Wine on Starchefs
David Singer
Libation Education
16 Parkman Street,
Unit #1
Brookline, MA 02446
Wine Tips from David Singer, Founder of Libation Education, Libation Education, Brookline:
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.

8. Wedding. Give dessert wine for a sweet life together. My personal favorite is Canadian ice wine.

9. Wedding Anniversary (others). Try 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.

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   Published: April 2005