Christmas is approaching with splendid veracity and the William Chris Vineyards family is in the Christmas spirit! The tasting room is outfitted with a beautiful, live Christmas tree with all sorts of fun gifts for the wine lover on your list. Every corner of the Hye Society wine club members' lounge features festive garlands, heirloom holiday trinkets, and original artwork to give our guests a cheerful gathering place this season.
While Texas wines make fabulous gifts, our winemaking team took a moment to outline some of their selections for gifting this season.
So, if you ever wondered what Santa would stash under your tree if he was a William Chris Vineyards winemaker, here goes...
Winegrower Bill Blackmon’s Christmas List
William Chris Owner and Winemaker Bill Blackmon, says that he starts Christmas shopping the day before New Year's Eve. A very enthusiastic holiday lover, he finds Christmas with family to be one of the most important and special times of the year. “I like to gift some of my favorite types of wine, which are red. I love Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and anything obscure and interesting, or off the beaten path.”
If you’d like to gift wine like Bill, we recommend:
- 2015 Malbec, Gilliam Gap Vineyards
- 2010 - 2015 Enchanté Vertical
- 2015 Petit Verdot, La Pradera Vineyards
For non-wine gifts, Bill says the best gifts are gifts that you would want for yourself. “I like to gift really obscure things. Anything that has a history, like vintage items, antique collectibles, or things that tell a story, like art – or invoke interest – makes the best gifts.”
Bill’s love of art is deeply ingrained in the heart and soul of William Chris with the annual Artist Blend label competition and art show. During the holiday season prints are available for sale from past Artist Blend winners Kara J Shaw and Riley Caldwell. Past finalist Debbie Carroll will showcase through the New Year both in our tasting room and at Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin.
What You’ll Get if You’re on Chris Brundrett’s “Nice List”
Pictured above: Chris's go-to holiday gift for 2018, Jessica Dupuy's United Tastes of the South Cookbook
William Chris Owner and Winemaker Chris Brundrett, says that he loves gifting things that people can use. “Right now, I’m totally into Jessica Dupuy’s new cookbook, United Tastes of the South. I bought a bunch of copies and think my family and friends will love it.” Packed with diverse cuisines of the American South, Dupuy’s cookbook offers authentic and delicious recipes from the Appalachia, the Bayou, and beyond.
Chris also loves to gift things that inspire, like motivational coffee mugs. “We all can use a little motivation sometimes, especially in the morning or to pick us up when we’re down. I want people I care about to know that they can get through anything,” he says.
If you’re looking for the perfect wine to gift, Chris recommends giving people something new and exciting to try. For big parties, Chris likes to stock the cooler with canned wine, particularly gold-medal winning Sway Rosé. This time of year, gift giving is a perfect time to introduce your friends and family to new varietals they may never have known about before or picked out for themselves.
Chris Brundrett’s favorites for pairing with holiday dinner:
Winemaker Josh Fritsche’s Gifts for Wine Lovers
Proper glassware makes a big difference - Josh likes to gift nice crystal.
William Chris Production Winemaker Josh Fritsche, says he loves gifting nice corkscrews – preferably double-hinged – or a nice set of glasses. “The double-hinged corkscrews make opening wine seamless with the two-step process. You don’t have to worry about straining to open the bottle or breaking the cork.”
Josh believes a nice set of glasses, like a Reidel crystal set, truly makes for a beautiful wine display while entertaining or sharing your favorite wines. If you ever wondered how glassware impacts your wine tasting experience, you might find this oldie but goodie from our blog of interest. Bonus points if you regale the recipient with all your newfound knowledge on glass.
Winemaker Tony Offill Makes it Memorable
Tony's pick is our 2017 Pétillant Naturel that he was instrumental in crafting.
William Chris Assistant Winemaker Tony Offill, likes to put thought behind the person he’s gifting to before making the call. “If I’m gifting someone wine and I know them well, I’ll find something that we have shared before or something unique from an older vintage that I had a hand in.” Tony believes that drinking wine with good company is the best experience, and prefers to gift wines that he’s made because of the love and intention he put into the creation.
Wines made by Tony to try:
- Jacquez (This port-style wine sold out quickly!)
- 2017 Petillant Naturel Rosé
- 2016 Hunter
- 2017 Roussanne, Bingham Family Vineyards
“If I’m not gifting wine, I like to give unique gifts that are authentic to whom I’m gifting. If it’s music, I think records or tickets to concerts are the best way to go, and you can never go wrong with art.”
Our tasting room ambassadors are here to help!
Still stumped on what to give the wine lover in your life? Come by for a tasting and tour we’d be happy to help you! If you do plan to visit please book a reservation ahead.
For the experience seeker on your list you can also call ahead and pre-pay for a friend’s reservation and we’ll send a certificate - perfect for stuffing stockings for grown-ups!