‘Tis the season for parties with family, friends and co-workers. One wonderful way to thank the host of a holiday gathering is with a nice bottle of wine. With that in mind, Lars Snavely, SOHO’s wine expert, has shared a few choices sure to please the palate.

 

Alaska The Northern lights shine above Alaska.

If your host prefers red wine, consider the 2006 Guenoc Victorian Claret (approx. $10), a complex blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. The wine offers flavors of dark berries and chocolate. Another worthwhile buy is the 2007 Thorn-Clark “Shotfire” Shiraz (approx. $20) from Australia’s Barossa Valley. The wine was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator and, according to the magazine, is “ripe, focused and silky, with a mild bite of tannins to support the cedary black cherry and spice flavors.”

If a white wine is more to your host’s tastes, the 2008 King Estate Signature Pinot Gris (approx. $15) from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a worthwhile buy. It recently made Wine Spectator’s list of top 100 wines for 2009. The Pinot Gris offers flavors of citrus, peach, tropical fruit, mineral, and honey. Another nice white is the 2007 Chalone Chardonnay (approx. $25), ranked twenty-ninth on Wine’s Spectator’s list of top 100 wines for 2009. According to the critics, the wine “exhibits a complex mix of subtle pear and mineral with pleasant earthy notes and floral scents.”

Of course, it is also the season for breaking out the bubbly. The Gruet Winery in New Mexico, produces sparkling wines that are perfect for a celebration. Whether you select the Brut, Blanc de Noirs, or Rose (all approx. $15), it’s impossible to go wrong with these bottles.

If you’d like to add a little extra flair to your bottled offering, consider giving a wine label saver as well. Available at Target.com or WineEnthusiast.com, the label savers allow your host to save a favorite label as a memento.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Shopping note: Sherlock’s on Barrett Parkway is one place to shop for harder-to-find wines.