This year’s holiday season offers a multitude of challenges, to say the least. However, just because traditional gatherings of friends and family are on hold, doesn’t mean there’s no way to share a great wine. Indeed, sometimes a great glass is all that’s needed to make loved ones feel closer. And this year, we've made sure you can share the best! We bought the top wines recommended by the New York Times for Thanksgiving. Check them out in-store or send any two to distant loved ones for $65 (click here for more information about where we ship). They'll appreciate the sentiment, and—bonus!—these wines are not easy to find outside of New York.
Castello di Verduno is an historic estate located in Verduno, the northernmost commune of Barolo. This township has flown under the radar, mostly known for Pelaverga, the deliciously fine, elegant, floral and red-fruited wine native to the region. Made from organically grown grapes, vinified with indigenous yeast, and finished with minimal sulphur dioxide, this wine is lively and fresh, with notes of crushed roses, red berries, and pink peppercorns. Pinot lovers take note, Pelaverga will take your breath away.
The Queen of the Sierra wines from Forlorn Hope are a celebration of the steep limestone and schist slopes of Rorick Heritage Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. Made from 100% Estate grown fruit, the wine is a blend of organically farmed, hand-harvested, and spontaneously fermented Barbera, Tempranillo, & Graciano, bottled unfiltered and unfined, with nothing added but minimal effective sulfur. These are honest and pure California estate wines made with soul that are approachable in price as well as in the glass. This one sings alongside cranberry sauce!
Franck Balthazar has been blessed with the laid-back demeanor necessary to crafting flawless cuvées, as well as with the opportunity to work a 97-year old parcel purchased from Noël Verset, retired Cornas icon. Founded in 1931 by Franck’s grandfather, the estate remains family owned and operated. Today Franck pays homage to his winemaking heritage largely by utilizing traditional methods from the days of old (he even uses horse drawn plow!). He is a purist and a traditionalist, certified organic since 2001, and has perfected his method of cultivation and vinification of Syrah, one of the stars of this region. This unfiltered Syrah-Grenache blend is luxurious, elegant, and expressive, with an unmistakeable sense of place. With its perfect balance of violets, rich plum, black cherry, pepper, spice, and earth, this wine has presence without being overbearing, drinks well above its price point, and fits seamlessly into any occasion.
This sunny white opens with flavors of tropical fruit, honeysuckle, chamomile and just-ripe pear. Recently acclaimed as a Thanksgiving must have by New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov, this white blend is an extraordinary example of the southern Rhone at its best. Winemaker Daniel Boulle has taken exceptional care to highlight the quality of the terroir and his estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since 2003. This sunny, crushable white is proof. On the nose, a bouquet of white and yellow flowers leading into lush, soft tropical fruit, pear, lemon blossom, and the slightest hint of warm spice. Perfect for roasted poultry or pork, roasted parsnips, or veggie casseroles.