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Holiday Wine Gift & Entertaining Guide
by Robin Barr Sussman
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‘Tis the season to pamper loved ones or clients with an elegant holiday wine gift or share the best at home while entertaining. From luxurious reds to winning whites, global finds, and wine gift packs with perks, we’re uncorking our master guide of sensational sips.


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Napa Valley-based ONEHOPE Winery, one the largest direct-to-consumer wineries in the world, has donated over $7 million to local and global causes. It sells myriad award-winning wines from world-renowned winemaking regions. Deliver some holiday cheer this season with Christmas in a Box and make a difference this season and beyond. Included: Mini Christmas tree, ornaments, tree topper, and Vintner Cabernet Sauvignon ($75) or Gold Shimmer ($89).

Dough Wines
Founded on the idea that each glass, bottle, and conversation can make a lasting impact and become a catalyst for good, Dough Wines supports the James Beard Foundation’s work with an annual donation to create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable food culture. Dough produces an impressive line-up including California sauvignon blanc, several chardonnays, sparkling wine, several pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignon and a red blend. $21.99-$50


Inglenook Blancaneaux 2019
Sharing its name with one of the Family Coppola hideaway hotels in Belize, Blancaneaux—meaning “white waters” in French—this is Inglenook’s preeminent white wine. The blend features Rhone varietals roussanne, viognier and marsanne, resulting in an exquisite range of nuanced flavors, a dense palate, and intriguing aromatics. An exceptional bottle for that VSP on your list. $65

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Aperture Chenin Blanc
From the rich clay loam soils of an old vine California chenin blanc site planted in the 1940s, this vibrant vino by winemaker Jesse Katz showcases notes of passion fruit, nectarines, and honeysuckle with brightly lifted acidity giving way to a round, smooth palate. Chenin blanc fans will adore its food-friendliness, and the labels are so artistic, you’ll be tempted to skip the wrapping paper. $30

Lail 2020 Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc
Delightfully fresh, mouth-watering flavors of stone fruit, melon and citrus highlight a round, rich palate, laced with vanilla notes. Note that ten percent of online sales are donated to organizations in the fight against climate change. $50


EnRoute Russian River Pinot Noir 2019
Plush and ripe on the palate, the 2019 Les Pommiers offers bright notes of raspberry preserves and forest floor, plus baking spice and confectionary accents from its graceful balance of new and neutral oak. Notable purity of fruit from beginning to end with generous berry and clove accents that pop on the finish. $60

Duckhorn Vineyards
Duckhorn Vineyards has spent forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. Building on its role as the first American winery to pioneer luxury merlot, the iconic winery evolved with a full portfolio of can’t-miss bottles including sauvignon blanc, an elegant chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, late harvest dessert wine and more. Check out Duckhorn’s featured recipe for prime rib here.

Lake Sonoma Winery
Enjoy everyday luxury with this collection of Sonoma county wine appellations designed to showcase the region’s unique characteristics. Malbec from Sonoma Valley, zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, and sangiovese, barbera, and pinot noir round out the red selections. For whites, try sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and rose.

Goosecross Cellars Branta Red Blend 2017
Featuring a base of zinfandel complemented by smaller amounts of petite sirah and cabernet, this Napa red is a sultry mix of rich blackberry and black fruit flavors comingled with notes of baking spices, star anise and nutmeg. The finished wine boasts good tannic structure balanced by bright acidity. A great match for all kinds of seasonal feasts. $65

Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2019
Aged in French oak barrels for 11 months, this California beauty sports a deep ruby-purple hue and aromas of exotic spice, blackberry fruit, and vanilla. $36


Avaline Red Blend
If actress Cameron Diaz could be a wine it would be Avaline, her brand co-owned with Katherine Power. The red blend is clean and vegan-friendly—and happens to be Cameron’s favorite—with a medium body, hints of cherry and kiss of spice. The organic grenache and syrah grapes that lend irresistible flavor come from Bordeaux producer EthicDrinks in the Rhone Valley. Avaline creates other organic no-sugar added varietals including sparkling and still rosé, a white blend, pinot noir and grenache blanc. $24.99

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Scout & Cellar
Wines free of synthetic pesticides? Check. No chemical additives? Check. No added sweeteners? You got it. This global collection of clean crafted wines is perfect for the health nut on your list. From the Holiday Dinner Set to the Imports 2-bottle Duo, there are dozens of gift sets smartly packaged and ready to ship. $59-$129

Fresh Vine
Founded by actresses Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough, Fresh Vine Wines features premium low calorie, low carb, gluten-free wines from Napa, California. They aim to create "premium, delicious tasting wines that evoke a guilt-free experience that you can be proud to enjoy on any adventure or at any table." The collection includes chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and rosé. Trio Gift Box $75.


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Jordan Vineyards & Winery Gift Box Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
Jordan Winery has developed a cult following by crafting the classics in an exceptional European style. A vintage that produced incredible wines, the 2019 is one of Jordan’s most elegant chardonnays. Also included is the velvety cabernet sauvignon, a Bordeaux blend intense with black cherries, blackberry flavors and spice notes. Jordan wines are available at many retailers throughout Houston.


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Theorem Vineyards 2019 Hawk’s Prey
Deep, rich one hundred percent Napa cabernet sauvignon, this wine weaves together luxurious aromas of red plum, espresso, cherry pastis, and Tahitian vanilla beans with hints of fresh tobacco and milk chocolate. Silky on the palate, it explodes with a core of ripe richness; balanced tannins lend structure. It finishes with notes of chocolate-covered cherries and ripe blackberries. $150

PlumpJack Collection Best of Napa Valley Gift Set
This trio of blockbuster wines will wow anyone on your gift list: 2020 CADE sauvignon blanc, 2018 Adaptation petite syrah, and 2018 Adaptation cabernet sauvignon. Gift box and shipping included.


Rombauer Vineyards Life of the Party Gift Pack
Raise a glass (or two) to this California wine country gift pack. Featuring its two most popular wines, classic Carneros chardonnay and Rombauer zinfandel, this special gift also includes two wine glasses with the Rombauer logo all bundled in festive packaging.


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Donum Estate 20th Anniversary Duo
This impressive culinary gift set includes Donum’s 2018 Carneros pinot noir and the 2018 Russian River chardonnay, complemented by a Donum Estate branded cutting board, wine key, and flaked sea salt dusted with organic lavender, plus a scrumptious holiday recipe.



E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2017
French wine will win over anyone on your list, and this classic, affordable blend based on syrah is wildly aromatic with black fruits and spices. Pair it with roasted meats, hearty pastas, and a roaring fireplace.


Paco & Lola Albarino 2019
For a refreshing, invigorating taste of Rias Baixas, Spain, explore the wide range of Albarino styles. Paco & Lola is a beloved brand with a citrusy flavor and fragrances of orange blossom, grapefruit and lime. Its elegant style and fruity mouthfeel make it ideal with sushi, appetizers, poultry, stir-fry and seafood.


Linticlarus Tiefenbrunner Pinot Nero Riserva Alto Adige 2017
Fruity and fresh, this elegant pinot noir is full of character reflecting its Italian terroir. The bouquet is ostentatious and engaging with red raspberry, savory herbs and hints of cinnamon. Expect crushed red cherry and white pepper notes on the lovely finish. $30


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The Fab Fete Soufflé from Elizabeth Swift
Pop a savory soufflé in the oven and watch the magic rise! These beauties in three different delicious flavors come stylishly packaged and frozen in a large ramekin ready for the oven. Shipping worldwide or Houston pick up. Swift + Company, 1919 Edwards St.,

Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Box
Rows and rows of thriving olive trees on the winery property are responsible for this gold nectar in a bottle. Gourmands will savor every drop—think aromas of artichokes and a creamy palate boasting layers of pistachio, white pepper, and an intriguing hint of jalapeno on the buttery finish. $34

Limited Edition Master Chef Salt and Recipe Box Gift Set
A carefully curated mix of gourmet salt along with recipe inspiration perfect for any master (or wannabe) chef. Included is the best from each SaltWorks’ artisan salt collections: Classic, Perfect Smoke and Fusion all-natural flavored salts, so discerning foodies can create the ideal pairing. $52.11