On Wine  

Perfect Wines for Your Holiday Feast


by Fred McMillin


No matter how good the wine, usually at least 15% of my class doesn't like it: too intense, too much oak, etc. Rarely we find a wine that is liked by EVERYONE—which is a perfect wine for a party, since very likely ALL of your guests will like it. Here are the bottles.



  • Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Trinchero, Napa Valley, Mary's Vineyard, $24
  • Chardonnay, Hahn, Monterey, $15


  • I'M Rosé, a pink wine from Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Folio Wines (Michael Mondavi), $13


  • Barbera, Deaver Signature, Sierra Foothills, $30
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Jarvis, Napa Valley, $80
  • Carignane, Frick, Mendocino County, $16
  • Merlot Reserve, Kenwood, Sonoma County, $25
  • Petite Sirah, Huntington, California, $14
  • Pinot Noir, Gary Farrell, Russian River Valley, Hillside Blocks of Allen Vineyard, $60
  • Syrah, Napa Ridge, Napa Valley, $12
  • Zinfandel, Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, $30


  • Mission Port, Story Winery, Amador County, $30
  • Red Electra Muscat, Quady, California, $12
  • Zinfandel Late Harvest, Harvest Moon Winery, Russian River Valley, $32 for 375 ml.


Some of the above beauties are pretty pricey. If they are too hard on the budget, here are some unanimously approved that cost less, though they didn't rate as high as the first team.
  • Barbera, Montevina, Sierra Foothills, $12
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake Sonoma Winery, Alexander Valley, $22
  • 50 Cab, 50 Syrah, "Red Duet," Silkwood, $15
  • Zinfandel Reserve, Shenandoah Vineyards, Amador County, $10

And a Final Wine Smile

My latest figures show Britain now imports more wine from the USA (mostly California) than from France. Two decades ago when my wife was studying the history of bread at Cambridge, the ONLY American wine she could find was by GALLO!


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.


Copyright © 2007, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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This page created December 2007

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