We asked Kirsten Fox—executive sommelier, headmistress of Fox School of Wine (435.655.9463, foxschoolofwine.com), and CEO and founder of Culinary Wine Institute (culinarywineinstitute.com)—to share her fave wines, both the budget bottles and those worth the extra dough, for quaffing during the holidays, après ski, or simply when hanging out near a crackling fire.

Sparkling

Steal

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Penedès, Spain, $9.99 
“Sparkling wine’s high acidity and bubbles get the palate ready for great food. I love this bottle for parties in particular because it is such a crowd pleaser—so tasty, with great fruit and floral flavors. It goes with most appetizers but is especially good with soft cheeses and seafood.”

Splurge

Gloria Ferrer 2003 Carneros Cuvée, Carneros, California, $49.99 
“If I am going to spend some hard-earned money on a wine, I want it to knock my socks off, and this bottle does just that (including the price, which is a steal compared to the $70 you’ll pay for the same bottle in California). It’s a vintage wine, meaning the winemaker thought the year of grapes was so superior that she wanted to make a sparkling wine exclusively from that year’s grapes.”

White

Steal

Pine Ridge chenin blanc viognier, California, $14.40 
“If I was going to buy one white wine to serve during the holidays, this would be it. Aromas of peaches, plums, white tea, and apple blossoms come through in this off-dry (slightly sweet) varietal, which pairs with almost everything. Park City’s Cumming family is part owner of this winery, known for its outstanding boutique wines.”

Splurge

Parallel 2010 or 2012 chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, $48.98 
“How can you possibly pass up a wine from folks who may be sitting on the chairlift next to you? Parallel Wines is owned in part by Park City locals Val and Steve Chin and Ann and Mac MacQuoid and offers one of the best chardonnays at this price available in Utah. The 2012 has just hit the shelves so it hasn’t been rated yet, but their last vintage in 2010 got a 94-point score from Wine Enthusiast.”

Lighter-Bodied Red

Steal

Plantagenet Omrah pinot noir, Great Southern, Australia, $16.99 
“Most of the foods I serve are on the light to medium scale, so I want a light to medium wine to go with them, and pinot noir hits the spot. This Australian pinot offers red fruits, spice, an undertone of oak, and a medium-weight feel in your mouth. Best yet, pinot noir grapes have four times the resveratrol of other red varietals.”

Splurge

Road 31 2012 pinot noir, Napa Valley, California, $29.98 
“This might not seem like a splurge when you see the price, but it drinks like a $50 pinot. And when you learn that Kent Fortner, the winemaker and winery owner, was first a Jackson Hole skier and then started his winery on a whim splitting cave storage space in Napa with his soccer bros, you’ll feel like you’re drinking a wine made by an at-heart Parkite.”

Full-Bodied Red

Steal

La Posta Paulucci malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $17.99 
“I love malbec for so many reasons, one of which is that it drinks like an aged cabernet for a quarter of the cost. This awesome wine offers dark berries, leather, spice, and a caramel finish. Malbec is a go-to, high-value favorite for parties—a richer, heavier wine for your hearty foods without the price tag of a big cabernet.”

Splurge

Montes Alpha M 2010 red wine, Colchagua Valley, Chile, $84.99 
“A Bordeaux blend—Meritage in the US—with 80 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent cabernet franc, and 5 percent each of merlot and petit verdot, this wine is ready to drink now, with about an hour of decanting, or cellar it for 20 years. It’s gorgeous and full with dark berries, forest floor, leather, and spice. Don’t spend tons of time cooking; this wine will be the star of the meal.”

Filed under
Show Comments