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By the bottle

The best wines to gift and sip this holiday season

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Is there a better gift than wine? It’s the perfect present to slip to a host on the way into a Thanksgiving dinner party or a guaranteed hit at a holiday gift exchange. Plus, one can never have enough wine, right?

But walking into a wine shop can often be a daunting task. Have no fear, though – your favorite Vino Loco sommelier is here to break it all down for you with our top picks for sale locally in Flagstaff. We’ve selected our budget favorite, runner-up and top pick to fit any gift-giving criteria this holiday season.

Sparkling Wine

What’s a better way to start any guide than with sparkling wine?

Budget Favorite: Corvezzo Rose Prosecco

It is a charming pale rosé wine, with fine and persistent bubbles. It has a light bouquet of flowers with shades of strawberry and pleasant citrus notes. The taste is fresh, crisp and fruity.

$18.99 at Vino Loco

Runner-up: Pierre Gimonnet Blanc De Blanc Champagne

One of my personal all-time favorites, Pierre Gimonnet, provides you with exceptional quality champagne at a wonderful price. On the nose, the champagne provides fresh floral and citrus notes. Whilst these notes continue to the palate, delicious middleweight flavors of stone fruits come forward with brioche and an underlying minerality.

$62.99 at Vino Loco

Top Pick: Krug Grand Cuvee

There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with the ultimate expression of champagne. Krug Grand Cuvee 168th edition is considered by many to be the perfect Champagne, pairing perfectly with a wide variety of holiday meals. There truly is nothing better to have ready for your holiday parties.

$330.99 at Vino Loco.

White Wine

Budget Favorite: 2020 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc

The 2020 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc is a solid standby as it can be readily found at most grocery stores. It is a great representation of California Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of white peach, pineapple and nectarine are complemented with a palate of tropical fruits and a well-balanced finish.

$12.50 at Safeway

Runner-Up: 2016 Punta Crena Mataòssu

One of the last families to still grow Mataossu in Northern Italy, Punta Crena will blow you away with its complex character. Aromas of herbs and spices melt away in the mouth to reveal notes of lemon and bell pepper with big acidity and a smooth finish.

$33.99 at Vino Loco

Top Pick: 2017 Thierry Merlin-Cherrier Sancerre

One of the most well-known names in Sancerre, Le Chêne Marchand produces year after year of incredible Sancerre. Beautiful after three years, the wine is bright with tons of minerality and green fruit. It’s wonderful now and will still be so in two years, making it an amazing gift with age-ability. 

$57.99 Vino Loco.

Red Wine

Budget Favorite: Campo Viejo Wine Red Reserve

Rare is the day your local Sommelier can recommend a wine this good for less than $10. Aged for four years, the Campo Viejo Wine Red Reserve brings an amazing balance of bold fruit notes with spices, clove and a great smooth finish.

$9.99 at Safeway.

Runner-Up: 2018 Requiem Cabernet Sauvignon

From the first sip to the bottom of the bottle, the complexity of this biodynamically-farmed Washington cabernet is sure to impress. It’s packed full of the explosive flavor of big dark fruit, like black currant and plum. An incredible tannic structure will give the wine a beautiful long velvety finish.

Top Pick: 2018 Continuum

Winemaker Tim Mondavi – son of legendary Napa wine pioneer Robert Mondavi – continues to impress wine critics around the world with his cabernet blend. This well-recognized red has received multiple 100-point scores and it’s easy to see why as it expresses purity and precision with aromatic tones of red and blue fruit, alongside deep plum and a hint of rose oil. This is an investment gift that will keep on giving. Drink it now or in 10 years.

$341.99 at Vino Loco.

Tyler McBride Is an avid hospitality professional with a love for the outdoors and a good glass of wine. He is currently the General Manager of the Vino Loco wine bar in downtown Flagstaff.  

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