On Wine

Wine Gift


Holiday Wine
Gift Suggestions

by Fred McMillin


What wine should I give as a holiday gift?

Wine aficionados are always delighted to receive a free bottle of wine. So, decide on the price that fits your budget, and find below a very good wine in that price range.

Whites, Pinks and Sparklers
$14 Riesling, Cupcake Vineyards, Yakima Valley, Washington
$17 Pinot Gris, King Estate, Oregon
$19 Viognier, Steele Wines, Lake County
$25 Rosé of Syrah (pink), Peju Province Winery, Napa Valley
$30 Sauvignon Blanc, Mayacamas Vineyards, Napa Valley
$48 Late Harvest Chardonnay-Reserve, Hagafen, Prix Vineyards, Napa Valley
$55 Chardonnay, Hanzell Vineyards, Sonoma County
$100 Sparkling Wine, J. Schram, Schramsberg Vineyards, Napa County
$14 Barbera, Shooting Star (Steele Wines), Lake County
$16 Sangiovese, Valley of the Moon, Sonoma County
$17 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hess Collection Winery, Mendocino County
$18 Zinfandel, Sobon Estate, Amador County
$25 Syrah, Silkwood Wines, Stanislaus County
$30 Merlot, Hawkes Vineyards, Alexander Valley
$30 Petite Sirah, Sunset Cellars, Dry Creek Valley
$35 Pinot Noir, Domaine Carneros Estate, Napa Valley
$38 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Supery Winery, Napa Valley
$75 Lake William Blend, Jarvis Wines, Napa Valley


These also make a fun gift:

  • Man's Best Friend:
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Bad Dog Ranch (Bronco) Calif., 2007, $10
  • Man's Best Pun:
    Marilyn Merlot, Marilyn Wines (Nova), Napa Valley, 2005, $27
  • Man's Best Fog:
    Zinfandel, San Francisco's Foggy Bridge Winery, Sonoma County, 2007, $26

New Oregon Bargain

Above, we recommended the King Estate, Oregon, Pinot Gris, $17. Now, the winery is coming out with another Pinot Gris called Acrobat which, compared to the $17 version, has slightly more sugar and a little lower alcohol content. My contacts say it is a fine buy. We will taste it shortly.


A Californian Started the Oregon Wine Industry

Will Brown completed the winemaking program at U.C. Davis and moved to Oregon in 1979. He became (1) the winemaker for the Rogue Valley's Agate Ridge Vineyard and (2) the foremost authority on the history of wine in Oregon.

Some tidbits from Will:

1. Arguably, Chuck Coury (1931-2004) was the father of the Oregon Wine Industry. He studied winemaking in CALIFORNIA not Oregon.

2. In his masters thesis at U. C. Davis he proposed that the best wines are produced from grapes which ripen just at the end of their growing season.

3. Hence, he moved to the Willamette Valley, Oregon and planted a vineyard. Mr. Brown says of Coury, "This move did not have the blessing of his professors at Davis."

4. Coury was not successful in the Oregon wine business and eventually returned to California.

P.S. David Lett may have a similar claim to that of Chuck Coury,since Lett also learned his viticulture at U. C. Davis before heading to Oregon to plant his first Pinot Noir grapes. But that's a story for another time.


And a Final Wine Smile

Speaking of the vaunted Willamette Valley, my mother is said to be the first woman to graduate in chemistry from the University of Willamette. I used to kid her that she got those good grades by marrying her professor...who became my dad!


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 © 2009, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


Wine Archive

This page created November 2009

The FoodWine
Main Page


World Recipes
One Country, One Recipe

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share


Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches



Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
Inside My Skull Inside My Skull
cooking kids Cooking with Kids
cat toys Stark Raving Cat

Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions

About FoodWine
   Contact Info
   Privacy Statement


cat toys

Copyright © 1994-2021,
Forkmedia LLC