Brancott Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand 2007 ($11) is a gift that keeps on giving. One sip, and your giftee will make it their go-to brand for its food-friendliness and value. This bottle bursts with gooseberry and passion fruit flavors, with a hint of grassiness and key lime acidity.
The handsome packaging on the Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2006 ($35) from Tuscany connotes “serious wine”—and this wine is. It’s what pros call a Super Tuscan, a red made outside the traditional rules governing classic Tuscan wines like Chianti. A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, it has wonderful notes of aged balsamic vinegar and fresh strawberries.
When you want to really treat someone, a velvety Napa red like Franciscan Magnificat 2005 ($50) is just the bottle. The Meritage distinction means it’s blended from the grapes used in famous French Bordeaux red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. It’s spicy and rich, with cedar, blackberry, and licorice notes—amazing with a holiday roast.