What's New in December

Winter in the Basque Country

Wines for the Holidays

This holiday season try some unique wines for your celebrations. Here are three very rare, limited release wines that we'll be enjoying during holiday feasts.

La Cigarrera Manzanilla en Rama NV
En Rama means straight from the cask. This rare bottling was drawn in November of this year and bottled unfiltered. Only 10 cases exist. This is my attempt to approach the magic of tasting in the cellars in Sanlucar de Barremeda.

Chéreau Carré, Le Clos du Château l'Oisilinière 2003
Muscadet aged 34 months on the lees and bottled unfiltered. This special Clos is the top bottling from Chéreau Carré. From a fifty year old parcel of vines on orthogneiss soils facing southeast on the Sèvre river. Only fifty cases imported.

Viña Sastre, Pago de Santa Cruz Gran Reserva 1995
This wine is a reflection of times past. Old wood, and over 42 month of it, produces a quintessential Spanish wine. Bought directly from the estate this winter. 1995 is one of my favorite vintages from Sastre and the first I ever tasted.

Also New...

2009 Cocktail Contest: Sherry

Our 2009 Cocktail Contest is now over. Thank you to everyone who submitted a cocktail. We will taste through all of the submission this month and announce a winner in January. The winner will receive a hand painted porron from this year's guest artist: Mike Jakob of the Elliot Street Deli & Pub in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are the final submissions of the year:

Peace of the Pyrenees
By Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar in New York, NY

1.75 oz Cerbois Bas Armagnac
0.6 oz Mathilde Black Currant Liqueur
0.7 oz El Maestro Sierra Oloroso
Combine all ingredients with ice and stir. Pour into a martini glass with luxardo marachino cherry in the bottom. Flame an orange twist on top and wipe the rim of the glass, discard the twist.

Elkano
By Alexandra R. of Txikito in New York, NY

2 oz Celery Syrup
2 oz Fino Elcano
Club Soda
Celery Seed Sugar
Rim a rocks glass or similar tumbler with celery seed sugar and fill with ice. Add chilled celery syrup and chilled Fino Elcano. Finish with club soda and garnish with a large twist.