12 Wines for the Holidays: The All Purpose Red

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2016 Domaine Brusset Laurent B, Cotes du Rhone, France $14

What are the characteristics of a good do-it-all holiday red? It should be light enough to sip casually without food but robust and versatile enough to pair with a wide array of dishes, be something interesting and fun to give aways as a gift but also priced within reason so you can buy several bottles. The Domaine Brusset Laurent B Cotes du Rhone fits all of the above criteria and then some. The Laurent B is named after the energetic and dynamic Laurent Brusset whose grandfather, Andre Brusset, founded the domaine in 1947. I’ve long admired the Domaine’s wines, in particular their various bottlings of Gigondas from their highly prized Montmirail parcel (check out the video below). The Laurent B is a more humbly priced blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignane and Mourvedre. Grenache is often mistaken for Pinot Noir in blind tastings as it is relatively light in color and tannins but the Syrah and Carignane help fill out the texture adding additional smoke and black pepper notes. The Mourvedre contributes a sour cherry funkiness that gives the wine additional depth and complexity. All-in-all you end up with a style that is drinkable on its own but pairs easily with everything from cheese and charcuterie to cocktail meatballs and spinach dip. And at $14 it’s something that will bring out your inner Oprah where everyone gets a bottle!

Video highlighting Domaine Brusset. It’s in French but it offers a nice visual tour of the winery and their breathtaking estate in the village of Cairanne.

Available at Perman Wine Selections

Alpana Singh