the Willamette Valley’s signature terroir.

Winemaker’s Notes: The nose is expressive of wild strawberry, mulberry, rose, and cedar. The palate reveals a harmony between fresh fruitiness and savory richness, with a persistent, vibrant finish.

A delicious dessert wine for the holidays is the Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port 20 Year Old NV ($61). Wine Spectator writes: A warm, flattering style, with date, ginseng, toffee, caramel and mulled raisin flavors. Lovely, with a mix of persimmon, white peach, hazelnut, green tea and singed alder notes all moving in harmony. Sage, red fruit, rose hip syrup and a touch of dried fig. The palate is medium bodied with a lightly spiced entry, clove and white pepper mixed with a light curry note. Sweet dreams & Happy Holidays! Cheers!