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Wines to put the par-TAY in your Holiday

Hello everyone! I hope you've been having a great holiday season. I know it's been a few weeks since I've posted reviews, and for that I apologize. We have entered our busy season at the store, and with working extra hours (and moving 150-200 cases of wine each day), I've been coming home late and crashing.

I have the day off, so I get to taste and review some great value wines. These are perfect to serve at your holiday parties—plus they won't break your bank, and you won't be embarrassed to serve them to even your most critical wine friends.

Let's get started!

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First up is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Michael David Winery in Lodi, California. I know many of you are familiar with their red wines, especially their signature red blend "Freakshow," their hugely popular "Seven Deadly Zins," and their delicious "Petite-Petit." These folks also make amazing white wines, as demonstrated in their Sauvignon Blanc. No cutesy name for this one, sorry.

The wine has a very pleasing and intense white flower and lemony citrus nose. On the palate it does not disappoint. Very juicy and slightly acidic, with notes of exotic fruit (kiwi), and lemon grass. This wine is perfect to enjoy with holiday hors d'oeuvres while you stroll around greeting other party goers.

Price range: $13-$17

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Next up for my Chardonnay lovers, I have an early Christmas present for you in the form of Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay.

On the nose the wine greets you with a light but distinctly yellow apple and citrus note, along with the aroma of fresh baked brioche and vanilla. The palate is very refined and elegant for a wine of this price range. Again, the yellow apple fruit is the first thing you will notice, followed by a finish of toasted almond, fresh baked bread and vanilla cream. The wine has a very smooth, velvety creaminess to it, thanks to eight months of sur lie aging. Enjoy it alone or with creamy holiday dishes and turkey.

Price range: $17-$26

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Our first red in this installment comes in the form of an absolutely astounding performing Merlot from Joel Gott.

Neighbor to Duckhorn vineyards, the Joel Gott Merlot could easily be mistaken for the Duckhorn Merlot, a wine which changed my opinion about Merlots.

Similar to Duckhorn, the Joel Gott Merlot has a luscious, deep, dark berry fruit nose of black raspberry and plum and baking spices. On the palate, the wine fills your mouth with nice round, soft tannins, full dark fruit, and a gentle hint of baking spice (I get a slight hit of nutmeg). The finish is silky smooth with delicious black raspberry and a hint of mint sauce. Enjoy this with more delicate meat dishes such as prime rib, filet mignon or duck a l'orange.

Price range: $14-$19

In my next post, you'll wines from Italy, a California Cabernet, and a special pick from Michael Jordan (no, not THAT Michael Jordan).