By Bob Hosmon and Mark Gauert
City & Shore Magazine
Ever wanted to treat yourself to an incredible wine, but not doing it because those wines are, by definition, expensive and sometimes very expensive? Well, the holiday season is coming and assuming you’ve been very, very good – and if price is no object – reward yourself this year with one of these very special libations. (You can thank us later.)
Some of the world’s greatest and most expensive red wines are produced in France. From Bordeaux, seriously consider the 2005 Château Pétrus from Pomerol ($4,500) or the 2005 Château Mouton Rothschild from Pauillac ($3,000). French Burgundy also offers some incredible reds, including Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée ($4,000) and Domaine Leroy Musigny ($5,000). If you won the lottery this year, the Romanée-Conti – from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – ($13,000) is for you.
If you prefer something in red that’s not quite so costly, consider some of California’s very best. You won’t be disappointed in the outstanding cabernets from Harlan Estate ($800), Far Niente ($150), Caymus Special Selection ($130), and Peter Michael Au Paradis ($195). Or go all-out and grab a bottle of Screaming Eagle ($2,500+). You also owe it to yourself to sample some amazing pinot noirs from California. Favorites include Sea Smoke Southing ($60) from the Santa Rita Hills, Donum West Slope ($100) from Carneros and Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast ($100).
One Italian red that’s not costly – at least compared with some of the others on this list – is the Antinori 2010 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione ($60). If you grew up thinking Chianti was just cheap red wine in a straw basket, this smooth, walnutty, sophisticated stunner will be a revelation.
Prefer something in white? The very best chardonnays are produced in Burgundy and include Romanée-Conti Montrachet ($5,000) and Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet ($6,000). The Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne ($200) and Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne ($150) are also first-rate French whites. If you’ve never tasted a great chardonnay from Burgundy, you’ve been missing some incredible treats.
Some favorite California whites include Aubert Chardonnay ($150) from Calistoga and Chateau Boswell Chardonnay ($100) from St. Helena.
You’ll also be impressed with the Joh. Jos. Prum Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Trockenbeerenauslese ($5,000), a remarkable white dessert wine from Germany. It’s a very rare wine produced from pressing shriveled Riesling grapes in order to get what some have called “the nectar of the gods.”
ONLINE COCKTAIL BONUS: ‘Tis the SeaSon Coconut Delight, from the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
Leave it to Christmas baby (Dec. 25) and singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett to stir up the festivities this holiday season with his new release, ‘Tis the SeaSon.
To celebrate, the Margaritaville Restaurant at the resort (www.margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com) has also launched a tropical libation named after Buffett’s new album just in time for your holiday cocktail hour.
This glorious (and very pretty, see photo of City & Shore‘s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CityAndShoreMagazine/) drink ($9) is concocted with cinnamon whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, and the glass is rimmed with snazzy green, red and white coconut flakes. It is best served with Jimmy Buffett’s music in the background, of course, to embrace its true island-style cheer.
‘Tis the SeaSon Recipe
Red Coconut garnish
1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
¼ oz. Red food coloring
Add ingredients into a zip lock bag. Seal bag and shake until all coconut is red.
Green Coconut garnish
1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
¼ oz. Green food coloring
Add ingredients into a sealable bag, close and shake until all coconut is green.
Holiday Coconut garnish
Combine completed red and green coconut together in one sealable bag and shake.
Tis the SeaSon drink
1 ½ oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
¾ oz. Butterscotch schnapps
2 ½ oz. Pina colada mix
½ oz. Water
Add ingredients to a mixing tin. Rim a glass with holiday coconut and fill with ice. Cover the mixing tin and shake. Pour drink into a glass and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle holiday coconut on top.