This year, while composing a brief holiday wish list, I included a couple wines, thinking I’d enjoy the experience of a rare bottle of barbaresco or barolo much more than, say, an eight-pack of tube socks from Kohl’s (no offense to Kohl’s or socks, of course).
But it got me wondering what some local wine experts might be including in their letters to Santa this holiday season. So, I asked. And here’s what they said...
Sales manager, Pure Wine Wisconsin
Scott Paul "La Paulee" Pinot Noir 2012, around $40. 2012 is going to go down as a vintage of a lifetime in Oregon. This wine is dense and rich yet silky and gorgeous. It will be a extremely long-lived wine that will pay off in 15-20 years!
Brooks "ARA" Riesling 2011, about $25, 2011 is current vintage for this knockout of a Riesling from Oregon. Bone dry and filled with fleshy, bio-dynamically grown, fruit. This has a total production of 300cs and is sure to please even the most ardent of Riesling fans.
Beverage operations manager, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Keeping it simple, affordable and enjoyable, I would wish for these:
Alto Moncayo Veraton. It’s a seductive 100 percent Grenache (red) from Spain. It’s also full, round and viscous with a pleasant lingering finish that lasts long after the sip has been consumed. This wine is addictive leaving you wanting when the bottle is empty. It’s not easily found in Milwaukee from retailers, however if you are shopping for me, I’ve purchased it at Thief Wine Shop in the Milwaukee Public Market.
DDO Arthur. This Chardonnay from Veronique Drouhin is amazing. Year after year, Domaine Drouhin Oregon produces the highest quality of wine in North America. I’ve held on to a few for a number of years and have been delighted to see how they have progressed, never fully losing acidity, but maturing gracefully. That is not to say that it is out of balance if purchased today and consumed tomorrow. It is a wine that I never regret opening and sharing, I only regret that it is gone. And if you’re shopping for me, I may have seen this at Ray’s.
General manager, Bacchus
First of all, this is really hard. If I could, I would choose two bottles of bubbles, because they are my favorite!
NV Krug Grand Cuvée Brut. This multi-vintage wine is rich, decadent and elegant with notes of bread dough, flowers and marzipan. It will pair well anything from simple appetizers to rich entrees.
NV Vilmart & Cie "Cuvée Rubis" Brut Rosé. Famous Importer Terry Thiese says, "Also as always, it is the most singular Rosé in Champagne, and one could argue, the best at the NV level. This one’s like a foamy vapor of Bonnes Mares. If you’re new to it, think serious vinosity, main-course Champagne, and truly like a corona of red Burgundy." This wine is powerful yet elegant at the same time and will hold its own against any great Champagne.
For non-bubbly wine, I would choose:
Domaine Duc de Magenta, "Clos de la Garenne." It is a 1er Cru from Puligny-Montrachet in Burgundy owned by Maison Louis Jadot. This 100 percent Chardonnay is beautiful, rich and slightly spicy from the oak. It has flavors of peach and almond wrapped in delicate acidity and finesse. It would make anyone a Chardonnay fan and would easily age for 10 years or more. If only they were all this good!
Paolo Scavino "Bric dël Fiasc" Barolo. This wine requires patience but is so rewarding! It has beautiful notes of eucalyptus, roses and balsamic supported by all the power and grace of an amazing Barolo.
Milwaukee area sales manager, Purple Feet Wines
Of course I am biased because I sell these wines. That being said these are what I would want for myself, so I won’t be using this as an exercise to recommend wines for other folks.
Guigal Chateau d’ Ampuis Cote Rotie 2010. Right after WWII the Guigal family started their own winery in an area of eastern France that had over 2,000 years of viticultural history, yet at the time it had nearly been forgotten. This wine is an homage to the 11th century property that the family bought and restored on the banks of the Rhone river just down hill from the famous vineyards which the wine comes from. It is 100 percent Syrah and will beautifully age for upwards of 20 years. 2010 is a great vintage for the northern Rhone region of France and also my son’s year of birth. I was luck enough to visit the winery in 2012, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
Lucien Le Moine Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011. Two barrels were made of this wine, it is the pinnacle of what Chardonnay can be. Winemaker Mounir Souma and his wife Rotem are the winemakers at this micro-negociant winery in Burgundy. The two of them are the only employees and they do everything by hand. The wine is aged on its lees and never racked, no sulphur is added, and it was bottled by hand straight from the barrel. This is as low-tech and detail orientated as winemaking gets. It helps that the wine comes from one of greatest vineyards in Burgundy, and is dazzlingly rich, yet crisp and fresh, with both savory and ripe fruit flavors.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.