Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Wines

What do you get for the connoisseur on your Christmas gift list? Wine is always appreciated — but which one to choose? We asked several local experts to suggest bottles available for less than $25.

What do you get for the connoisseur on your Christmas gift list? Wine is always appreciated — but which one to choose? We asked several local experts to suggest bottles available for less than $25.

ADAM TODD, OWNER OF THE BARREL ROOM IN PLAIN TOWNSHIP, recommends a Chianti or a pinot noir because both go well with holiday meals.

“With turkey dinners, ham dinners, most people like a pinot noir,”Todd said. “A nice Oregon pinot noir is outstanding for the holidays.”

He recommends the Apolloni Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, which sells for $19.99 at the Barrel Room. For a white,Todd said to look at a dry riesling.

“There’s enough fruit on a dry riesling to go with your Christmas foods. They can handle things like the cranberry sauces.”

His pick is Peter Lehmann Dry Riesling, which sells for $17.99 at the Barrel Room.

DAVID BALOUN, OWNER OF ELEVAGE WINE ADVISORS IN CANTON, suggests that wines that have stories attached make great gifts. For example, Baloun suggests a bottle from the winery founded by actor Fred MacMurray as a great conversation starter.

“You take it to a party and say, remember ‘My Three Sons’? Then you start humming the theme song, and people are trying to remember the three sons’ names,” Baloun said, chuckling. “Aside from the notoriety, their Russian River Pinot Noir is lovely.”

His pick, MacMurray Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, sells for $22-$24 and is available at Avenue Wine Shop in Canton. For whites or reds, he suggests Cameron Hughes wines.

“He buys overages from well-known producers, signs confidentiality agreements that he won’t reveal where it came from. Buying is a little bit of a leap of faith — you don’t know where it comes from. But for 15 or 20 dollars, you might get a wine that would have cost 30 or 40 or more. Again, a story behind it.”

Find the Cameron Hughes lot 400 cabernet at Fishers Foods (Fulton Drive only for this bottle) for $24.99.

JEFF FISHER, OWNER OF FISHERS FOODS, suggests forgetting wine “rules” and to drink — and give— what you love. For a red, Fishers suggests a “balanced” cabernet, such as North by Northwest Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State, which sells for $27.99 at Fishers Foods. For the white-wine drinkers on your gift list, consider a chardonnay from Ferrari-Carano.

“It drinks big, drinks smooth — and is always a crowd pleaser,” Fisher said.

Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2011, Sonoma Valley, Calif. sells at Fishers Foods for $19.99.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass