I’m Dreaming of a Red (Wine) Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Red (Wine) Christmas

While the white fluffy stuff looks pretty as it softly dances in the air and touches to the ground, nothing is better than sitting inside your home in a favorite chair in front of a roaring fire with a glass of red wine.

This holiday season, City Vino will be offering a “dreamy” six-bottle gift box of red wines from South America that will allow you to sit inside in the warmth for many a winter day. All for a mere $69. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! The gift box includes two bottles each of three different red varietal wines – Carménère, Shiraz, and Malbec – so there should be something to satisfy the palate of every red wine drinker. 

Bring the gift box topped with a bow to a holiday party, Christmas eve, Christmas day, or perhaps the New Year’s Eve celebration. Dream up an excuse to open a bottle. Feel free to divide the box up and bring some to gatherings, share some with family or friends, and save the rest for yourself! All is fair in love and wine. Or is it? You decide! 

Two of our “dreamy red” wines are from the Viña Cantaluna Winery located in Chimbarongo City in the Colchagua Valley in Chile. The winery was created by a group of friends who have owned vineyards through the best regions in the country. They formed their own society whereby they could bring together all of their winegrowing, winemaking, and business knowledge into a single winery. Their goal is to produce high quality wines that are both approachable and affordable.

The first “dreamy red” wine is 2012 Viña Cantaluna Carménère Reserva, from the Colchagua Valley, in Chile, is made from 100 percent Carménère. The wine is indeed a 2012 vintage, and will be best served after about 45 minutes in a decanter to allow it to open up (breathe). Carménère’s roots are in Bordeaux, but its notoriety comes from Chile. Despite its age, the wine shows aromas and flavors of ripe red fruit, leather, black pepper, earth, smoke, herbs, and some vegetal notes like tomato leaf. The wine truly shows some of the complexities that comes with a wine that has aged. For pairings, we suggest playing off the vegetal notes by having it with pepper-based BBQ, stuffed green peppers, and grilled meat with a side of dark leafy green—especially if sauteed in smoky bacon. 

Our next “dreamy red” wine is the 2014 Viña Cantaluna Shiraz, from the same winery as the Carménère, and is also from the Colchagua Valley. The wine is 100 percent Shiraz (Syrah). This full-bodied wine features aromas and flavors of black and red fruit, black pepper, leather, and smoke. Only 5 percent of the wine was aged in new oak, so the fruit and other flavors are not dominated by oak characteristics like vanilla, coconut, nuttiness, or caramel. This is a wine that will shine with roasted beef, lamb, or poultry. 

The final wine in our gift box of “dreamy red” wines is the 2015 Marco Zunio CasaZur Reserve Malbec, from Mendoza, in Argentina. This is another varietal wine, and is made from 100 percent Malbec. The aroma features that soft characteristic tone of violets that is often detected in wines made from Malbec, along with dark fruit, cocoa powder, and earth. For this wine, we suggest playing off the earthy flavors by pairing it with dishes featuring mushrooms, game meats, blue cheese, or funky, rich cow or goat’s milk cheeses.

Right now, we are definitely dreaming of a burger topped with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese, paired with one of these red wines. Oh Santa, we’ve been very, very good. Honest!


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