Your Holiday Wine Buying Guide
We have suggestions for all of your holiday sipping needs! 🍷
🍷 It’s the holiday season! It’s the time of year when you may drink a little wine. Family get-togethers, holiday open houses, and parties are all occasions where a glass of red, white, pink, or bubbly may be in order.
This is where the problem sometimes creeps in. There are just SO many choices. It can be head-spinning. Don’t fret; we’re here to help, and we’ve brought along a couple of local experts along to fill in the blanks.
Expert #1 – Michael Klauber probably needs no introduction. He’s been at, or near, the top of the local Sarasota food and wine scene for years.
Yes, of course, there’s his namesake restaurant, Michael’s On East. But what we’re interested in today is what fills the storefront on the opposite side of the restaurant in Midtown Plaza. Michael’s Wine Cellar (1283 S. Tamiami Trl. (941) 955-2675)
Expert #2 – All of that wine doesn’t just magically appear 🪄 (that would be great!) Someone needs to hand-select it and curate the inventory to ensure that every niche is filled. That person (at least in this case) is Tesla Weighill. She’s the Wine Cellar’s Manager.
Wine buying can be complicated. We’re going to attempt to solve some of that for you. I’m not saying we’re going to make you a Mastery Level Wine Sommelier, but maybe we can shed just a little light on a complicated subject.
➡️ WHAT TO EXPECT
1️⃣ Every budget is different. So is every holiday crowd. We’ll give you suggestions in two price points: Affordable and Splurge.
2️⃣ We’ll give you a bit of basic Wine 101. Maybe some things you didn’t know.
3️⃣ Breaking things down by holiday. They all call for something a little different.
4️⃣ Some wine predictions for 2024! 🔮
⭐ In an attempt to make this super actionable, we’re going to include a printable wine-buying guide. So, if you want to make this as stress-free on yourself as possible, just print 🖨️ and point 👉🏻!
LET’S GET TO IT!
🍷 OUR DINESARASOTA HOLIDAY WINE BUYING GUIDE 🍷
🦃 THANKSGIVING (Turkey with all the trimmings)
Wine 101: Pinot Noir features classic flavors of cherry and red fruit with notes of pepper and spice, making it ideal for pairing with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It easily complements both turkey and cranberry as well as hearty sides such as roasted squash, mushrooms, or sage turkey dressing.
Special Mention: Château du Moulin-A Vent, Beaujolais, FR, 2019
When most people think of Beaujolais, their mind immediately goes to the over-ripe, overly sweet style of Beaujolais Nouveau. We are here to tell you there is more to Beaujolais than Nouveau! Cru Beaujolais takes the same Gamay grapes used in Nouveau and gives them the respect they deserve. Proper care and aging turns the fruit-driven, light-bodied red into a much more refined wine. French terroir-driven style can easily be seen when exploring the crus as each cru produces a distinct style. For Thanksgiving, our top pick is Beaujolais from the Moulin-a-vent Cru.
🕎 HANUKKAH (Great with brisket and latkes)
Wine 101: The well-balanced fruit and spice of Rhone blends is the perfect match for Hanukkah. It is well suited to brisket, but light enough to accompany traditional side dishes.
Special Mention: Syrah “Californio Hyde Vineyard”, HdV, Napa Valley, CA, 2019
The depth of flavor and beautiful structure of this Syrah makes it an ideal outside-the-box pairing for Brisket.
🎄 CHRISTMAS (Great with prime rib)
Wine 101: The rich, decadent foods of Christmas and classic Bordeaux are a match made in heaven!
The medium-bodied and bold nature of Cab Franc makes it a fantastic pairing option for rich dishes such as prime rib, but it often goes unnoticed next to big brother Cabernet Sauvignon. Give it a try this holiday season and discover a new favorite!
🎇 NEW YEARS EVE
Wine 101: When it comes to New Year’s Eve, there are so many unique traditions and celebrations. To ensure you have the perfect bottle for any event, grab a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir and a medium-bodied fruit-forward California Cab. These are guaranteed crowd pleasers with enough body and substance to hold their own when paired with red meat, and mild enough not to overwhelm more delicate sides and hor d’oeuvres.
📝 Is it even New Year’s Eve without a glass of bubbly? Splurge on a great bottle, and ring in the new year with style!
🏈 NEW YEARS DAY
Special Bonus Recipe!
While there’s nothing quite like a Bloody Mary or mimosa after a night of (over) indulging, we recommend a twist on these classics.
For those who love a Bloody Mary:
Consider swapping standard tomato juice, and instead use green juice for your brunch cocktail to spring into a healthier-ish lifestyle in 2024! Spike your kale and citrus smoothie with vodka and jalapeno for a fun and refreshing twist.
For Mimosa Moms:
In many cultures, pomegranate is believed to bring prosperity to the new year, so why not include it in your morning spritzer!
First, create a pomegranate simple syrup by combining equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar over medium heat, stir until combined, and simmer until it reaches a slightly syrupy consistency.
For the cocktail, add ½ ounce blood orange liqueur and ½ ounce pomegranate syrup to the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with chilled cava and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and orange slices.
🔮 Michael’s Wine Prediction: What will the 2024 wine scene look like??
As the wine industry continues to battle the realities of climate change, I believe the biggest change we will begin seeing is the growth of new and emerging wine regions.
In the last several years, we have seen the demand for Burgundy and Loire Valley wines explode while production has fallen due to adverse weather conditions. As a result, prices have climbed year over year, forcing many buyers to look elsewhere for their wine, and next year will be no different.
As temperatures continue to climb, wine regions will likely begin shifting. Be on the lookout for wines from England, Poland, Belgium, Canada, Japan, and Bolivia as producers start looking outside traditional growing areas for new places to plant!
WOW, I know that was A LOT! But you don’t have to digest it all at one time. Remember, take sips, no chugging! Plus, we wrote this hoping that you’d refer back to it during this whole holiday season (and maybe the next).
📝 Thanks again to Michael Klauber and Tesla Weighill for all of the work that went into compiling our list, and for the abbreviated wine course.
📝📝 Yes, the wine links point to Michael’s Wine Cellar. Obviously, you can buy any of these wines at your favorite wine store. It’s just our way of saying THANK YOU to them for all of the assistance with this piece. Cheers!
🧑🏻🍳 HEY CHEFS AND RESTAURANT OWNERS! 👩🏻🍳
🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info.
⭐⭐ If you have an event, we’d like to help you spread the word. Let us know! (EMAIL IT)
📖 BUY A COPY OF OUR 2023 SARASOTA DINING BOOK! – ORDER HERE 📖
😋 MICHAEL’S ON EAST – MONTHLY EPICUREAN MENU – SOUTH AFRICA
🚶🏻 TASTE MAGAZINE WALKING FOOD TOURS OF BRADENTON – INFO
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
Yes! Things are finally starting to pick up a bit in the local food event department. Our calendar is filling up little by little. ⬇️
NOV 14 – All-Star Twinkle Ball – INFORMATION
NOV 14 – Plumpjack Wine Dinner – Michael’s Wine Cellar
NOV 17 – Alsace Wine Tasting – Mademoiselle Paris
DEC 3 – Feast Upon the Fields – INFORMATION
DEC 6 – Holiday Champagne Tasting – Michael’s Wine Cellar
DEC 9 & 10 – Breakfast with Santa – GROVE Restaurant
DEC 31 – Sharky’s New Year’s Eve Beach Bash – Sharky’s on the Pier
FEB 4 (2024) – Farm to Fillet Event – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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