DOWNTOWN: Entertain Like An Expert with Top Wine Picks from The Hay-Adams to Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season
|Decoration at The Hay Adams|
“The holidays are the time to experience all the joys of the season with those we cherish,” says Hans Bruland. “What better way to engage and spark lively conversations than to raise a glass together?”
From a great everyday white wine, to an impressive Champagne, one is sure to find something for everyone’s tastes among these recommendations. Here are Bruland’s top picks, with his tasting notes and estimated retail pricing.
For a versatile holiday white wine try Hubert Brochard Sancerre 2015 - ($18-20). Made with Sauvignon Blanc, wines from Sancerre taste crisp and clean, with echoes of fresh herbs in the bouquet and flavors resembling citrus fruits. “This is always a winner and very consistent in its quality,” Bruland notes. “I prefer this wine over any other Sauvignon Blanc made in the new world or California. It has purpose and it is not a clone of what we traditionally perceive and taste in all the other ‘new’ brands. This is a wine that stands up to turkey and pairs well with seafood and cheeses.”
A stunning local red wine for the season is an exceptional Bordeaux-styled blend from Virginia, Barboursville Octagon 2013 - ($40-50). A gold medalist in national and international competitions for several years already, Octagon is made with a selection of estate-grown grapes from the winery’s vineyards near Charlottesville, only two hours away from DC. “I take this to all my holiday parties because it rivals any Bordeaux and it’s local, arguably the best wine produced in Virginia (in my humble opinion). Winegrower Fernando Franco, and wine Maker Luca Pashina, are the gurus of fine winemaking in this region.”
For special toasts and New Year’s Eve celebrations, Bruland favors Billecart - Salmon Brut Reserve NV - ($45-55). Made with all three Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this graceful cuvée is elegantly textured and tastes very fresh, served well chilled. “While not inexpensive, this is a great value. There is nothing better at this price point, and it comes in a bottle designed to impress.”
As the evening winds down, Bruland enjoys Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Porto ($45-55).
Superbly balanced and elegant, with flavors of dried apricot, butterscotch and white chocolate, it is a magnificent and finely-balanced old tawny blend of outstanding richness and complexity. Bruland shares, “The long and zesty finish is filled with smoke and toffee, a great Port to linger over in front of the fireplace and discus the better things in life…!”
The Hay-Adams is located at 800 16th Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006,