December 2021

Today on CHCH, CHCHs Bob Cowan and Sommelier Matt Steeves showcased some incredible wines and spirits which are sure to impress the in-laws this holiday season. Wines that will impress every palate, including white, red, bubbly, and some spirits too. And whether you’re celebrating in-person with your bubble, or dropping off some holiday cheer for a virtual gathering, these are some premium Sommelier-recommended options to check-out this season.

Life is too short to drink bad wines so this holiday season why not treat yourself, and those around you, to some Sommelier recommended fine wines and spirits. We’ve scoured the local shops to curate a short list of premium wines and spirits from all over that are sure to impress.

Starting off with a delicious sparking wine, in fact a fine Champagne, from Champagne, France. Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, is renowned for its consistency and its high quality. Elegant and complex, it delivers on all the senses with extraordinary freshness and texture. Fantastic pairing with seafood, charcuterie, Parma ham, roasted poultry, and spicy Asian or Indian cuisine. It’s no wonder why it’s the world’s favourite Rosé Champagne.

Available at LCBO – $102.95

Now, one of my absolute favourite white wine styles, and no it’s not just great in the summer…Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in this case, is fantastic this time of year with a wide range of dishes, from rich canapes/hors d’oeuvres to spicy takeout, cheese platters, or brunch, Sauvignon Blanc like Dog Point Vineyard is a great option for enjoying this holiday season.

This highly acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Wairau Valley in the Marlborough region is available at LCBO for $28.95

Premium French and Italian red wines are great options for the holiday season, whether it’s gifting to a special family member, boss, colleague, or serving with your fancy holiday meals. France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Italy’s Amarone, from the Valpolicella region, are sure to please.

Famille Perrin Châteauneuf du Pape – Les Sinards, is a fantastic choice for a premium red wine this holiday season. Famille Perrin is among the finest producers in the southern Rhône, where they’ve been following organic viticulture best practices since the 1950s, leading by example and their wines are renowned for great quality. Some grapes for this rich, age-worthy red come from their storied Château de Beaucastel estate for which the wines have received international recognition as top 100 wines in the world.

Enjoy this meditative wine in a large wine glass, served just below room temperature, and paired with game, truffles, mushroom risotto, or any braised dish.

Available at LCBO – $39.95

A wine style I’ve fallen in love with over the past decade is Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, from the city of Love, Verona, where the famous Valpolicella wine region is situated and where the world’s beloved Amarone is exclusively produced. Amarone is produced from grapes which are allowed to wither for a few months after harvesting in the late summer/each fall. The result is a full-flavoured, full-bodied, and deliciously complex wine that’s like no other!

Tedeschi’s Marne 180 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG is named after the marl soil where their vineyards are planted and 180 degrees of sun exposure of their amphitheater shaped vineyards, in the heart of Valpolicella, which produce exceptionally rich and delicious fruit ideally suited for the production of Amarone.

Tedeschi’s Marne 180 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG is available at LCBO on promotion over the holidays for $5 off, at $42.95.

After a nice meal it’s a real treat to relax while enjoying a fine digestif, like a French Brandy, in this case a Fine Champagne Cognac, VSOP, from Rémy Martin. Produced in the Cognac region of France, and this specific “Fine Champagne Cognac”, sources over 50% of its grapes/Eau de vie, from the chalky soil vineyards in the “Grande Champagne” region of Cognac, where the finest grapes are grown and eventually distilled into the finest eaux-de-vie which afterwards are aged for many years in oak from the French forests of Limousin.

Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac VSOP is highly versatile thanks to the complexity and elegance of its aromas, which perfectly complement the holidays. This versatility makes it enjoyable neat, on the rocks, frozen, or in a cocktail, such as a Rémy Ginger, and of course wonderful with desserts too, especially holiday cookies.

Rémy Martin’s Fine Champagne Cognac VSOP is fantastic served neat in a large sniffer glass, on the rocks, or in cocktails. Checkout the limited edition gift pack this year showcasing the emblematic symbol of this Cognac House, a Centaur, with background information on the special features of Fine Champagne Cognac. This would make a wonderful gift for any spirits connoisseurs, and a great treat to serve to your guests during your holiday celebrations and beyond. Hello Après Ski!

The Limited Edition Odeyssey Coffret giftpack is available at LCBO this holiday season – $104.95

The holidays are a great time to have some fine spirits on-hand for that holiday cheer, for unwinding, and for marking the occasion. Starting the evening with a cocktail is a wonderful treat, whether it’s before dinner or as your bubble-guests arrive, mixing a fine cocktail and enjoying it in great company is one of the things that make the holidays and spending time with those around you so special.

And sometimes a warm cup of premium coffee is a perfect treat for after a fine meal, or when returning from a nice walk in the winter, or when sitting around that camp fire outside with friends, and naturally in the morning around the tree. Recommend trying Balzac’s Coffee Roasters’ Winter Blend, a limited edition offering that showcases sweet plum and dark chocolate notes, complementing the holidays perfectly. Winter Blend is available seasonally at Balzac’s stores and shop.balzacs.com

The holiday season is a precious time to enjoy with family and friends, and what better than some delicious wine and spirits to complement your holiday cheer! I hope you’re able to taste and enjoy, and share, some of these fine beverages from around the world with those closest to you this holiday season. Here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable holiday season and happy New Year!

Cheers,

Matt