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Christmas Gifts - 12/16/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Unoaked Chardonnay:  Four Vines Naked Chardonnay '13  ** $
(Really nice clean chardonnay flavor, for peanuts)

California Chardonnay:  Beringer "Luminus" Chardonnay '13 *** $$
(At $25 this is a huge steal; great classic California chard flavors)

Bargain Cabernet Sauvignon:  Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon '13 **1/2 $    
(From Paso Robles, a very well blended cab with great flavor)

Splurge Cabernet Sauvignon:  Croze Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon '11 *** $$
(Classy, concentrated Napa cab, covered with Rutherford dust)

Bargain Pinot Noir:   Angeline Reserve Pinot Noir '13 ** $
(Surprisingly good pinot for the money; authentic and rewarding to drink)

Splurge Pinot Noir:  Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir, RRV '12 *** $$$
(Sourced from one of the best pinot vineyards in California)

Spanish Red:   La Rioja Alta Alberdi Reseva '07 **1/2 $$
(Good value for very mature Rioja, a crowd pleaser)

Italian Red:    Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco '10 *** $$
(Pricy, but totally worth it; great Barbaresco with tons of character)

French White:  Chateau de la Raz Bergerac '14 **1/2 $
(Super value in white Bordeaux; intense, concentrated, likeable wine)

Maryland Wine:  Bordeleau Merlot NV ** $
(This has become a very steady quality merlot from the Eastern Shore)

Dessert Wine:  Ferreira Ruby Port *** $
(As simple ruby ports go, this is as good as it gets.  Fabulous)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill. A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.