8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to stock up on your favorite wines for gifts, holiday gatherings and cozy nights in. I keep a variety of wines at home for any occasion and I love sharing and discovering new wines. Here are 8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season!

WINTER WHITES

Enjoying white wines in the summertime are a no-brainer but did you know there are some rich, full-bodied white wines that are bold, warming, and pair beautifully with winter dishes? There is truly a wine out there for any occasion and time of year! Here are some of the best white wines to drink in cold weather and toast to the winter season recommended from Vineyard Brands:

Four recommended white wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio to enjoy this winter! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

From left to right:

1. Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 (SRP $13.99)

Made by the legendary Famille Perrin, producers of Château de Beaucastel, this Côtes du Rhône is made from traditional varietals including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. The Perrin family are masters in blending, and these particular Rhône varietals offer richer tastes. Round and supple in the mouth with minerality, this wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.

2. Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino 2018 (SRP $16.99)

Not only does the Pecorino grape grow well in cooler setting, it also is a varietal that is perfect for drinking in cooler settings. Produced by Umani Ronchi in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy, this wine has high aroma concentration, good alcohol content, and wonderful acidity. It’s food friendly while maintaining fullness on the palate.

3. Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc 2017 (SRP $28.99)

A family-run Domaine in the heart of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or, Domaine Matrot vineyards are farmed and harvested organically. This 100% Chardonnay is fruity and round, but still with the rich taste for which Chardonnay is known. With fruit sourced near Meursault, this unoaked wine is not only an excellent value but a great representation of Burgundian Chardonnay.

4. Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2017 (SRP $45.00)

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is a blend of five estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. With core richness provided by Roussanne, anise flavors and a lush mouthfeel from the Grenache Blanc, and a saline minerality from the Picpoul Blanc, this blend has spicy notes and rich texture that make it ideal for cooler temperatures. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a beautiful example of the heights Côtes du Rhône varietals can reach in the United States.

Here’s a tip per Vineyard Brands: When choosing a white wine to drink in cold temperatures look for a wine that is weightier on the palate to stand up against hearty dishes.

VIBRANT REDS

No matter how crazy your holiday shopping gets, here is one thing to have on your shopping gift list: a bottle of Montecucco from Tuscany! It is the ideal gift to surprise everyone, from the most curious wine geek to the longtime Italy aficionado or simply the wine lover searching for the best wine buys. Crafted with extreme care and dedication by small family-owned wineries, these hidden gems represent an undiscovered treasure, a perfect gift and holiday meal companion, thanks to their high quality and affordable price.

5. Parmoleto Montecucco Rosso DOC (SRP $20)

Montecucco, a small region nestled in the Maremma area, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations, is the new star of Tuscan wine. Considered one of the best rising expressions of Sangiovese, Montecucco Rosso DOC is a blend of three grapes: 70% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes about Montecucco’s wines: Their vibrant acidity, medium to full-bodied profile with hints of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, elegant tannins and a flavorful long finish, make them great pairings with grilled meats like veal and pork, game, black and white truffles, mushroom soup, pasta with meat sauce or Ragu’ and Pecorino cheese.

SOMETHING SWEET

In the not so far past Moscato was an obscure niche wine that was not well known. Those days are over. This grape has seen it’s popularity soar over the past 20 years. Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark, offers a beautiful Moscato that is very accessible for all.

6. Member’s Mark Moscato D’Asti (RP $9.98)

The grapes from the Member’s Mark Moscato d’Asti are hand-harvested and grown in a combination of limestone and sandstone soils from the cool, hilly Asti region. Moscato d’Asti is fresh, fragrant, and frizzante with vibrant flavors and aromas of ripe stone fruit, tangerines and honey. The wine is concentrated and flavorful, but not overly rich or heavy; sweet, yet balanced.

Did you knowThe Moscato d’Asti appellation is located within the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. In 1993, it earned Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status, Italy’s highest wine classification—reserved for the country’s most classic, expressive wines.

BUBBLY CELEBRATIONS

As the year comes to an end, there is one thing that comes to mind when celebrating: Sparkling Wine. It’s so lovely sipping on bubbly anytime but especially this time of year!

7. Member’s Mark Champagne (RP $19.98)

Most people use the term “Champagne” as a generic word for any sparkling wine. Some may be surprised to know that it is actually illegal to label any product Champagne unless it comes from the French region called Champagne and it must produced under the rules of that appellation. This king of grapes does not have to always break the bank either. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark label has a Brut that is both delicious and reasonably priced. Notes of apple and pear are found in this wonderful wine. Champagne has a unique neutral taste that goes with, well almost any dish whether cheese or chicken. December 31 is National Champagne Day so make sure to raise your glass this New Year’s Eve or any eve with a flute of Member’s Mark Champagne!

8. Member’s Mark Prosecco (RP $7.98)

Often thought of as Champagne’s first cousin, Prosecco has a life all of it’s own! The grapes are from a particular region in Italy called Veneto. Prosecco is meant to be consumed young and once it is bottled, no aging necessary. Member’s Mark ASOLO-PROSECCO D.O.C. hails from the Aslo Appellation of Italy within Veneto. With low residual sugar this Prosecco is vibrant and refreshing to the palate. Having spent time in Italy, I can attest that Prosecco is the main sparkling wine of choice that native Italians enjoyed quite often and now we can too!

Quick Refresher: Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark brand has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices..many under $10! Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few.

Now that you have learned about these great 8 wines, which one or more are you most interested in gifting or taking to a gathering this holiday? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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Get ‘Glam In Grey’ for the Holidays with #BeautyFinds from @SallyHansen + @RimmelLondonUS

On Sunday, I had a date night with Hubby and this Mom got a chance to step out in some heels and get glammed up a bit for a night of fun at the Xscape concert! This female group had alot of hits in the 90’s, so I went for a 2017 version of a grunge look. That night, I got quite a bit of compliments on my lippie of choice and thought I’d share with you how you can get ‘Glam in Grey’ for the holidays with the most beautiful nail and lip colors from Sally Hansen and Rimmel London!

Grey is the perfect must have neutral for the season and was one of the top colors seen on the runways as the must have autumn shade. Both Rimmel London and Sally Hansen have adorable holiday offerings and I thought the following items would be great as stocking stuffers for the beauty in your life. Take a look at how you can easily access the grey color trend with these products: 
 

RIMMEL LONDON

Get ready for a bold, matte lip-look that stays on. Rimmel London introduces Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour, a new liquid lipstick with high-intensity colour, a velvety matte finish and a long-lasting, comfortable wear. 

Creamy, soft blendable formula, easily sharpened tip and high impact lasting color. 

This beautiful shadow is silky smooth and has high impact colour for all day wear. The ultra-blendable formula comes in a range of finishes from mattes, shimmers, to high glitter. 

SALLY HANSEN

The #1 no light gel system!* In just two easy steps get up to 14 days of color and shine. More chip-resistant than regular nail polish!

Insta-Dri® fast-dry nail polish is formulated with a base and top coat for extended wear and stunning shine all in one coat! Features a unique brush that contours to the nail for a smooth, easy application

I hope you are inspired to treat yourself or someone else with these beauty finds so you too can be ‘Glam in Grey’ for the holidays! Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: Products were provided for review purposes. Opinions are my own and this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of the links in my post, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. 

#FiveForFriday | 5 Childrens Books to Gift this Christmas #holidaygiftguide

Disclosure: This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of the links in my post, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

It’s almost Christmas and when it comes to shopping for our 6 year old or any other young children in our lives, I prefer to give the gift of reading. BOOKS make great gifts because no matter what your child enjoys, there is nothing like a new book to read to themselves, to you, to their favorite stuffed animal, for you to read to them at night, to take along on a trip..the ways to enjoy a book are endless! If you are ready to rebuild your home library with the best books for your little ones, ages 4-8, then this Amazon list is a great place to start! 

  • ELI’s 1st WINTER CARNIVAL by Lisa Bowen 

 This book will have you excited for Winter, as Little Eli enjoys making snow angels, and helping his family make a silly snowman at his first winter carnival! The joys of winter fun and quality time with family are wonderfully illustrated in this 36 page book for recommended for age level: Birth-8, grade level: preschool – 5.

       

  • Smarty Locks and the Unforgettable Zoo by Marilyn Harary

This rhyming book inspired our recent trip to the NC Zoo and my latest hair do..lol! Smarty Locks is so excited for her class trip to the zoo, but when plans change she comes up with a clever plan of what to do! The lesson of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is loud and clear for young readers ages 5-8 and their parents to hear! 

  • I Just Kept Spinning by Destini Berry

As a young black girl who enjoys ballet herself, my daughter was thrilled to receive this diverse book. The author, who is 18 years old, retells an inspirational story based on true experiences of overcoming discrimination when she was 7 years old. I Just Kept Spinning relays an important message that no matter how you wear your hair, or what you look like, to have self-love and always follow your dreams!

    • No Chimney? No Problem! by Jodi Wojtowicz

    If you ever had a child ask, “If our house has no chimney, how will Santa get in?” ..this book will answer the question! Prior to Christmas Eve, give this boxed gift set which includes a hardcover, dust jacketed copy of the book and keepsake key and ribbon. We plan to start a new family tradition of hanging this decorative Santa key on the door and unlock the magic this year! This book gift set is available for purchase at www.nochimney.com. Use discount code  ‘NOCHIMNEY10BT’ from 10/23-11/30. 

    • Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards

    We loved this picture book which not only spoke to our love of travel and food but celebrates culture and diversity! When Giovanni learns his grandmother is serving ‘rice and rock’ to his friends who are coming over for Sunday dinner, he worries they will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. However, he discovers other places where people eat rice and rocks too and that its these delicious similarities that bring us all together!

     

      There are so many amazing books our daughter read this year that I would recommend to give as a gift but these were her favorite five. On #outandaboutAva ‘s Christmas wish list this year is Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vasht Harrison (avail for pre-order now on Amazon).

      So if you are reading this Santa, she has been a good girl and would love this book! Check out a sneak peek of the book >>here.

      Be sure to follow along on social media at #outandaboutAvareads to see what books she has reviewed + stay tuned for giveaways!

      Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

      WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU GIFTING TO A YOUNG READER OR YOURSELF THIS HOLIDAY? Comment Below 📚


      #FoodieFriday Last Minute Holiday Gifts + Giveaway @gmtgiftbaskets Gourmet Gift Baskets Review

      Disclosure: I received products for review and promotional giveaway in exchange for my honest opinion
      ​It’s the holiday season. Christmas carols being sung, Celebrating Kwanzaa and Menorah’s being lit. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter your faith, there is one binding force that we all love… GIFTS !! There is only one thing more rewarding and gleeful than receiving a special gift, and that is actually GIVING a unique gift to that special someone. 

      Finding that unique gift for that particular person on your list is always a challenge — especially as the clock counts down to the holidays. But given the huge selection of offerings that GourmetGiftBaskets.com and KingOfPOP.com provide for every member of the family, the office, or even the neighborhood, it makes sense to take a good look at their latest and greatest items. Hundreds of choices abound, including: 25 different cheesecake flavors, almost 100 different popcorn flavors, beer buckets, cake pops, wine suitcases, towers, upscale baskets, and more. And there are many new and updated items for the holidays and beyond!

      My husband is the King of Brunch as he loves to cook breakfast for me and our daughter. So I thought the perfect gift for my Top Chef would be the Christmas Breakfast Gift Basket . 

      This basket defies description. Imagine you wake up one cold morning with a bear’s appetite. Well this basket literally has the making of a breakfast for champions. All the items are what makes this part of our nation so special. Their website describes it as the following: “Inside a gorgeous basket, your recipient will discover delicious foods, like Maine’s juiciest blueberries, New Hampshire’s sweetest maple syrup, and Broadbent’s hickory-smoked pepper bacon, creating a lovely gift that’s guaranteed to make any morning unforgettable. ” The basket also had pancake/waffle mix and coffees, scone mix and jams. Simply incredible. Here is how it looks out the box:

      I can’t wait for Christmas morning to unwrap and make a fantabulous Christmas breakfast with my family as my little one shreds gift wrapping all around the living room ! I’ll be sure to share some Christmas Brunch pics via @SobeSavvy !

      With Christmas almost here and New Year’s around the corner, the perfect gift for anyone ready to celebrate is bubbly! 

      I received this Toasting to the New Year Gift Basket and was impressed by how quick the shipment came and how beautiful the handcrafted basket was.This basket came in a keepsake steel wired basket filled with La Marca Prosecco , gourmet crackers and cheeses and Dolcetto Chocolate Wafer Bites. This would make a great hostess gift and today I am giving one away for 1 luck winner to enjoy!

      Simply comment below and share what items you would like to receive in your dream gift basket! Winner selected at random 12/20/16 at noon. Good Luck !