The year 2020 has certainly been a trying one, and what better way to celebrate its goodbye than to indulge in some beautiful wine. In past holiday seasons, we have taken the time to find something special to share with our friends and families and given our current reality, we absolutely deserve something even a bit more special.

Whether its celebrating with loved ones in your household, or with friends at a click of a button, food and wine can certainly make things just a little more intimate. The following list of wine recommendations come from all around the world, and at all different price points, so there is no shortage of beautiful wines to pair with your holiday celebrations this season.

Quail’s Gate Merlot Okanagan Valley, 2017

SAQ: 14483162, $32.75: A beautiful, full bodied wine that will warm you up from the inside out. Generous notes of chocolate covered black cherries, blackberries, plums and warm spices with a silky smooth weight on the palate. Bits of savory herbs reveal themselves midway though, as does the soft plush tannins. This wine is balanced with a great acidity, leading to a long and satisfying finish. This is an elegant red which would pair nicely with any baked or braised dish this holiday season.

Famille Chasselay Beaujolais is Not Dead, 2019

SAQ:14559913, $25.10: Light, fruity, and incredibly easy to drink, this Gamay is very food friendly. It’s bursting with red cherries, red current, kirsch, and strawberries with hints of violet and spice. Tannins are soft grained, and the acidity is super refreshing creating a beautiful harmony of flavours and texture on the palate. Cute label to boot.

Poggerino Chianti Classico, 2018

SAQ: 878777, $27.95: This 100 per cent Sangiovese is coming from the heart of the Chianti Classico, and even in youth is very approachable and easy to drink. The wine expresses notes of sour red cherries, warm spice, and autumn leaves with bits of perfume. Very expressive wine with raspy tannins, excellent freshness where the oak is present, and very well integrated. The li smacking finish focuses on red fruit, and savory herbs and spices. Definitely my new go-to Chianti Classico.

Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018

SAQ:14152304, $99.50: The Penfolds bin 407 Cabernet is probably one of the most exceptional wine I’ve had the pleasure of tasting this year. It’s no secret that Australian wine has a particular place in my heart. However, I am completely genuine when I say this wine is all about elegance, style, purity and soul. Penfolds has released an exclusive 2020 selection of luxury wines in Canada, bringing together some of the most prestigious vintages of the vineyard, and the Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of them. Created with the 1990 vintage in 1993, Bin 407 was developed in response to the increasing availability of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is a multi-region and multi-vineyard expressing the excellent quality of Penfolds wines. This youthful wine is rich and layered in blackberry, black cherry and plum fruit that effortlessly harmonious with polished tannins and excellent acidity. The long and distinctive finish is focused on rich black fruit, vanilla and soft spice. Lovely to drink now, but you will be well rewarded to hold on to this wine for another 15-20 years.

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay Niagara, 2017

SAQ :14222851, $45.50: Made by winemaker Thomas Bachelder, this Canadian wine is very much Burgundian in style. This elegant and stunning Chardonnay from Clos Jordanne in Niagara is located on a premium parcel of the Jordan bench, where the limestone soil allows for the purest expression of terroir. This complex wine is bursting with citrus fruit, red delicious apples, and brioche. It’s soft and round on the palate that keeps a juicy acidity and fantastic freshness. The fruit is concentrated, elegant and finishes on a chalky, saline notes. This wine is incredibly expressive yet keeps a classy restraint. Simply beautiful.

Vincent Carême Vouvray Spring, 2019

SAQ :13594899, $20.45: Intense. Crisp. Clean. A bright wine made with minimal intervention and natural yeasts, it’s brimming with peach, pear, and citrus fruit a slight tinge of salted nuts. Floral undertones and drips of honey shine through with an excellent acidity and minerality. Vegan friendly. This would be an excellent wine to start off any meal, especially with seafood or shellfish.

Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne

SAQ : 13828931, $58.25: This is a Champagne that is quite distinctive in style and offers an incredible value for money. This is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in equal parts, having about 8g of residual sugar. The fruit has delicious notes of lemon, peach and pear, all sprinkled with toasty brioche and attractive salinity. Dry, delicious and fun, this is a delightful Champagne that is ready to drink to bring in 2021.

Astoria Fanò Asolo Prosecco, 2017

SAQ :13056370, $18.95: This bottle of Prosecco is a treat for the eyes and the palate. The bottle itself has been inspired by Venice. If you were to flatten the bottle, it is a replica of the Venice channels map in the heart and soul of the Venetian region. This wine is bursting with peach, apricot, citrus and floral notes and with almond paste. Crisp and clean, the palate has an excellent acidity and the fun bubbles create incredible texture and complexity. This is 100 per cent Glera and contains about 8g of residual sugar. Perfect for any occasion, and certainly a fine way to elevate your brunch experience.

For the full story with photos, read Robertson’s weekly column at www.thesuburban.com

Mandi Robertson earned her Sommelier Attestation (ASP) from Pearson School of Culinary Arts then worked as a Sommelier in Melbourne, Australia. She is the wine contributor for The Suburban, CJAD800 Weekends with Ken, and on Global News Morning. For more visit www.awalkonthewineside.ca

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