Monday, December 5, 2011

Part 2 of 3: Holiday Party Wine Recommendations: Whites and Bubblies

White and Sparkling Wine "Party Wine" Picks

1. Let Them Drink Chardonnay!

Terra Savia's Chardonnay, $12 a bottle
Terra Savia's Reserve Chardonnay, $15 a bottle (by the case - ON SALE)
Usually available at Whole Foods
Always available from the winery

A fourth-generation Chardonnay growing vigneron. Need we say more? They know their Chard. And they are all about being organic.

2. Arise O Riesling!

Bonterra's Riesling, $12-14 a bottle
For an everyday, affordable house Riesling, Bonterra's a great pick. Their Riesling took a double gold prize a few years back at the Mendocino Wine Competition. We drink it by the case at my house.

Bonterra is a company you want to support. Historically it has done more than any other U.S. vintner to promote organically grown wines, has a well earned reputation for excellence, and has worked with hundreds of growers to help them go organic.

Available in better supermarkets and wine stores everywhere, or, if you're like me and can't find it around town, just buy it online from the winery. Online here or call 888.618.0535.

3. Bankable Bubbly!

You don't have to pay for Champagne (like bankers) when it comes to sparkling wines.

While others are flitting between expensive imports (if you can afford it, fine, but that wine did have to get here all the way from wherever), savvy shoppers in search of affordable luxury, go for the McFadden Brut or the Terra Savia Blanc de Blancs, both of which have tied with Roederer's Brut in the past two years of the Mendo Wine Competition. (Since that's a 400-year-old, Champagne, France-owned California winery, being in the same league is high praise indeed.)

Join the McFadden wine club and the Brut can be yours for $17 a bottle (or thereabouts, depending on the current deals of the month). The Brut includes a hefty amount of Pinot Noir - 50%.

McFadden Brut
• Order it online at or through McFaddens tasting room in Hopland. Call: 707.744.VINE.

Terra Savia Blanc de Blanc
• Terra Savia's all Chard sparkler is about $23 at Whole Foods. Or order from the winery directly ($20.70 a bottle) and have it shipped to your door.

This is 100% Chardonnay.

Here's winemaker Jim Milone (before winning the Gold at the Mendo Wine Competition) on this wine:

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