Monique Soltani Holiday Wine Ideas: CBS Bay Area

As I relaunch my show this season, I thought it would be fun to give you a taste of holiday wines from around the world to help get your holiday party started. From bubbly to books we have every wine lover in your life covered.

Before I started my show I never went anywhere but to work, and that work was typically early mornings in a newsroom. Now I’m lucky enough to travel the world meeting the women and men behind the bottle.

Wine is the through line of Wine Oh TV but at its heart it’s about people, places, how we come together, and what connects us. I hope you and your family make time to connect over a meaningful meal, and have a safe and happy holiday season. 

Holiday Wine Pairings & Gift Ideas

Charles Heidsieck ‘200 Years of Liberty’ Collector Edition Brut Reserve $80

The 2022, Charles Heidsieck is celebrating the 200th birthday of their founder Charles Camille Heidsieck AKA Champagne Charlie. Charlie founded his House in 1822 at 29 years old and was the first owner of a Champagne House to build a market for his wines in America, earning himself the name “Champagne Charlie.” For the 200th anniversary the house did 2 things to celebrate:

  • Launched a new edition of their iconic “Champagne Charlie” champagne – the first release of this wine since 1985. Retail is $700
  • Created a special “Collector Edition” label for their famous Brut Reserve NV in collaboration with French artist Catherine Gran. It honors the founder’s spirit, and sense of adventure. Retail $80
  • This wine is the same as the Brut Reserve and a rich and complex champagne as it has nearly 50% reserve wine in the blend, aged up to 20 years.

PAIRING: Latkes pair perfectly with bubbly. You can make them yourself at home like I did or buy them from Linda’s Gourmet Latkes!

Caviar is another perfect pairing to get the party started. We picked Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, a family own and operated with a sustainable farm located near Sacramento California.

2021 Inspiration Château De Berne $20

Rosé is a saying for a reason so we picked one from Provence, the birthplace of rosé! It’s a crowd-pleaser for a reason it goes with everything from the starter to the finish. This is a great bottle to bring to a party or serve out to your guests to enjoy at your own celebration.

  • Château De Berne Top 100 wine from Wine Enthusiast
  • Square bottle nod to the estate’s history of winemaking dating back to Roman times.
  • Practices sustainable farming techniques (HVE3 certified)
  • 50% Grenache Noir, 30% Cinsault (SAN-SO), 20% Syrah

PAIRING: Cheese board, seafood, fruit salad, everything from Salmon to Margareta pizza.

EVODIA Bodegas San Alejandro $15

Let’s move to Spain to the Aragon region where the drink of Kings and Queens was always Garnacha or Grenache as they call it in France.

  • One of the most widely planted grapes in the world.
  • It’s been growing since the 1030’s at high altitudes and the grapes in this bottle are close to 100 year old vines.
  • Thrives in harsh conditions, The cierzo is a strong, dry and usually cold wind that blows from the North or Northwest through the regions of Aragon, La Rioja and Navarra.
  • This wine from Bodegas San Alejandro has intense black cherry, currant, and raspberry overlay mineral, cedar, and baking spice notes. The palate finishes dry, earthy, and satisfying. This means the alcohol levels are usually above 15%, which adds both body and spice.

PAIRING: Ham, Christmas Tapas like the Spanish classic, the croqueta. Dough balls filled with mashed up jamón, cheese, and potatoes.

1975 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

One of my favorite gifts to give someone who loves wine is a bottle of wine that signifies a special year in their life.

A meaningful vintage like: a wedding anniversary, a child’s birth year, or a birth year bottle. Wine has the unique ability to capture a moment in time, an entire year is alive in a single bottle.

Depending on the age and vintage getting your hands on some of these older bottles can be a monumental task.

I love that Bertani makes accessing to their back vintages as easy as logging on to

What makes Bertani Amarone able to stand the test of time? A question I asked myself when trying to better understand how a bottle of wine which is as old as I am can taste as young as I feel?

Let’s travel now to Northern Italy to Verona. You might know it as the birthplace of Romeo and Juliet but you might not know is at the lowest foothills of the Alps one of the most iconic wines in the world was born: Amarone.

Bertani was born in 1857, before Italy became a Kingdom (1861), and long before it became a country (1946). Explaining the traditional and precious process in which Bertani produces Amarone della Valpolicella will help you understand how this wine can stand the test of time.

  • The main grape: Corvina is harvested and dried for 120 days on wooden shelves. The water evaporates and the sugars and acidity concentrate
  • Slow fermentation takes place in cement takes for more than 50 days
  • The wine ages in oak barrels for at least six years
  • Then rests another 12 months in bottle

If you would like to learn more about Amarone della Valpolicella, I would suggest reading my friend Elisabetta Tosi’s book, Amarone Confidential: Everything You Should Know About Valpolicella Wines. I had the great honor of writing the forward to this book and an even greater honor of getting to know Elisabetta on one of my many productions in Italy.

Culinary Garlic and Herb Wreath $50

Now let’s move closer to home to McFadden Family Vineyard and Farm. Another great gift idea for the foodie in your life is this wreath from the Organic and Eco friendly farm in Potter Valley.

  • California Certified Organic Farmers in 1991
  • Supplementing his eco-friendly vision of sustainable agriculture, he built a hydroelectric power plant with 300 solar panels, making McFadden Farm a net producer of renewable energy.
  • Culinary Garlic and Herbs Wreaths are made with certified organic rosemary and thyme herbs and are edible.
  • Garlic & Red Chili is fresh, natural and edible but are NOT organic
  • Features: a 13 bulb garlic braid and 3 sets of chilies
  • Our fresh Garlic and Herb wreaths make a beautiful and fragrant touch to any space. Made with a braid of Fresh garlic, Thyme, Rosemary and three sets of chilies.

CRUSHED: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink $32

This book from my friend Brian Freedman does a deep dive into how climate change is impacting the wine industry.  How profiles eight producers from Sonoma and Israel and how they are adapting with climate change. This book isn’t all doom and gloom, it offers solutions to real world problems.

CRUSHED is written for everyone who enjoys a nice glass of wine or a great dram of whiskey, and who has ever wondered how it got from its literal roots to the glass they’re holding in their hand. It’s for anyone who is interested in the ways in which our dramatically shifting natural environment is affecting the beverages we’ve all taken for granted.

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