For: Party Host
Sparkling Blanc de Blancs 2009, Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, Middleburg
Greenhill, which opened last fall on the former Swedenburg Estate property, offers this sparkler made with 100-percent Chardonnay grapes. Consulting winemaker Sebastien Marquet applied méthode champenoise, fermenting it first in stainless, barrel-aging for nearly two years and finishing the second fermentation in the bottle. This process revealed delicate bubbles, a nutty nose and creamy pour for a wine that won Best in Show (sparkling) earlier this year at the Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition in California.
For: Italian Lover
2013 Calabrese Pinot Grigio, Three Fox Vineyards, Delaplane
Owner-winemaker John Todhunter gives the skin of his estate-grown Pinot Grigio grapes lots of time with the juice during crush—a Northern Italian winemaking tactic—yielding this racy, refreshing wine with tons of citrus and apricot aroma. A great start to a meal and excellent with a naughty bowl of pasta flavored in garlic and cream. Your favorite Pinot Grigio drinker will never go back to Cavit.
For: Digital Native
#SocialSecret White 2012, Tarara Winery, Leesburg
Winemaker Jordan Harris and his team were early adopters of promotion via social media, including a series of secret blends only discussed on Twitter and Facebook. The current white release is an herbaceous blend of Chardonnay and Rkatsiteli and ready to drink now.
For: Harry Potter Fan
2011 Maple Reserve Special Dark, Cobbler Mountain Cellars, Delaplane
Cobbler Mountain is full of magic, especially in the airy barrel cellar where you’re invited to taste reserve wines out of tiny glass coupes under the watchful eyes of the winery’s Hedwigs—a pair of white, stuffed owls. Three bottles feature maple syrup from a family farm in Vermont, including this special, fizzy blend of syrup and Cabernet Franc. Try it with blue cheese and dried fruit or use it as a glaze for holiday meats.
For: Your Sweet One
2012 Claire, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, Leesburg
This late harvest Petit Manseng packs 7 percent residual sugar and is rich with honey and tropical fruit notes. Pour a taste or sip it alongside dessert or your favorite chocolates, preferably by a roaring fire.
Treats to Accompany a Gift of Wine
Abby Rose Confections
Leesburg chocolatier Abby Mercado’s treats can be found at 8 Chains North Winery, Fabbioli Cellars and Willowcroft. Try the Prime Dark truffle with your favorite red.
Village Winery blends locally grown elderberries into fruit wine, tea, vinaigrette—and a syrup that’s great on dessert.
Cherry’s Cheesecakes & Delights
Ashburn baker Cherryllean Rogers offers cheesecakes in a jar small enough so you don’t have to share, sold at several wine stops including Bluemont Vineyard.
Kingsbury Chocolate Bars
Rob Kingsbury makes flavors with wine in mind. Grab an orange-scented Canneberge bar at Chrysalis Vineyards or Boxwood Winery, and enjoy it with a spicy red.