The Gift of Experiences, Sparkles, and Something White

The Gift of Experiences, Sparkles, and Something White

Once the tryptophan haze from the turkey from Thanksgiving wears off and the big post-T-day sales have eased, we can look ahead to gift giving for Hanukah or Christmas. This week’s blog from City Vino focuses on some potential gifts to give for the upcoming holidays.

One of our favorite types of gifts to give during the holiday season is the gift of time. Time, these days, seems hard to find, and that makes it so very precious when you take time to share an experience with a family member, best friend, or group of friends.

A stroll in Fredericksburg, stopping for a lovely lunch or dinner, and in various shops to see their wares, would make for a wonderful gift. Shopping at small businesses is more fun than at big stores and presents the opportunity to find handcrafted or unusual items. City Vino would be honored during your ventures in Fredburg, if you took a respite from your strolling and shopping to do our Friday or Saturday tasting.

Another potential gift experience is to join City Vino as we host a tasting of bubbly wine on December 29th, at 7:00pm. Our “Sip & Learn: Sparkling Wine – How is the Bubble Put into the Bottle” tasting will be above shop, on the fourth floor, and all proceeds will go to support the Fredericksburg Theatre Ensemble. That makes it the gift that gives twice.

While there is no guarantee that you will win, you could give the gift of a raffle ticket or five, to possibly win a bottle of 2012 Dom Perignon which is valued at $300. This holiday charity raffle has its drawing held on December 20th, and supports the Fredericksburg Area Health and Support Services (FAHASS),  which impacts individual and community health. If you win the raffle, you will be the rockstar in your home, as that bottle graces your holiday table or New Year’s evening. If you do not win, your heart will be warmed by the fact that you have helped others in your own community, and there is not much better than that.

Now let us delve into more wine for gift-giving. Sparkling wines always make a great gift. These wines are always tied to special occasions, but sometimes the occasion is that you opened the bottle and shared it (or not) with someone you care about. Our gift sparkling is the NV Roland Champion Cul du Singe Pinot Meunier Champagne. This Champagne is special because it is made from 100 percent Pinot Meunier, which is normally found in Champagne in a supporting role as a blending partner with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Now we get to the fun discussion of this particular wine, the name “Cul du Singe.” The literal translation from French is “monkey’s butt.” <insert many childlike giggles here> The name comes from the plot of land where the grapes for this wine are grown. The Champion family bought the land in the town of Verneuil, in the Marne Valley, in the 1970s. As father Roland and son François worked the land, an old man from the nearby down stopped and was watching them. The Champion’s asked the man why this parcel of land was named “Cul du Singe.” And from the distributor’s website where the daughter told the story “The old man remained silent for a long time, turned his beret on his head several times and said to them: “Have you ever seen anything grow on a monkey’s ass?” and he left without saying more. For him, Roland and François were two strangers completely mad who wanted to grow a vineyard on this wild land! What a fun story to share while sharing this wine, no?

Still focusing on sparkling wines, let us present one more. In this instance, the wine comes from the Piedmont, in Italy, and is the NV Rinaldi Joyful, in 750 ml (regular sized bottle), and NV Rinaldi Joyful (Magnum), in 1.5 liter bottle. We like big bottles and we cannot lie! The wine is made from 85 percent Barbera, 10 percent Cortese, and 5 percent Moscato, and is slightly off-dry, with a creamy mouthfeel, with flavors of light, fresh orchard fruits. Imagine your guests’ or gift recipient’s surprise as you bring out this beautiful big bottle of bubbly.

Now let us focus on a couple of white wines. Our first white is the 2015 Tegernseerhof Riesling Loibenberg Smaragd, from the Wachau, in Austria. This dry Austrian gem is 100 percent Riesling, and presents notes of honey, orchard fruit, peaches, lemon, lime, and yes, petrol. Smaragd-designated wines are those of the highest quality and that are age-worthy. The term “smaragd” in Austria is the name given to the emerald-colored lizards that sun themselves on the terraces. A nice alternative to a monkey butt!

Our next white and our final wine of this weekly blog is the 2021 Cascina Del Colle Aimé Pecorino, from Abruzzo, in Italy. No, before anyone asks it, this is not made of cheese. The wine hails from the region of Pecorino, and the grape shares the name of the region, and yes, this wine pairs beautifully with its namesake, cheese. Pecorino is a white grape that often displays aromas and flavors of grapefruit and tropical fruits, like guava and passionfruit. Also, you may find ripe peach, white cherries, Asian pears, jasmine flowers, or lemon blossoms. This is a very expressive and engaging wine, and its name “Aimé” translates to Beloved. A lovely wine to share with your own beloved(s).

We hope you have enjoyed our first gift-giving guide of the holiday season. We wish you experiences and the joy of giving wine both sparkling and not. Here is to monkey butts, lizards, and non-cheese beloved wine. Cheers!


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