52 Wines for 2013 (Plus Holiday Picks) Slideshow

January 7: 2008 Alpha Estate “Axia” Syrah; Florina, Greece; $18

"As winter hits full swing, you will need a wine to go with all of the hearty meats, soups, and stews of the season. Axia is a blend of syrah and local varietal xinomavro, which has a lot of taste similarities to grenache. This wine is a perfect transition from Côtes du Rhône, as it has a luscious combination of rich fruit with a slight black and crushed red pepper finish."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

January 14: 2010 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel; Dry Creek Valley, California; $35

"For pairing with hearty winter meals like braised lamb shank on a bed of wild mushroom risotto, fresh pasta and meatballs, roast beef, and seasonal stews, an easy solution is to pour a classic California zinfandel. A tasty example is the Ravenswood 2010 Zinfandel. Made with old-vine zinfandel and smaller portions of petite sirah and carignane, all planted by the Teldeschi family in the 1920s, this wine features powerful flavors of fresh raspberry, boysenberry, black cherry, red currants, cracked black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, coffee, and a hint of smoke on the long elegant finish."

—  Christopher Sawyer, sommelier at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar at The Lodge at Sonoma 

January 21: 2009 Kabaj Rebula Goriska; Brda, Slovenia; $45

"Orange, or 'skin contact' wines from varietals such as ribolla gialla and malvasia from northern Italy and just beyond the border into Slovenia are unique yet perfect white wines to pair with winter fare. The extended skin contact not only provides a rich burnished gold hue, but also weight, texture, and pithy tannins reminiscent of apricot skin on the palate. This is what also allows this wine style to pair with dishes that would normally call for red, such as roasted pork and wild game."

—  Colleen Hein, wine director at Eastern Standard in Boston

January 28: 2001 Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial; Rioja, Spain; $28- $30

"Want something warm and toasty to snuggle up with on a cold night? With its spicy, intense red fruit and tobacco notes, this 2001 vintage is the first Reserva Especial of the century (the region's highest accolade for a Rioja vintage) and only the third time this designation has been received. [It's] aged in American oak, [and] a blend of mostly tempranillo with a bit of grenache gives this wine a vanilla, toasty quality that goes terrific with paella with chorizo and other hearty winter foods."

Kristen Siebecker, certified sommelier and host of NYC Skillshare class, Popping Your Cork!

February 18: 2008 Barolo Rocche dell' Annunziata; Piemonte, Italy; $90

"Nebbiolo is a decadent grape and makes an indulgent wine, which is perfect for a month about chocolate and lovers. This barolo is from the commune of La Morra, which is synonymous with softer baroli that are approachable at a younger age. Rocche dell' Annunziata is one of my favorite crus, with its iconic silky textures and beautiful floral aromatics of hibiscus and tart red cranberries. It is often compared to the great commune of Chambolle Musigny from Burgundy."

—  Jason Carlen, sommelier, Spiaggia/Café Spiaggia

February 11: 2007 Gerard Bertrand La Forge; Corbières Boutenac, France; $70

Gérard Bertrand "La Forge," Boutenac, Corbières, France - $70 "A delicious single-vineyard wine from the best region of Corbières, it is dark and brooding, rich, and dense with almost raisin-y flavors and a finish of nuts and savory spices. This would go well with wild boar, but, if you don’t have one available, a fall-off-the-bone veal shank would do."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

February 14, Valentine's Day: NV Taylor Fladgate First Estate Port; Porto, Portugal; $18-22

"This non-vintage port is from one of the oldest family-owned houses and features luxurious texture, layered with plum and black fruits. On this lovers' holiday, you can't go wrong with port. (P.S.: It's a fortified wine... meaning it is blended with a neutral spirit, giving it a much higher alcohol content.) So just pour a glass and serve it with some dark chocolate, and you and your sweetie will be enjoying one of the best pairings in the universe."

— Kristen Siebecker, certified sommelier and host of NYC Skillshare class, Popping Your Cork!

February 4: 2011 Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto; Vinho Verde, Portugal; $20

 Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto '11- Vinho Verde

"Drink this during the first week in February. This skin-contact alvarinho from Vinho Verde is proof that the region makes wine for any time of year. In the dead of winter this wine will be sure to warm you up and is still refreshingly clean. Hints of apricot, almond, and white flowers with a rich and creamy finish."

— Laura Maniec, master sommelier and owner of Corkbuzz Wine Studio in New York City

February 25: 2011 Sottimano Mate; Piemonte, Italy; $17

"This is an excellent wine for February! Brachetto is known as the red version of moscato d'asti — light, sweet, a perfect pairing for chocolate. Winemaker Andreas Sottimano took this little-known varietal, dry-fermented the grapes, and created a still wine that is one of the most seductive, sexy wines out there on the market. Sweet violet, rose, and other floral notes pillow out of the glass with a taste profile that will pair with both sweet and savory dishes."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

March 4: 2008 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino; Tuscany, Italy; $64

"This wine features much of the complexity and many of the flavors you'll find in a brunello di montalcino, but this "baby brunello" won't hit your wallet as hard. As with brunello, this wine is made from 100 percent sangiovese grapes, but restrictions allow it to be aged for a shorter time, and with it comes a less hefty price tag. Though not quite as much as its older brother, this wine still has rich, assertive flavors, and would pair well with full-flavored meats and cheeses, especially red meat."

— Daniel Haveck, supervisor of the lobby bar at the JW Marriott Indianapolis

March 11: 2008 Frescobaldi Rufina Nipozzano Chianti; Tuscany, Italy; $19

"This chianti is one of my favorites year in and year out. Coming from one of the northernmost regions of the Chianti zone, the wine is warm and inviting with supple tannins and ripe cherry fruits. When sangiovese is grown with care and picked at just the right time, the quality of the wine is hard to beat. Produced mostly from sangiovese, it's a great wine for some classic meats and cheeses, pappardelle with cinghiale, or any other classic Tuscan dish. [It can be] enjoyed all year round, really."

—  Dan Amatuzzi, wine director of Eataly NYC

March 25: 2005 Michele Satta Cavaliere; Tuscany, Italy; $67

"“What makes this wine special is the edgy quality that it possesses because of the rugged rocky soils of Bolgheri and the region's proximity to the Meditterean. I love the savory aromatics of sage, pine and tobacco and its effortless mouthfeel and soft tannins. It reminds me of a rustic pinot from the Jura."

— Jason Carlen, sSommelier, Spiaggia/Cafe Sé Spiaggia

March 31, Easter: 16. 2009 Bastianich Vespa Bianco; Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, Italy; $39

"Easter falls on the last day of March this year, and there is no better white wine to pair with the entire holiday feast than Vespa Bianco from Joe Bastianich. What I love about this wine is that fans of chardonnay go nuts over this wine because of this rich mouthfeel, creamy finish, and touches of toasted almond. Anti-chardonnay drinkers also love it because of the great honeyed notes, bright citrus, and minerality. Everyone at your Easter table will love it."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

April 7: Nikolaihof 'Hefeabzug' Grüner Veltliner; Wachau, Austria; $25

"A dry white wine, also fun to say, as an indigenous grape varietal of Austria, this wine stems from the beautiful Wachau region. The wine is white, dry, with intense spice tones, green vegetable, and breakfast radish, with Asian pear, racy acid, and a beautiful long acid driven finish. Any time of year is a good time, but [it’s best to drink it in] spring or fall when the wine is young, or winter with an older vintage."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

April 14: 2011 Donnhoff Niederhäauser Brucücke Riesling ; Rheinland, Germany; $60

"With Tax Day (a painful day) around the corner, I like to indulge myself in a bit of sweet reverence with a really nice bottle of ice wine, sauternes, or far niente dolce. I feel like after I give away some of my hard-earned shillings I need to refresh the till by consuming some liquid gold. I particularly like Goldcap Auslese and TBA from Germany because it retains mouthwatering acidity so it's not too heavy with layer upon layer of honey, marmalade, lime sorbet, exotic spices, and unbelievable length. This is the stuff of legends."

— Ryan Tedder, general manager and sommelier of FT33 in Dallas

April 21: 2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2011; Malborough, New Zealand; $28

"As the seasons start to change, I tend to shy away from the chardonnay, champagne, and other sparkling wines that got me through the winter, and gravitate toward those with less oak and more bright, crisp flavors, such as sauvignon blanc. This one, from Marlborough, New Zealand, is very indicative of the style you'll find in New Zealand sauvignon blanc — crisp and light, with flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and grass. Would pair well with seafood, white meat, and vegetables, but would likely get lost with more full-flavored meats."

— Daniel Haveck, supervisor of the lobby bar at the JW Marriott Indianapolis

April 28: 2010 Alexakis Vidiano; Crete, Greece; $12

"The first time I tasted this wine, it brought me right to the Mediterranean islands. Great minerality and citrus notes with a really tasty and spicy note of ginger on the finish. If you are looking for a wine for summer seafood, this is it. I love to pair this wine with our fresh calamari antipasti with fregola, cucumber, and radish."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

May 5: Lucien Albrecht Alsace Riesling Reserve; Alsace, France; $17

"This is a manly riesling — tangy fruits, assertive, with lots of tannin and a hint of riesling oiliness. It can keep up with any roasted chicken."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

May 12, Mother's Day: 23. 2008 Domaine J.F. Mugnier Nuits-Saint-George Close de la Marachale Premier Cru; Burgundy, France; $85

"This wine is good anytime, anywhere. [It's from] one of the most fantastic of producers in Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, and a fantastic vineyard as the last cru one sees on the way out of the Côte de Nuits and into the Côte de Beaune. The wine is made of 100 percent pinot noir, by one of the more gifted winemakers on the planet. Soft and seductive velvety tannins, with a beautiful approachability of plum and strawberry, black raspberry, and iron-rich minerality. Brilliant balance, and unbelievable food pairing ability. It is always a treat to taste the magnificence of this vineyard. Drink often, no matter what season it is. It will make mouths happy, always."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

May 19: 2011 Quina de Soalheiro Alvarinho; Vinho Verde, Portugal; $22

"A luscious, full-bodied alvarinho with a complex and intense nose of green apple skins, lemons, and apricot. The palate is unctuous and shows great complexity with notes of peaches, lemons, and a hint of minerality. It’s a perfect 'welcome spring' type of wine! It’s fresh, elegant, and goes really well with seafood stews and grilled fish and white meats."

— Tarcisco Costa, the wine and spirits director of New York City's Alfama restaurant

May 26: 1. 2009 Hunt Cellars Moonlight Sonata Chardonnay; Pasa Robles, California; $37

"This wine has creamy, tropical with flavors of pineapple, mango, pear, and apricot. It's a great to sip by the pool or pair with shrimp and fish on the barbecue."

— Dan Hunt, Hunt Cellars winemaker

May 27, Memorial Day: 2011 Zuani Vigne Collio Bianco; Fruili-Venezia-Giulia, Italy; $24

"The grapes are the native pinot grigio and friulano and international varieties sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, both widely used in Collio. This blend is without oak juicy, very pretty, touch of mint, nice mouthfeel, ripe fruit, light acidity just an excellent wine. Serve with chicken salad and ham sandwiches."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

June 2: 2008 Quinta Do Pinto Vinhas do Lasso Branco; Lisboa, Portugal; $16

"Estate-bottled at Quinta do Pinto, this wine is a blend of fernão pires and arinto. It is rich and textured, floral and apricot-tinged with hints of honey and a fresh, mineral-laced kick on the finish. Great for spring and summer."

— Tarcisco Costa, wine and spirits director of New York's Alfama restaurant

June 9: 2011 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri; Agean Islands, Greece; $25

"Delicious in every way. Great balance and acid from these island vineyards, which are old vine, low trained, low vigor, high velocity. The grape is fun to say — ASS-YR-TIKO — and very clean on the palate. With a green apple, fleur de sel, sharp lemon juice, and a dash of clean white flower. It’s a beautiful wine with every dish, but a great wine to beat the heat in Texas. And fantastic by the pool."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

June 16, Father's Day: 2008 Clio Bodegas El Nido El Nido; Jumilla, Spain; $105

"Trust me when I say that for Father's Day, buy your dad this wine! Big, bold, masculine, and structured, this is a wine that has flavors of big blackberries, cola, hints of leather, and rich cigar box. It is everything that says Dad in a bottle. I turn Blue Chip Napa cabernet drinkers on to this wine all the time and they never look back. Perfect with wagyu sirloin tips and other grilled meats."

—  Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

June 23: 2011 Etude Pinot Noir Rose; Carneros, California; $26

"Drinking heavy red or white wines on hot summer days can be quite a challenge on the palate. Instead, think pink and try a refreshing dry rosé wine that can complement fresh salads, oysters, fish tacos, grilled chicken, and pork tenderloin with fruit chutney. In the marketplace, a consistent brand to check out is the 2011 Etude Pinot Noir Rosé, a wine with rewarding flavors of ripe Bing cherry, cranberry, blood orange peel, and vibrant acidity."

— Christopher Sawyer, sommelier at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar at The Lodge at Sonoma

June 30: 2008 Sogrape Vinhos Dão Callabriga; Dão, Portugal; $13

"This wine is bright red in color with lively aromas of fresh red fruits and sweet spices, such as vanilla. It has a firm structure, with elegant and definite tannins, a lively acidity, and a balanced and elegant finish. It is 100 percent tinta roriz, which is known as tempranillo in Spain. It can be enjoyed all year round, really."

— Tarcisco Costa, wine and spirits director of New York's Alfama restaurant

July 4, Independence Day: 2011 or 2012 Dr. Franks Dry Riesling; Finger Lakes, New York; $15- $17

"One of the other best white wines for hot weather is riesling, but when some people think of riesling some just think 'sweet.' Not so! There is a wide range of riesling flavor profiles and the IRF (International Riesling Foundation) has a scale that they put right on the label to help guide you. While celebrating the birth of America, how about an American wine that's served at The White House? This one is: Dr. Konstantin Frank, a German immigrant, and the winery that bears his name is one of the most-touted in the Finger Lakes of New York. My pick is their dry riesling (they also have a semi-dry and late harvest), with its minerality, low residual sugar, and great acidity; it's your perfect pair with hot dogs and apple pie!"

— Kristen Siebecker, certified sommelier and host of NYC Skillshare class, Popping Your Cork!

July 7: 2010 Bisson Pigato Colline del Genovesato IGT; Liguria, Italy; $26

"Nothing says summer more than wines from the Italian Riviera. Pigato is one of the region's native grapes and is known for being highly aromatic with lots 'o' fruit. Pigato is said to be related to vermentino, but I compare its bright acid and minerality to sauvignon blanc. I crave wines from this region during the summer months because they remind me of the ocean because of the touch of saline they possess. This particular wine smells of grapefruit and steel and tastes of pithy grapefruit rind, saline, fennel, and mint. It screams calamari, friend fish, and pesto."

— Jason Carlen, sommelier, Spiaggia/Café Spiaggia

July 15: 2011 Ponzi Pinot Gris; Williamette Valley, Oregon; $36

"One of my favorite 'summer sippers,' the Ponzi pinot gris can easily be drunk by itself on a warm summer day, but would also pair wonderfully with a summer salad with a light vinaigrette, charcuterie, or pasta with a light (not cream-based) sauce. With Willamette Valley being the big up-and-coming region for pinot noir, pinot gris often gets overlooked, but Willamette pinot gris can stand toe-to-toe with Italian pinot grigio, while still having its own unique style."

— Daniel Haveck, supervisor of the lobby bar at the JW Marriott Indianapolis

July 22: 2011 Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore; Marches, Italy; $20-$23

"Winemaker Ampelio Bucci consistently makes one of the best verdicchio wines in Italy every year. The grape verdicchio is considered by many to be the most important indigenous white grape variety of central Italy. It yields fresh and clean wines with flavors of stone fruits and herbs. Depending on where the grapes grow within the region of Le Marche, the finished wines sometimes have a saline character to them as well, ideal for fish stews and crudo preparations. Great for spring and summer clam bakes and seafood pastas dishes."

— Dan Amatuzzi, wine director of Eataly NYC

July 29: Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé; Bandol, France; $34

I am a rosé fan who doesn’t need sunshine to suck it down, but the summer months are spent consuming these delightful warm weather pink wines. Domaine Tempier is the pinnacle; these wines are built to age and do so quite gracefully. However, their structure in their youth make them both drinkable and great with a wide range of summer time fair. The wines are not cheap, especially by rosé standards but if you’ve got it, spend it."

Matthew Conway, wine writer for The Daily Meal and the creator of underripe.com

August 4: 2010 Cantina Roccafiore Fiordaliso Bianco; Umbria, Italy; $21

"For any food lover, summer is a great time for amazing fruits, vegetables, and other produce. This 100 percent grechetto is a high-acid, citrus delight that adds a touch of freshly cut grass and picked flowers to the end of the nose. If you want to add notes of grapefruit to any summer salad, this would be the wine to do it."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

August 11: Domaine de Montille 'Les Cailleret' Premier Cru de Puligny-Montrachet; Burgundy, France; $125

"For one of the most pure examples of chardonnay on the planet, one should venture here. There is never a season that is not ideal for white burgundy, especially by the delicate hand of Etienne and Alix Montille, a brother and sister team, whose father Hubert, has taught his children the mastery of vineyard work. 'Cailleret' means little white pebbles or stones, and the wine is rich and full, but delicate and elegant. It has a savory mineral tone, with Meyer Lemon, yellow apple, and a touch of toasted marshmallow. The wine is balanced with its richness and acid tones, and it’s great with a wide range of cuisine from sushi to savory poultry, or even beef tartare.  One of my personal favorite wines of the world."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

August 18: Gai’A "14-18h"; Peloponnese, Greece; $13

"As kids go back to school and you have the one last hurrah of summer, a rose with a bit more frivolity may do the trick. You may have no idea how to pronounce agiorgitiko (AH-GEE-OHR-GEE-TEE-KOH), but this varietal brings a great combination of cherry, bright cranberry, and even a touch of deep citrus. Great as a cocktail rosé, it also pairs really well with Chinese takeout and grilled chicken kebabs with tzatziki.”

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

August 25: 2008 Gillardi Harys Syrah; Piemonte, Italy; $60- $70

"The wine is beefy, big, chewy, and absolutely delicious. It has all the hallmarks of the fruit from syrah blended with the beautiful terroir of Piedmont. Other fans of this wine hail it for its likeness to Rhone Valley wines, but in my opinion, it's in a class of its own. It's best enjoyed after a few years of cellaring when the fruit and tannin have subsided a bit. Great for autumn season grilled meats and outdoor barbecues."

— Dan Amatuzzi, wine director of Eataly NYC

September 1: 2011 Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste Rose; Napa Valley, California; $25

"In the fall, people gravitate from white wines, to lighter roses, to more full-bodied roses. This vineyard has a small production, relatively speaking. They make some fantastic Bordeaux-style reds out of Napa, but this one rose, the Arriviste, is probably my favorite rosé of all."

— Meghan Vandette, sommelier for Cellar Angels

September 2, Labor Day: 2009 Kesselstatt Josephöfer Mosel GG Riesling Trocken; $67

This is one of the finest food rieslings I’ve had in a long time — very elegant with a lean tartness, excellent intensity of fruit and structure, and a savory spiciness. I would love to have this with a lobster quiche."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

September 8: 2010 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve Caneros; Napa Valley, California; $60

"A big pinot and a complex one — ripe cherries, some pencil lead, some earthy, some rooty, some spicy, good bitters. If it quacks like a roasted duck, open this bottle."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

September 15: 2010 Petite Cochon Blanc White Rhone Blend; Napa Valley, California; $21

"With a bounty of heirloom tomatoes, fresh vegetables, ripe fruits, and wild mushrooms available in the marketplace, fall is a perfect season to get frisky with Rhone-style white wine blends. Try the Cochon 2010 Petite Cochon Blanc White Rhone Blend, a fantastic blend of vermentino (also called rolle in France), viognier, roussanne, marsanne, and grenache blanc. This playful white wine features lovely fragrant aromas of fresh honeysuckle and stone fruits; elegant flavors of white peach, ripe pear, exotic melon, papaya, and toasted hazelnut; a burst of vibrant acidity; and layers of natural richness in the mouthfeel."

— Christopher Sawyer, sommelier at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar at The Lodge at Sonoma 

September 22: 2011 Weingut Weiningerr Rosengartl Alte Reben Gemischter Satz; Vienna, Austria; $95

"I am obsessed with Austrian wines right now. Particularly the whites, though there are some fun expressions of red as well. My current jam is 2011 Wienninger Wein 'Rosengartl Alte Reben' Gemischter Satz from Vienna. This is a field blend with grüner veltliner, weissburgunder, traminer, neuburg, and riesling. It is primarily grüner, though. This wine has incredible minerality and freshness. It is from Vienna, the only wine-growing region in the world that is also located in the confines of the capital as well. These field blends are particularly engaging as they are true expressions of how the variations in each vintage create more of less of each grape. Incredibly versatile with food, it can range from raw oysters, through to schnitzel."  

—  Tom Schliesinger, wine director at Island Creek Oyster Bar 

September 29: 2010 Lini Lambrusco Lambrusca Rosso; Emilia-Romagna, Italy; - $18

"Pinot noir in the fall is a no-brainer, but you can get creative: people tend to like sparkling reds in the fall, like lambrusco. This Lini offering is dry, and perfect with any charcuterie."

 — Meghan Vandette, sommelier for Cellar Angels

October 6: 2003 Chateau Musar; Bekaa Valley, Lebanon; $50

"My love for this wine is hard to put into words. Serge Hochar, the proprietor and winemaker, and in the running every year as the most interesting man in the world, has a passion second to none. Not to mention the rich history of viticulture in the region. The wines are grown in a higher elevation in the Bekaa Hills and led by cabernet sauvignon, Counoise, and cinsault as the grapes in the blend. The wine has an almost infinite age-ability, and fantastic bouquet of cassis, bright red cherries, and rhubarb tone. With an iron-rich minerality, and balanced acid attack, the wine achieves an umami zone of complete bliss. The versatility of this wine, allows it to be consumed with almost any meal and anytime year, but when it’s cold outside, this wine over-performs."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

October 13: Whetstone Pinot Noir “Jon Boat”; Sonoma , California; $36

"This sexy, well-crafted Pinot Noir is the perfect segue from summer to winter. Mr. Whetstone has worked for a few wine producers that create bold, distinct styles of wine namely, Turley and Domaine Dujac. His own wines are no different. Whetstone’s Jon Boat is a well-balanced blend of three Sonoma Coast vineyards that perfectly complements late summer and early autumn produce. You could call it a “full-bodied Pinot” or a “light-bodied cold weather wine.” I just call it delicious!"

— Matthew Conway, wine writer for The Daily Meal and the creator of underripe.com

October 20: 2010 Do Ferreiro Rebisaca Albarino Rias Baixas; Rais Baixas, Spain; $42

"This wine is primarily made of Albariño grapes , but has a hint of treixadura as well. This coastal region of Spain is super-hot right now, but not all albariños from Rias Baixas are made equal. This is an expression of a small producer (5ha[cg2]  total) on a single vineyard. You almost never see that in Rias Baixas. This is a true pioneer in his field making an age-old argument, in a wine region still relatively new to most consumers. It is intellectually compelling wine, but more importantly, the juice is great!"

— Tom Schliesinger, wine director at Island Creek Oyster Bar


October 27: Domaine Chandon Pinot Meunier; Carneros, California; $55

"Pinot meunier, the oft overlooked brother of pinot noir, is rarely made into a single varietal wine, more often being used as one of the key components of champagne and champagne-style sparkling wines. Domaine Chandon, the American arm of Moët & Chandon, decided to buck the trend, and produce a single-varietal pinot meunier, to fantastic results. Serve this with anything you would pair a pinot noir with, and can stand out at the Thanksgiving table."

— Daniel Haveck, supervisor of the lobby bar at the JW Marriott Indianapolis

October 31, Halloween: 49. 2009 Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Londonne; Rhone, France; $75

"This oft cold evening full of dark and despair reminds me of great, haunting, powerful syrah from the Northern Rhone of France. I think they are very similar — to really get into Halloween is to love it — the costume parties, the chance to be naughty for a night, to embrace your dark side... hermitage or Côte Rotie are wines to get into. Oftentimes the first drink is animal, blood, tar, oddly thought-provoking, and intriguing; by the last drink it is pure lust as you endeavor to wrap your head around some of the great wines of the world. Give it plenty of time to open up and enjoy! Splurge on a bottle of Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie 2009 and enjoy!

— Ryan Tedder, general manager and sommelier of FT33 in Dallas

November 3: 2010 Masseria Li Veli Askos Susumaniello Salento IGT; Puglia, Italy; $21

"The best varietal you have never heard of, susumaniello is a red wine that will go with pretty much anything you put in front of it. I love to serve this wine at Thanksgiving dinner, as its light floral notes on the front play well with stuffing and cranberry salad. There are surprisingly refined tannins as well that would go great with turkey. Think of susumaniello as where pinot noir and grenache meet."

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

November 10: 2010 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas; Rhone, France; $146

"Cornas is the home of syrah and Clape is the home of cornas…need I say more? If you are looking for a rustic, full bodied soul warmer than these are the wines for you. If you cannot afford the big boy, their Cuvèe Renaissance will do the trick at one third of the price. The wines are much more approachable after a decade or more of rest; yet I feel lucky to have consumed one whenever it may be. I nominate this the winter wine of all winter wines." 

— Matthew Conway, wine writer for The Daily Meal and the creator of underripe.com

— Matthew Conway, 

November 17: 2009 Henry Fessy Morgon Cru Beaujolais, Beaujolais,France, $17

 "To me, the best Turkey Day (or any fall dinner) wine is cru Beaujolais from France. Gamay from Beaujolais has ripe fleshy red fruit similar to a California pinot but then it has nice crisp finish without some of the textural trappings of good pinot noir. The result is a versatile light red wine with big flavors that pairs wonderfully with all the fixings. I like Henry Fessy’s Morgon Cru Beaujolais."

— Ryan Tedder, general manager and sommelier of FT33 in Dallas

November 24: 2003 Hunt Cellars 2003 "Tawny" Zinfandel Port "Zinful Delight" and 2005 Hunt Cellars Cabernet Port "Good Vibrations"; Pasa Robles, California; $50 and $80

"These ports are barrel-aged for eight years, and are exploding with walnuts, hazelnut, chocolate, and black berries."

—  David Hunt, winemaker Hunt Cellars

November 28, Thanksgiving: 2010 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir; Williamette Valley, Oregon; $17 - $19

"For Thanksgiving, you want a crowd-pleaser that goes with the classic fare of the holiday and I think it's important to honor this with American wines. This certified Biodynamic pinot noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon will fit that bill. It's bursting with raspberry and red cherry with a bit of Burgundian mushroom and clove that will take you from beet salad to sweet potatoes to turkey. A great value at less than $20, this wine will make you give thanks."

— Kristen Siebecker, certified sommelier and host of NYC Skillshare class, Popping Your Cork!

December 1: NV Domaine Spiropoulos “Ode Panos Brut” ; Mantinia, Greece; $20

Domaine Spiropoulos "Ode Panos Brut" NV, Mantinia, Greece, $20

"A great alternative to extra brut champagne, this Greek bubbly has a great deal of weight and toastiness to match the flavors of honeydew, Key lime, and kisses of toasted hazelnuts. A great bargain, a glass of Ode Panos would fool lovers of White Star or Yellow Label. This is a fantastic food wine as well, that could pair perfectly with a honey-baked ham or a holiday pork chop!"

— Jon McDaniel, sommelier, The Purple Pig

December 8: 2010 Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee Red Blend; Sonoma, California; $24

"With varying age groups to entertain, during the holiday season it can be rather tough to please all the guests at a dinner party. A delicious solution is to serve a red proprietary blend that can match up not only with the main entrée, but side dishes as well. A reliable style is the Gundlach Bundschu 2010 'Mountain Cuvee' red wine, a blend of ripe berry flavors and dried herbs from a mixture of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and other Bordeaux varietals, and rich texture and a spicy finish helped along the smaller amount of syrah and zinfandel used in the blend."

— Christopher Sawyer, sommelier at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar at The Lodge at Sonoma

December 15: 2009 Cantina Terlano “Porphyr” Lagrein Riserva; Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy; $55- $60

"Lagrein is one of my favorite indigenous Italian grapes. It has thick skins and produces inky wines with rich brooding fruit that are matched by elegant and mineral undertones. Some heavy-full bodied reds can be too tannic, but lagrein usually makes fully structured wines with lighter and silkier tannins. It only grows in Italy's northern Trentino-Alto Adige zone. This is best enjoyed in the colder months, served with stews, polenta, and proteins." 

—     Dan Amatuzzi, wine director of Eataly NYC

December 22: 2003 Bernard Levet Cote-Rotie la Chavaroche; Rhone, France; $96

"Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley is an ideal match for cool winter weather dishes. Though often thought of as an inky and full-bodied red, Northern Rhone syrahs that take on the appropriate amount of bottle age become silken and supple on the tongue, though all the while maintaining notes of violets, spice, and meaty aromas coupled with gentle, suede-y tannins. A perfect match with a hearty cassoulet or spit-roasted lamb."

—  Colleen Hein, wine director at Eastern Standard in Boston


December 24, Christmas Eve: 2009 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port; Porto, Portugal; $99

"Very elegant and classic with excellent balance between berry fruitiness, tannins, and alcohol.  The flavors are those of dried and crushed blackberries with hints of dark-chocolate creaminess and an undertone of bread pudding. It would go great with liquor-soaked fruit cake."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons

December 25, Christmas Day: 2006 Ferrari Perle Brut Metodo Classico; Trentino, Italy; $38 - $42

"Perle is one of the best vintage Italian sparkling wines. Born in the mountains in Trentino, the cool climate air is ideal for retaining the acidity required to make quality bubblers. Winemaker Marcello Lunelli marries all the special qualities of the soil and climate with the intensity of chardonnay. While it's approachable upon purchase, my favorite bottles have had a few years of aging, after they develop riper apple flavors, deep yellow colors, complex herbaceous aromas, and creamy brioche notes. Not just ideal for special occasions and holidays, it's highly compatible with fish entrées, crudo, or a Trentino classic, Stinco di Vitello con Spätzle."

—     Dan Amatuzzi, wine director of Eataly NYC

December 29: NV Champagne Serveaux-Fils “Cuvee Pinot Meunier ”; Champagne, France ; $65

"My number one beverage of choice; I love champagne for all seasons and all reasons. This is one of the most fun 'Grower Producer' or RM (Récoltant-Manipulant) Farmer Fizz, on the market. Made in small quantities, the wine itself is fantastic, great mousse, beautiful lemon curd, and candied lemon peel, with sea salt and a fresh baked brioche note. Great with the start, middle, end, or the entire meal. The price point is reasonable — it is always a good time to drink this wine."

— Chris McFall, certified sommelier and manager of Paggi House; Wine & Spirits magazine's “2012 Best New Sommelier”

December 31, New Year's Eve: NV Joel Falmet Tradition Brut; Champagne, France; $36 - $48”

NV Joël Falmet Champagne Brut Tradition NV $36-38 

"Falmet is one of the great grower champagne values out there ("grower" means the person who grows the grapes also makes the wine). This true champagne has a rich texture and is full-bodied with classic bready, yeasty notes that a good champers shows off. This selection has a small production and the main varietal is pinot noir, with 20 percent pinot meunier and 10 percent chardonnay.  A delicious champagne to serve with anything salty (even potato chips) and for your New Year's toast!"

— Kristen Siebecker, certified sommelier and host of NYC Skillshare class, Popping Your Cork!

January 1: NV Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label; Champagne, France; $90

"Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is a fantastic versatile wine for the season. It is a champagne made in the traditional style from pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes. It is a great wine to celebrate with. It would also pair wonderfully with hors d'oeuvres at a holiday party, being delicate enough for light, simple fare, but also assertive enough to stand up to more flavorful options."

Daniel Haveck, supervisor of the lobby bar at the JW Marriott Indianapolis

March 18: Domaine Laroche Sauvignon Blanc de la Chevalière $11.50

"Light and creamy with pleasant green-fruit flavors, including gooseberries, with a slight tightness at the end of the tasting. Serve it with a baked, white-fleshed fish."

Roger Morris, wine and food writer for The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, and Town & Country and Sommelier Journal; co-author of The Brandywine Book of the Seasons