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12 Days of Wine Bags, Day 5

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© Jane Pennells

Today's installment of my 12 Days of Wine Bags finishes off this week with great big wine-bag fireworks! Some of you may argue that this isn't exactly a wine bag—and you're right. But I have a feeling that if you show up on your best pal's doorstep with one of these gorgeous wine slings all loaded up with three stunning bottles, no one would mind that it's not a bag. Plus, this carrier can be hung up on the wall and refilled over and over again, making it a super chic wine rack. The leather slings are handmade in Argentina by a company called Gattorna. And the really cool thing about the company selling the slings, Lavish Giving, is that if you make a purchase over $100, 10 percent of whatever you spend will be donated to the charity of your choosing. (The slings are only $95, but I'm sure you'll be able to find something else you like.)

Here are three of my favorite bottles that I've tasted this year to help you load up your slings:

2006 Domaine Catherine Auther Vin d'Alsace ($14, find this wine) For folks who are into wine esoterica, this white's the one. Made with the Pinot Auxerrois grape, the wine's ridiculously balanced considering everything it has going on-from nutty aromas to citrus and apple flavors. Makes for great winter white drinking.

2008 Roagna Dolcetto d'Alba ($16, find this wine) I fell in love with this wine at a Louis/Dressner tasting and haven't stopped hunting for bottles since. Dolcetto is superb with food because it has easygoing tannins that won't overpower, alongside nice subtle fruit. This bottling has all that and some intriguing earthy notes.  

2008 Vinos de Terruõs Siete 7 ($12, find this wine) This Garnacha-Tempranillo blend from Spain's Navarra region is the sort of wine that you don't want to stop drinking. It's like delving into a farm stand basket of blueberries, blackberries and black cherries at the peak of the season, with enough acidity to keep the wine vibrant on your tongue. And the truly wonderful surprise is that it costs less than $15.

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