Dec 04 2009

Wonderfully Wintry Wines

Holiday Wine Glasses

While very few welcome winter with open arms, there is something undeniably charming about softly falling snow, the tiny white lights glittering from trees lining the streets, and the general warm fuzziness of family and friends around the holidays. In Chicago especially, there are tons of wintry events going on to keep the holiday cheer at full throttle, and we at Just Grapes have wines that go with winter goings-on of all kinds, from shopping to skating to snowball-throwing.

Now is the ideal time to grab someone you don’t mind falling over in front of and partaking in the free ice skating at Millennium Park, where you can lace up your skates and practice your triple axles in the center of the ice to the awe and admiration of a rink full of onlookers (or, more likely, clinging desperately to the wall at the edges like I do). Either way, good times are had, and they’re made exponentially better by warming up with a post-skate bottle of the toasty 2004 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon. This big, dense Cab is like chocolate, cherry and black jelly beans rolled into one deeply complex and delicious wine. It even displays notes of coffee and something that reminds me of dried leaves. Bottom line, this yummy Cab is sure to bring some warmth after a day at the rink.

What’s December without cookies? Pretty lame, I say. Whether it’s gingerbread men, meringues or just plain ol’ sugar cookies, decorating those babies with everything from traditional sugary snowflakes to (my favorite) icing caricatures of your best friends make sweet-and-silly gifts. And what goes perfect with gingerbread? Tempranillo, of course! The ripe, red berries of our 2005 Solabal will compliment the gingery cookie, while the notes of baking spices in this gorgeous Rioja with underscore the spiciness of the confection. Que delicioso!

Physically, mentally and emotionally, holiday shopping is on par with running a marathon. In heels. As a Sumo wrestler. The stress of picking out the perfect gift for a listful of loved ones, wrestling the savage crowds at department stores, and coming to terms with the fact that your credit card has melted into a warm, pliable version of itself before your very eyes is enough to drive anyone insane. So after a long, hard day of mall-hopping, why not crack open a bottle of 2008 Andrian Pinot Bianco? This crisp white with its peachy, apple, and honeyed pear notes will leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the 6AM Best Buy lines.

Cooking for a family of five is work enough, but when aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and everyone’s boyfriend or girlfriend comes along, preparing a holiday feast can be downright laborious. Our lovely 2009 Maquis Calcu rose is sure to ease some of that tension. With touches of strawberry and ripe berries, along with a little bit of spice, this crisp and citrusy rose is just enough to take the edge off without mixing up the salt and the sugar.

The Chicago Loop Alliance’s Winter Wonderloop is sponsoring the Merry Mistletoe Gallery. Holiday elves will be roaming the Loop for the month of December dangling sprigs of mistletoe over unsuspecting Loop-goers. Their resulting smooch will be displayed on their online gallery for all of Chicago to see. Grab some of our Rosenblum Desiree dessert wine to make your kisses that much sweeter. This chocolately Zinfandel blend is jam-packed with vanilla, cherry and a smidge of coconut. Surprisingly light-bodied, this dessert wine is a perfect way to end an evening.

There’s tons to do around the city during the holidays, and Just Grapes has the perfect wine to go with it! Stop in the shop to see the other wintry wines we have in stock.

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