Why American Wines make Glorious Gifts

By on December 5th, 2022 in Blog
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If you want the ultimate red wine Christmas gift, look no further than American wine. That’s not to say their white wines aren’t amazing too. Here in the UK, we are blessed, in that we avoid many of the US’s less-than-ideal vinous offerings. It simply doesn’t make sense to transport, over such a great distance, anything that isn’t at least half-decent. As such, though the price range can be a little elevated over your standard fayre, they actually offer impressively consistent quality (when you buy from the right place, of course). And let’s face it if you’re looking to give a red wine Christmas gift, or a white, for that matter, you want to up the ante from the usual supermarket suspects. Here we look at four delicious American wines that showcase quality, three reds and a white while offering a well-priced alternative to Europeans of a smile quality.

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Noble Varieties the U.S. Way

American wine, at least the reds, is now known as much for it’s elegant Pinot Noirs as it is for its full-blooded Cabernet Sauvignons. Oregon, with its more Western European climate, has really led the way. Alexana Terroir Series Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is a sumptuous example of brilliant winemaking. Flavours and aromas of ripe cherry, summer berry compote, vanilla, saddle leather, fallen leaves, cigar box, blueberry and a hint of dried herbs at the end. This stunning wine really does make a great red wine Christmas gift. Next, we have a classic Californian Chardonnay done the right way. Yes Qupé Y Block Chardonnay is certainly oaked, but it’s done masterfully. Grown in the cool Santa Maria Valley, these grapes offer plenty of acidity to keep things fresh. Melons, peaches, ripe lemon, Cashew nuts, toast and smoke are the headline flavours. Drink now or layaway for a couple of years. Spectacular. 

american wine pinot and chardonnay

Where’s the Cab?

Next, two bottles either of which would make an incredible red wine Christmas gift. Zinfandel is very much ‘America’s variety. Like its Italian relation Primitivo, it has the ability to produce huge amounts of very average wine. When grown and made the right way, however, it is rich, complex and beguiling. Ghost Pines Zinfandel is very much the latter. Flavours include cooked blueberry, cherry, plum, prune, cola cubes and a little mocha. The acidity keeps it fresh and restrained tannins ensure a long delicious finish. A cracking American wine. Lastly, we have a Merlot. Perhaps not the Bordeaux variety you were expecting? Frei Brothers Merlot Dry Creek Valley is a perfect expression of this beloved grape. Dark berries, cinnamon, clove, black pepper and dark chocolate, bright acidity and just enough silky tannin to give it length and interest. So all the Merlot boxes ticked, but nothing formulaic about it. Top. Notch.

american wine merlot and zinfandel