As much as Sean and l enjoy drinking wine together, we love sharing good wine – and good wine picks – with family and friends. This year, everyone on our nice list is getting wine from HEB’s stellar wine department. Our selections, all highly rated and thoughtfully procured by Sean, range from $16 to $55. So whether you’re looking for something to toast with at your holiday party or tackling your own shopping list, there’s something to help everyone get a little naughty.
First up are a couple of wines from two of our favorite Australian producers. Chris Ringland’s 2014 Three Rings Shiraz and Molly Dooker’s 2015 The Boxer are rich, bold, chocolatey, spicy fruit bombs and perfect for the meat lovers on your list or anyone who enjoys a big wine.
Orin Swift is another favorite producer, and his nonvintage Locations E2 Spanish Red scored 93 in Wine Advocate, with Robert Parker writing, “if there are better wines for under $20 a bottle in the world today, please share that information with The Wine Advocate.” We couldn’t resist picking up six bottles of E2, which incidentally saves you 10% at HEB.
From Argentina, we went with a Malbec that’s more complex than your typical $20 wine – Finca el Origen’s Gran Reserva 2013 leans towards old-world style Malbec so think of the Bordeaux lovers on your list and surprise them with something new.
A great value and and always a crowd pleaser, Alexander Valley Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 or 2014 from Sonoma is ideal for any Cab lover and so affordable, it’s perfect for serving at larger gatherings. The St. Francis Cab 2012 or 2013 is always reliable, and you could step it up with the Antica Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 or 2103 which is one of Sean’s favorites.
Another favorite – 2014 Seghesio Zinfandel. This has often been our “house wine” and whenever we happen to spot a bottle or two or twelve, we snatch it up. We found the 2014 at HEB, and plan to serve it this Christmas Eve – if it makes it until then.
Finally, if you want to impress, go with the 2013 Chalk Hill Cabernet from Napa. You or your lucky recipient could drink it now or hold onto it for 20 years. Sean recommends investing in a case now and drinking a bottle every Christmas so you’ll be able appreciate how this delicious Cab changes over time. This pick is for the true wine lover on your list (hint, hint).
Cheers and Happy holidays from the Zapata-Elliott family!