Martha Stewart Radio Blog "Holiday Wine"
December 2010

Before you walk into the wine aisle this week, check out these five recommendations from Michael Madrigale, wine director of New York's Bar Boulud.

Save money but still get some high quality sparkle by seeking out a Cremant du Jura, or an American sparkling wine from Schramsberg or Roederer Estate. They're made in the Champagne method using the same grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Look for a 2009 Beaujolais Cru for a versatile, crowd-pleasing wine with plenty of fruit. They'll generally retail for $15 to $30.

Eating vegetarian? Look for sparkling wine or a Gruner Veltliner from Austria to pair with your meal.

Any wine lover would appreciate the gift of a bottle of great Pinot Noir. Michael suggests looking to Oregon for great values, and especially recommends Evening Land Vineyards.

When in doubt, ask! Michael says wine professionals love sharing their knowledge and turning people on to new tastes. Patronize independent wine shops when you can, and let the staff know your budget and interests so that you can get personalized recommendations.