Tips from David Singer, Founder of Libation Education, Libation
Perfect Wines for Holidays and Celebrations
I love to have fun with wine and spirits.
Holidays are a great time to play with what you choose to
drink, or what you give to someone special as a gift. What
follows are 10 special celebrations and the bottles that
I recommend for each of them.
1. Super Bowl, World Series,
or Your Favorite Championship. Chill
a tub full of beer from both sides’ home states, and
have a playoff for the best beer while the teams fight it
out. Any store with a large imports section should have
good selection from across the country.
2. Valentine’s Day.
Wear your heart on your
wine label by opening a bottle of Mon Coeur Côte du
Rhone from Chave, aconsistently good bottling from a great
producer, and valentine-red.
3. Passover. Pass
over the Manischewitz, and serve some of the best that the
world is making in special kosher bottlings, such as Laurent
Perrier Champagne, Chateau Leoville Poyferre in Bordeaux
, Capçanes from Montsant in Spain. Finish with the
dessert wine Chateau de Fesles in Bonnezeaux at the Seder.
4. Independence Day. Have
a red-white-and-blue bar. For white, New Zealand Sauvignon
Blanc is a favorite of mine in the heat. For blue, do a
classic kir, with the same white wine and crème-de-cassis.
For red, a not-so-classic kir, again with your white of
choice and crème-du-framboise.
5. Birthdays (others).
Try to buy something in the vintage
of their birth year. I suggest you seek some expert input
on this, as years can vary drastically, and the older the
wine, the more likely there could be, by chance, something
wrong with it. Don’t forget fortified wines like Madeira
or Port, to broaden your options. For example, a friend
turned 40 this year, so I gave him a 40-year tawny port.
6. 21st Birthday and First
(legal) Drink. Decline
the 21-shot challenge and instead indulge in a single dram
of 21-year-old scotch. Set high standards from the start.
Look for these 21-year-olds: Macallan Fine Oak or, if you
can find it, Springbank.
7. Your Own Birthday. Treat
yourself to a mixed case from your favorite region –
one bottle to celebrate each month until the next year.
Give dessert wine for a sweet
life together. My personal favorite is Canadian ice wine.
9. Wedding Anniversary
to find out what the happy couple drank at their wedding,
or when they got engaged. If you can’t do that, find
out where they took their honeymoon, and give them wine
from that part of the world.
10. Your Own Wedding Anniversary.
Treat yourself and your loved one to the sinful pleasure
of cold bubbly while soaking in a hot bubble bath.