Winter Winederland: Sips to celebrate the season
Sips to celebrate the season.
By Alison Bailin Batz
Seeking something special to help celebrate the holidays or ring in the New Year? We’ve got you covered with some of the latest, greatest in wine and champagne, all available now at Total Wine and fine liquor and grocery stores across the North Valley.
Chandon Winter Limited Edition by Rebecca Minkoff
In recent months, the award-winning sparkling wine giant collaborated with global lifestyle brand founder Rebeca Minkoff––best known for bold-yet-accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel––to develop an actual line of limited edition winter bottles. Taking inspiration from Minkoff’s use of geometric shapes in her design work, the collection makes a stunning impression, combining traditional winter white and navy with impactful holographic foil to dazzle on the floor. The line features both brut and sparkling rose varietals and makes the perfect hostess gift to bring to a holiday gathering.
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
In 1804 France, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin was left a widow––or veuve in French––at just 27. Monsieur Clicquot’s death left Madame Clicquot in control of a company with holdings in banking, wool trading, and the Bouzy Vineyards. By 1810, Madame Clicquot created the first-ever recorded vintage of champagne in the region. She pioneered riddling, a technique that effectively removes the cloudiness present in champagne prior, which allowed champagne to become mainstream. Today, Veuve Clicquot still lives by the motto that Madame Clicquot instilled in her winemakers 200 years ago: “Only one quality, the finest.” This winter, the brand partnered with British designer Charlotte Olypia to give La Grande Dame––the varietal named directly in tribute to the iconic founder––the star treatment with innovative design and packaging fit for the grande dame in us all.
Wine from China? Yes! The journey of Ao Yun began in 2008, when the brand founders began a four-year trek across the vast expanses of China to find a region with the ideal terroir for genuinely world-class red wines. They found their Shangri-la at the foothills of the Himalayas in the province of Yunnan, which is actually near the real Shangri-la, coincidentally enough. Ao Yun’s first vintage––cabernet sauvignon made 100 percent by hand and with the help of French winemakers and more than 300 local Chinese farmers––recently launched in the states and is already making waves. It’s both complex and refreshing with notes of red fruit, cassis, cherry, spices, mint, and tea leaves.
Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Public School Edition
For its annual limited edition offering, Moet Nectar Imperial Rosé collaborated with Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow––whose clients include Ciara, Gabrielle Union and Hailey Baldwin––to create this unique bottle, around the concept of finding perfection in imperfection. The bottle has a black matte frond and neck label, with a camera flash effect: when the light hits it, the label will turn dark grey, like concrete pavement. The rosé itself is fruity and fresh with hints of cherry and redcurrant.
The California brand has had several impressive new releases this year, but the 2015 Skyside cabernet sauvignon is the picture-perfect wine for winter. It’s extremely bold with clear notes of black currant and blackberry on the nose, and even a hint of oak. The palate is broad with layers of spicy dark cherry and blue fruit wrapped in a supple texture. The finish is firm and long with balanced acidity. It stands up to any and all savory holiday dishes and cold weather comfort foods like a champ.
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