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Fun and Merry Making

Nothing says holidays to me like a Fortnum & Mason hamper. As kids, we were elated if one of these appeared underneath the Christmas tree, usually gifted by my Godfather for the whole family to enjoy. They were full of all the delights we never splurged on during the rest of the year: gourmet smoked salmon, fine teas, Christmas cake, special chocolates, and other goodies, all wrapped in festive packages, begging to be opened. It's one of the British traditions I miss most this time of year. So, when I saw one at a friend's home recently, I felt an instant rush of holiday joy.

We don't have Wine Friend's hampers, though we've tossed the idea around and I'm still hoping we will some day, but we do have wonderful wines for you to gift, share, or simply sip on a cozy winter night as you get into the holiday spirit. This week, an elegant white from Piemonte that would make a perfect holiday aperitif, and a rich, warming red that you could take to any holiday party, or just open at home with a grilled burger. We'll leave it to you!



If you're looking for a really special bottle to gift - friends or colleagues (don't forget about company gifts!), here are two of our favorite wines that will make for great gifts:

We love this beautiful and seductive white from Gavi, Piemonte, home of the Cortese grape. The Molinetto estate is run by the young Diego Carrea, his uncle and father. Together they produce a small amount of Cortese wines on 15 acres, which are farmed using organic methods. Fresh and vibrant, this is just a superb example of why Gavi is known for it's fabulous whites. Notes of hazelnut, tangy apple, faint pineapple, and a creamy finish, this is an elegant aperitif for a holiday dinner party, or a perfect pairing with grilled seafood with a topping of pesto.


We often return to the many luscious red wines of the southern Rhône made by Clos du Caillou, an exciting producer in this region. We love how their wines express the wonderful characteristics of the southern Rhone terroir - warm, fruity, with notes of garrigue, or the wild herbs of the region. This Cuvée Unique is a lovely, deep, approachable red made from predominantly Grenache. Wonderful bright fruit character full of red currants, and cherries, and a round, textured palate that makes this wine so easy to sip. This is one that will warm you in these cooler months. A perfect bottle to grab for a holiday dinner party or simply open next time you cook up a juicy steak or burger.

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