Wine & Spirits

The Gift of Wine

The Gift of Wine

Wine lovers come in all shapes, sizes, and income brackets. So, to fit the needs of all the wine enthusiasts on your list, we need to bounce around the world a bit. Selection from North Loop Wine & Spirits, 218 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-5393,

House Party

Tresa Rina Ianca 2010 (Sicilia, Italy)
Grape: 70 percent grillo, 30 percent viognier
Price: $13.99
• This choice is medium-bodied with a flowery nose and peach fruit. You’ll want to select a white in the middle so the pinot grigio people like it as well as your chardonnay friends.
Sila-Mencia 2009 (Monterrei, Spain)
Grape: 100 percent mencia
Price: $16.99
• Silky with a little oak and raspberry fruit, this ready-to-drink wine gives you something that big jammy red lovers will like as well as guests who are stuck on pinot noir.

Host/Hostess Gift

Szigeti NV (Burgenland, Austria)
Grape: 100 percent gruner veltliner
Price: $19.99
• Bubbles make people smile, so you can’t go wrong with this thank you gift. With a nice balance of apple fruit and tart acid, it features a unique grape made in a true champagne method. This one over-delivers in the price range.

The New Wine Lover

Lagone “Super Tuscan” 2008
(Tuscany, Italy)
Grape: 50 percent merlot, 22 percent cabernet sauvignon, 25 percent cabernet franc
Price: $21.99
• Lush and complex with dark plum cassis fruit, Super Tuscans are Italy’s version of a Meritage or Bordeaux blend. A good choice for newbies, it will broaden their palate with a different grape blend and maybe a new country.

The Collector or Snob

Blackbird Vineyards Arise 2009
(Napa Valley, CA)
Grape: 53 percent merlot, 25 percent cabernet sauvignon, 22 percent cabernet franc
Price: $66.99
• Wow! This is the same blend as the wine above but with an entirely different style and price. It’s a big, bold, structured wine that I feel a little bad drinking so young (not that bad, though). It will age well and only get better.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at