Two Sensational Wines for Winter

Red and white “date night” magic, just in time for the holidays
Date night wine


The perfect wines for a holiday date night.

Though many people love to party during the holidays, it’s also the perfect time to spend a romantic, festive evening with your significant other.

Looking for a wine that will really seal the deal on your holiday date night? Consider these two sensational red and white wines this season.

Phifer Pavitt Date Night Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Napa, California ($80)

A sexy stunner from Napa, this cabernet is a party in your mouth. Deep burgundy red in the glass with a bright iridescent rim, the nose is fragrant with blackberry, plum, a bit of tobacco, a whiff of smoke, some cherry, all enriched by chocolate and cacao nib on the palate. The structure is lovely: the fruit explodes in your mouth and yields to a deliciously smooth tannin finish.   

This complex cabernet was created by winemaker, Ted Osborne, also responsible for Olabisi wines in Calistoga. Grapes for this vintage were sourced from an organic estate vineyard in the Napa Valley, rich in loam soil. 

Although this wine would pair well with all manner of food, I’d spring for a thick cut of premium beef — a well-marbled New York strip steak or a porterhouse, and I’d flash grill it black and nearly blue to complement the smoke.  

Phifer Pavitt Date Night Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Napa, California ($30)

If this is what they’re drinking in Napa on date night, I’m flat-out jealous — this wine is glorious. The nose is a heady explosion of tropical fruit, heavy on the pineapple, then leavened with bright lemon zest, a sliver of lime. The mouthfeel is creamy, the flavors explosive and Meyer lemon and angel food cake join the parade before giving way to a moderately long, refreshingly acidic finish. Unlike any number of sauvignon blancs, Date Night manages to perfectly balance fruit and acidity. 

The wine is made from grapes sourced from the Juliana Vineyard in Pope Valley.  I happily drank it accompanied by no more than a handful of marcona almonds, but it would be a wonderful complement to Thai or Sichuan food — it can more than handle the heat and spice.

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