Your friendly neighborhood wine shop is the perfect resource for fleshing out your wine wish list, as well as making other people’s wine wishes come true. Whether you’re looking for the perfect Chardonnay, an epic Cabernet Sauvignon, or anything in between, these folks have your back. But have you ever wondered what the professionals are coveting for themselves?
Wonder no more. We asked nine sommeliers across the world to share the epic bottles on their own holiday wish lists. Some went for stately, age-worthy Pinot Noir while others went for less conventional favorites from their go-to regions. Unsurprisingly, several are seeking Champagne, and there’s even a dessert wine in the mix. Read on to hear the pros wax poetic about the wines they’re wishing for in 2023.
The wines on sommeliers’ holiday wish lists in 2023:
- Cruse Wine Co. Cuvee Tradition
- Jacques Lassaigne Millesime
- Fiorduva Costa d’Amalfi Furore Bianco 2021
- Roche Audran Châteauneuf du Pape 2020
- Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Laurène 2014
- Domaine Les Conques Casa 2008
- La Grange De L’Oncle Charles La Montagne du Scarabee
- Beckham “Creta” Pinot Noir 2021
- Domaine Les Monts Fournois, Côte Cramant Grand Cru 2016
“I don’t think that I’m one for the seasonality of drinking, which is why I love crisp whites and especially sparkling wines as the weather turns colder. A wine that has particularly caught my attention this year is Cruse Wine Co. Cuvee Tradition with its bruised apple and honeycomb nose that is masterfully balanced by acidity on the palate with just the right amount of cut.” —Eric Moorer, sommelier, Gemini, Washington, D.C.
“Jacques Lassaigne is consistently one of my favorite grower Champagne houses, but Millesime is particularly captivating. It’s got this intensely savory, bready, miso, hazelnut thing going on that works so well with the fine bubbles and threads of saline minerality. It pairs really well with nibbling on those plates of marcona almonds, stinkier cheeses, mushroom pates, and tourtieres — girl dinner! — I tend to have around in the winter weather.” —Kate Dingwall, writer and sommelier at Dreyfus, Toronto
“I love wines from our beautiful Amalfi Coast, namely from Marisa Cuomo‘s winery. Their Furore Bianco Fiorduva is a lovely wine that lends itself well to the slightly more complex dishes of the holidays. It’s produced with native coastal vines which undergo a small passage in barrels to make it a little more complex, [and has] beautiful freshness given by the volcanic soils of the region.” —Marianna Romano, head sommelier, Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi, Italy
“I’m excited to try the Roche Audran Châteauneuf du Pape 2020 this holiday season. As we enter the colder months and spend more time with family and friends, this wine serves as the perfect bridge — a delightful choice for both myself and those in my circle who may not be well versed in wine. With its deep, silky, purple fruit and full-bodied profile, it exudes hints of earthy spices and finesse. This wine is bound to bring a smile of joy to anyone who experiences it.” —Marquis Williams, founder of Highly Recommended NYC, NYC
“Pinot Noir has always been one of my favorites, but especially this time of year because it’s a high-end wine that pairs richly with a delicious Christmas dinner. If I had to request one bottle specifically, it would be the 2014 Pinot Noir Laurène from Domaine Drouhin.” —Sergio Madera, sommelier and food & beverage supervisor at Hotel San Cristóbal, Todos Santos, Mexico
“Whether pairing with roasted chestnuts, Iberico ham, Vietnamese caramel fish, basque cheesecake, or Peking duck, I reach for rancio. This one from Domaine Les Coques, made from 70-year-old-vine Grenache Gris and Macabeu aged for 10 years in barrels, offers the bittersweetness of tawny orange marmalade with toasted baking spice, unlit cigars aromatics,and bracing saline acidity.” —Saman Hosseini, wine buyer, Domestique Wine, Washington, D.C.
“La Grange de l’Oncle La Montagne du Scarabée is a solera-method wine made from a regional Alsatian blend of 35- to 55-year-old vines, including Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer with a world of flavor. It’s intentionally sherry-like and surprisingly smoky, with notes of dried stone fruit and wonderful minerality. It’s perfect for aperitif hour by the fireplace with salty, pungent cheeses, but would also pair beautifully with duck l’orange or even fresh, briny oysters.” —Leif Huckman, Beverage Director at INNESS, Accord, N.Y.
“This holiday, I’m asking Santa for a bottle of 2021 Beckham Creta Pinot Noir. It’s dry-farmed on Jory volcanic soils with rotating sheep and chickens on the property, then fermented and aged in terracotta vessels which Andrew Beckham fabricates himself on-site. It is unfined, utilizes native yeast fermentation, and [has] minimal sulfites added. The result is a wine that is a magical exemplar of Oregon-grown Pinot Noir, but also [remains] unique in its own right.” —Jorge Rodas, Wine Curator, The Columns and Fives, New Orleans
“I love a Champagne gift during December so I can pop it on New Years. Cliché, I know, but I love it! Creamy, candied lemon bubbles make me feel like I am dancing in “The Nutcracker.” Juliette Alips of Domaine Les Monts Fournois is a sweetie, and her Côte Cramant Grand Cru 2016 should be on everyone’s Champagne wish list.” —Lauren Werst, Wine Director, Casino and Casetta, NYC