Gathering for the holidays is one of the best way to unwind the year slowly but steadily. However the unwinding gets most people wound up with all the preparation that goes into the celebrations. The heightened sense of expectations thanks to social media doesn’t help the situation an ounce bit. From decorating to gifting to entertaining and then gifting the hostess with the mostest is a farther from being the most wonderful time of the year and closer to panic attack as days draw closer. But fretting has never been a solution especially when it comes to selecting something for the hostess to thank them for the holiday dinner or lunch invitations. Some of us are fortunate to have our weekend calendars from Thanksgiving to New Year all blocked with invitations from friends and family. This makes for multiple gifts for the many hosts to visit and those many mental toss and turns as to what would they prefer or don’t have or wouldn’t mind the can of thoughts once opened cannot be closed on this one. Well most of us carry a bottle of our favorite vino and as simple yet splendid a gift that is for a dinner and party why not customise or up the ante this year? In this post I will be sharing the wines that I have collected from Europe, Pacific Northwest and my backyard North East Coast of The US. You can curate a hamper from each of these and create a bespoke one for your host or friends or just go with the wine hampers I have curated. ‘Tis the season for some wine-ing fa la la la la la la.
German Rieslings Hamper
I cannot emphasize more on how drenched in love I am with Rieslings and a summer trip to the wine regions of Rheinland-Pfalz did not cure my love bug for these white wines. Rieslings are surprisingly not everyone’s choice of whites but those who appreciate aromatic, dry, semi-sweet or sweet white wines that are comparable with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. German Rieslings are my particular favorite owing to their immediate mood uplifting effect in my personal experience. I have been enjoying wines of all kinds and regions for years and never have I felt so refreshing and uplifted than when I tasted my first Riesling a decade ago. I was a white wine convert from a red lover as instantly as sipping a German Riesling. Rieslings go well with most menus and favorably with a variety of cuisines hence being very versatile in their pairing. So there is my good reason to gift a German Riesling hamper to the hostess with the mostest. The choice of this hamper includes : 2016 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling, 2016 Loersch Apotheke Kabinett Riesling, 2017 Dr H Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Kabinett Riesling, 2015 Weingut Göhlen Ehrenbreitsteiner, 2014 Weingut Göhlen Ehrenbreitsteiner Spätlese, 2016 Weingut Göhlen Muller-Thurgau.
Alsatian Wine Hamper
Alsace lies in the north eastern part of France bordering Germany’s Saar-Mosel valley and produces a good variety of dry Rieslings and red wines. While German Rieslings tend to be fruity and aromatic Alsatian Rieslings are more acidic and dry purely because of the soil differentiation and laws that allow alcohol content. Nevertheless Alsatian wines rank right up there in my list of favorites. Vins d’Alsace has an array of wines among them the most unique is Pinot d’Alsace – a rich golden liquid is a blend of Pinot grapes. Gewürztraminer is another varietal from Germany that grows in Alsace. A Muscat is a must have in an Alsatian wine hamper. Wines in the hamper include : 2016 L’Aubinière Muscadet Sure et Maine, 2015 König Vin D’Alsace Riesling, 2016 Mosbach Vins d’Alsace Riesling, 2015 Mosbach Pinot Gris Cuvée Particulière, 2016 Trimbach Gewurztraminer, 2016 Domaine G. Metz Muenchberg Grand Cru Riesling.
New York Wine Hamper
Though the varietals are German, Austrian and French I can always have a good gift worthy wine to share from up state New York – The Finger Lakes. Finger Lakes is pretty much my go to region when it comes to selecting wines from the US. Whether it’s the Rieslings, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio or Gewürztraminer the wineries between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake produce some of the most intense and serious wines in the business. Some of the best wineries are on the Cayuga Lake and these are generously sprinkled along the lake shore. The wines I have come to appreciate from this region are 2017 Damiani Dry Pinot Noir Rosé, 2016 Damiani Barrel Fermented Gewürztraminer, 2017 Knapp Dry Gewürztraminer, 2017 Dr. Konstantin Frank Sauvignon Blanc.
Willamette Valley Hamper
Oregon state’s volcanic ash flourished the Willamette valley with some of the richest soils to produce exceptional quality wines from reds to rose to sparkling wines. I had the opportunity to taste a flight of reds and whites during my tour of the wine region this May and was surprised to discover a whole new world of bouquets. From ruby reds that evolves to reveal a spiced bouquet of anise, citrus, tobacco and are paired well with holiday menus with duck and pot roast. Some of the best were 2015 Chehalem Mountains AVA Series Pinot Noir, 2015 Ribbon Ridge AVA Series Pinot Noir, 2015 Yamhill-Carlton AVA Series Pinot Noir, 2015 McMinnville AVA Series Pinot Noir and 2015 Bernau Block Chardonnay.