Our top picks for the holidays in wine, liquor, and beer
December 1, 2016
This season, Downtown Wine & Spirits has something for everyone on your shopping list.
Beer & Cider
Lookout Farm Hard Cider – Farmhouse Blend
Produced by one of the oldest cideries in the United States, this New England cider is as classic as it gets. Brewed from a select blend of apples, it is fermented with a combination of yeasts, giving it a complex flavor and rich golden hue. Each batch is finished with a dose of farm-made raw honey, resulting in a bright, clean and intensely warming cider.
Night Shift – Santilli
One of this year’s most sought-after IPAs. Piney hops and caramelized malts dominate the nose, followed by a bright, clean flavor that is grounded in grassy bitterness. Extremely crisp and well balanced. The ideal gift for any beer lover.
Duckhorn 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Full-bodied and bold, this classic Cali cab features notes of black cherry, raspberry and plum, grounded by earthy tannins and rich milk chocolate. Ideal for holiday fare, or for sipping during chilly winter nights.
Hacienda de Arinzano 2011
80% Tempranillo grapes affords this blend its silky richness. Notes of cherry, earth and vanilla prevail, with a lasting finish of coffee, cinnamon and smoke. An exceptionally warming and complex Spanish red.
Mauro Molino 2011 Barolo
This classic Piemontese gem features notes of ripe cherry and blackberry, balanced by a dry finish and an intense, floral aroma. Tannic, earthy and warming, this makes the perfect gift for wine aficionados and novices alike.
Louis Jadot Macon-Villages 2015 Chardonnay
This iconic white Burgundy truly exemplifies the style. White florals and lime zest dominate the nose, while the palate features notes of Granny Smith apple, honeydew, grapefruit and mineralic freshness. Clean, bracing and warm, there is no better gift for the white wine drinker.
Louis Jadot 2015 Beaujolais-Villages
The perfect red to complement the Macon-Villages. Made with 100% Gamay grapes, this classic Beaujolais features notes of ripe strawberry, blackberry and boysenberry, with a touch of earth and a bright, acidic finish. No wine collection would be complete without it.
La Maldita 2015 Garnacha Rioja
What makes this Rioja unique is its full range of cherry flavors. Notes include candy-bright Maraschino cherry, rich cherry jam, and tart, earthy black cherry. The fruit-forward profile is tempered by spice and earth, giving it a refreshingly dry finish. A lively Spanish red ideal for the winter.
Glen Moray – 16-Year Single Malt
This is a beautifully priced five-star caliber 16-year Scotch from the Speyside region. Full-bodied and sweet, it features notes of dried fruit, toffee, and vanilla, with a smoky, peaty finish.
The English Whisky Co. – Peated Single Malt Whisky
Fairly new on the scene, this is one of very few English single malts currently available in the US. It offers a creamy mouthfeel with flavors of light peat, pepper, anise and ginger. A perfect gift for someone looking to expand their whisky palate.
Sierra Norte – Single Barrel White Corn Whiskey
This Mexican whiskey hit the market in August of 2016 and has yet to reach much of the US. Distilled from white corn, it is aged in French oak barrels for a sweet, smooth flavor. A great gift for someone looking for something new, different and semi-exclusive.
High West – A Midwinter Night’s Dram
A limited seasonal release from High West. This blend of 6-year and 16-year-old ryes is finished in port wine barrels and French oak barrels, giving it a rich mouthfeel and a palate of cherries, raspberries and spice. The definition of Christmas in a bottle.
Tanteo – Tropical and Cocoa Tequila
Tanteo’s 100% agave tequila is known for its smoothness and sweet, peppery flavor. Now comes the company’s line of hand-infused tequilas.
The Tropical tequila features flavors of pineapple, mango and guanabana, which perfectly complement its spicy tequila base. Great on its own or in any fruit-based cocktail.
As for the Cocoa, we could easily see this becoming someone’s favorite spirit. Sweet chocolate notes augment the peppery heat and smoke of the tequila, creating a complex, warming liquor. Enjoy this one neat or in a coffee-based beverage.
This unique liqueur is made with fresh cream, five-times distilled Caribbean rum and a variety of spices. Dominant notes include vanilla, almond and cinnamon. Delicious on its own, in coffee or in eggnog. The perfect libation for the holidays.
GrandTen Distillery – Fire Puncher Black Chocolate Pepper Vodka
This unique spirit marries flavors of smoky chipotle and earthy Taza chocolate. It is aged in whiskey barrels, giving it a caramel richness that complements its signature kick. Perfect for sipping or use in wintertime cocktails.
Black Infusions – Black Fig Vodka
This handcrafted premium vodka is distilled from select wheat grain, naturally infused with Californian Figs and bottled by hand in small batches. To be honest, it tastes more like a Fig Newton cookie rather than a vodka. A lovely gift for vodka drinkers and non-vodka drinkers alike.