“Life has a way of confusing us, blessing and bruising us,” sing Tevye and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, cheersing a joyous occasion even as their village is consumed by poverty and pogrom. “It gives you something to think about, something to drink about,” they conclude. In that spirit, we asked sommelier friends in the restaurant industry: How should we toast the holidays in this most confusing year?
While some of our traditional feasts and fêtes may not be in the cards, we can still gather more intimately, and for those we can’t be with, we can send our love—mindful that they’d prefer to receive it in wine or spirits form. So here’s the advice drinks pros from Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning spots around the country and beyond gave us on bottles they’d recommend for small parties or even quieter celebrations still big on vinous exuberance. And for those in our lives residing farther away, they offer tips on bottles and accessories to gift, to enthusiastic newbies, to our longest-aged friends, to the person who has every wine.
From vintage Armagnac to monster Champagne bottles, from rare dessert wines to ancient cuvées to a wineglass holder for your shower, here’s what they’ll be pouring and wrapping this holiday season. To life!
What to Pop … for a Socially Distanced Party