4 Big Winter Reds to Splurge On as Gifts (to Yourself)

There may be no better gift for a wine lover than a subscription to Foot of the Bed Cellars. Still, one nice bottle can go a long way in impressing a tough boss or making up for a lack of cooking skills at your next holiday party. Here are a few higher end selections that are sure to ease any holiday stressor, be it forgetting to buy a gift or running out of FOTB Zinfandel.

 

Chapelle Saint Theodoric ‘Le Grand Pin’, Châteaunuef-Du-Pape, Rhône, France 2012

$93.97 @ Artisan Wine Depot in Mountain View and Artisanwinedepot.com

While most wines from this French region are blends of Grenache with Syrah and Mouvedre, this is 100% Grenache, and a stunning example of the grape. A collaboration between an experienced New York – based importer and a family with historic ties to the region, this wine shows fragrant notes of crushed berries, herbs de provence, violets, and smoke.

 

Tommaso Bussola Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy 2010

$59.95 @ Rarewineco.com

The Corvina grape is at home in the rolling hillsides surrounding Verona. It is often fashioned into tasty, if not wildly complex medium bodied reds very well-suited to the cafes of Venice. The appassimento process is a method of drying the grapes for three months after harvest. This concentrates the flavor, structure, and color of each grape. The resulting wine is extremely full-bodied, with intense roasted plum character and a rich, chocolaty mouthfeel.

 

Bodegas Roda Rioja Reserva, Spain 2010 $49.99 @ K and L in San Francisco and Redwood City and KLWines.com

Rioja is Spain’s most historic fine wine region, with a great tradition of producing bold, savory, spice driven wines based on the Tempranillo grape. Bodegas Roda is a newer producer known for a more modern, fruit-forward approach. This wine shows dark fruit notes accented by roasted coffee tones.

 

Redwood Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Fountaingrove, Sonoma 2014 $65 @Redwoodhillwines.com

Although the Fountaingrove area is one of the newest to be officially recognized in Sonoma, the vineyard itself was planted back in 1990, with the fully mature vines ensuring a wine of density and character. I continually point guests towards the Sonoma side of the mountain when they are looking for a Cabernet that will over-deliver. This is classic mountain Cabernet, with a big frame surrounding a core of crème de cassis, bramble, and purple floral notes. 

Martin Sheehan-Stross