Gift Guide: Top 9 Wines

There are so many different kinds of wine in this world – from Chardonnay to Malbec, from wineries in California to Australia, from bottles produced in the 50s to last week – that you could quite literally try a new kind every day for the rest of your life and never experience the same wine twice. Not that we’re recommending that, because that would be expensive and not productive for your career.

But a bottle (or box) of wine always makes for a great gift, especially around the holidays. Here are nine you ought to give a try:

2008 Geno Auriemma Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot Barrique ($18)

The famed women’s basketball coach entered the wine business earlier this year with four different types of vino, our favorite being this rich-tasting Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, which is aged in a barrique, or a special oak barrel from the Bordeaux region of France. The Italian-born Auriemma works with 47 Anno Domini Vineyards in northeast Italy to import the wines.


2009 Riglos Gran Corte ($43)

Named the No. 1 wine of 2012 by “Wine Enthusiast” magazine, this Argentinian red is 50 percent Malbec, 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. You’ll get sniffs of chocolate mint before tasting black cherry, strawberry and licorice.

2009 Riglos Gran Corte

2009 The Calling Our Tribute ($62)

You won’t know this from reading a label from The Calling, but this is sports announcer Jim Nantz’s wine company. The year on this particular type is when he first got into the wine business, and The Calling now offers six different bottles. Our Tribute is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot, which make for a nutmeg/cocoa and black cherry/raspberry flavor.

The Calling Our Tribute

2011 Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay ($30)

The Englishman and former top-ranked golfer jumped into the wine business in 2008 with the Terlato Wine Group in Napa Valley. They produce three different types of wine, but the best among them is this Chardonnay, with hints apple and cinnamon followed by a creamy finish.

2011 Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay

2012 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosé Txakolina ($19)

We know, Rosé wines are more for the summer, but if you’ve got that one wino on your list who especially loves pink wine, here’s their next bottle. Ameztoi Rubentis comes from northern Spain – Basque Country – right near the French border. It’s light but full of flavors featuring candied red fruits and lime.

2012 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosé Txakolina

2012 Loudmouth Wine Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)

Yes, the flashy golf apparel maker produces wine. Why? The company’s roots began in California’s Sonoma County, or right in the heart of wine country. Loudmouth provides no description of what this cab actually tastes like, and we have yet to get our hands on this recently-released magic. But be sure any golfer who appreciates vino will enjoy some Loudmouth wine.

2012 Loudmouth Wine Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio ($10)

No wine list is complete without one from Italy, and the Ruffino Lumina perfectly represents the world’s most popular type of wine: Pinot Grigio. Its aroma features notes of floral, pears and mint, while the fresh taste includes hints of sage and pineapple.

2012 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio

2012 Wollersheim Dry Riesling ($9)

This white the perfect example of price not necessarily reflecting quality. For less than $10, you can get a gentle, dry wine with hints of basil and licorice but the taste of a green apple. It’s won truckloads of awards, chief among them: 2013 Wine of the Year at the San Diego International Wine Competition, and Best Riesling and Best of Show White at the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition.


From the Tank Vin Rouge ($36)

Boxed wine isn’t taboo; it’s practical – especially if you’re bringing this to a holiday party. And why not go with the best, a boxed red wine that is Forbes– and Oprah-approved? Vin Rouge is full of cherry and berry flavor that finishes with hints of floral and pepper.

From the Tank Vin Rouge

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