Wine Recommendations: The Wines We Love to Give ... and Keep!

Total Wine Professionals are our most knowledgeable team members on the subject of wine, and they’ve put in the work. Candidates for the title devote months of intensive study to the subject of the best wines, winemakers and winegrowing areas throughout the world. Once they’ve passed seven written exams with a score of 90 or above, they’re presented with TWP pins and black aprons. Look for them in your local Total Wine & More store, where you can ask for personalized wine recommendations. And check online regularly for new picks from our Total Wine Professionals.

Jen Curry Jen Curry Greesnboro, North Carolina

Gerd Anselmann Pfalz Dornfelder

“...one of the most versatile reds for food pairings.”

Dornfelder is the new Pinot Noir! This delightfully light and easy to drink Dornfelder from the Pflaz area of Germany offers bright red fruit flavors and is refreshing and smooth on the palate. Dornfelder is a little known grape but is actually one of the most versatile reds for food pairings. I consider it a great selection to compliment your Thanksgiving feast. It is marvelous on its own as well and I recommend serving it slightly chilled.

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Tom Rogan Tom Rogan Richmond, Virginia

Armani Valpolicella Ripasso

“It’s a steal at $19.99.”

Looking for a smooth, easy-drinking red or a great Italian wine to serve during your holiday meals? Look no further and treat yourself to this “baby Amarone”. Crafted from the Corvina grape and allowed to comingle or “repass” on the dried grape skins of Amarone … Ripasso’s are wonderfully unique and so enjoyable! This beauty is wonderful on its own but also pairs perfectly with any Italian meal. It’s a steal at $19.99.

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Anastasia Lamer Anastasia Lamer Kennesaw, Georgia

Mascota Vineyards La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

“Ripe, fresh and medium-bodied ...a joy to drink.”

Looking for the best Cabernet in the store for under $15? I would highly recommend this nicely balanced and charming offering from Mascota Vineyards. Ripe, fresh and medium-bodied, this Argentinian Cabernet delights the senses and is such a joy to drink. This is the perfect Cabernet for entertaining. You can serve your guests with confidence knowing they will enjoy every sip. It would also make a great stocking stuffer for the wine fans in your life!

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Laura Jost Laura Jost Stuart, Florida

Maipe Malbec Reserve, 2012

“This is a rich, full-throttle red...”

American consumers are crazy about Malbec! Maipe’s Reserve is a stunning example of what this popular grape can achieve. This is a rich, full-throttle red with heaps of fruit intensity yet it glides over the palate with silkiness and the finish is everlasting and smooth. I highly recommend this beauty to any red wine fan. It would be a great host/hostess gift over the holiday season or a delightful wine to sip and savor by the fireplace with friends and family.

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Tim Klein Tim Klein Albuquerque, New Mexico

Liberalia Toro Tres, 2009

“It pairs beautifully with Spanish and Italian dishes...”

Looking for an alternative to Rioja? This delicious red is crafted from 100% Tinta de Toro, or more simply Tempranillo. The Tres is a scrumptious and full-bodied red wine which was aged in 100% new French oak for 8 months. It is big, dense and savory but also exudes elegance and refinement as it cascades over the palate. It pairs beautifully with Spanish and Italian dishes and is a great gift for $17.99.

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Amber LeBeau Amber LeBeau Lynnwood, Washington

Sheridan Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima, 2011

“...an alluring bouquet with an astonishingly long finish.”

If you are a fan of luxurious red wine look no further than Scott Greer’s stunning Cabernet from the Yakima Valley. Impeccably balanced, this lush Cabernet offers an alluring bouquet with an astonishingly long finish. It cascades over the palate with a velvety texture and is marvelous at $29.99. I recommend this beauty to fans of fuller-bodied red wines. It is outstanding on its own but will enhance heartier dishes featuring wild game.

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Martin Kelly Martin Kelly Naples, Florida

Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon

“Nicely balanced with aromas and flavors of cherries and plums...”

This smooth and delicious Cabernet is crafted by Bill Batchelor from Cabernet Sauvignon grown within the warmer areas of the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Mountain appellations. Nicely balanced with aromas and flavors of cherries and plums, this is a red one can open and share with confidence at any holiday gathering and it also pairs beautifully with an array of red meat dishes. This is also my top pick for a host or hostess gift.

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Ryan Waters Ryan Waters Raleigh, North Carolina

Avenel Cellars Napa Red

“Big in flavor and body but wonderfully light in tannins...”

Handcrafted by Marco DiGiulio, this delicious red is a marvelous blend of the traditional Bordeaux varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot. I would highly recommend this wonderfully balanced and structured red for those in search of Meritage. Big in flavor and body but wonderfully light in tannins, I would recommend drinking the Avenel Red on its own or enjoy it with hearty stews or any red meat dish. A deal at $19.99.

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