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- Your Urgent Wine Questions, Answered
F&W’s Ray Isle suggests a wine or spirit gift for every type of partygoer.
Choose a pet-nat (pétillant naturel), a low-tech, ancient style of sparkling wine from France’s Loire Valley: Agnès & René Mosse Moussamoussettes ($22).
Give a case of an affordable sparkling wine like Rotari Brut ($13). It’s a creamy Italian made from Chardonnay, like many Champagnes.
The Whiskey Drinker
The new Pikesville Straight Rye ($50) has impressive rye-spicy intensity, but maybe add a warning label—it’s 110 proof.
The Wine Snob
Go big with cult Cabernet producer Ovid’s potent 2012 Hexameter ($285). Or go weird with a wine from an obscure region, like Comte Abbatucci’s spicy 2013 Cuvée Faustine Rouge ($37), from Corsica.
The Meat Eater
Sonoma’s Mauritson family makes great Zinfandel, plus raises cattle for Painted Hills Natural Beef, a chef favorite. Give your carnivore a bottle of 2012 Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zin ($29) and some dry-aged rib eyes (paintedhillsnaturalbeef.com).
The peppery 2013 Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages ($14) is made by Rhône superstar Michel Chapoutier. It’s superb—and costs about $300 less than his top Rhône reds.
The Celebrity Stalker
Casamigos Blanco Tequila ($45) is both exceptionally good and co-owned by George Clooney.