Published on December 23rd, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz


10 Interesting Wine-Related Discoveries For December 2020

The holiday season of 2020 is now underway as we are now almost at Christmas 2020. While 2020 has already proven to be the most difficult year in recent memory, it has produced plenty of interesting new wines and wine-industry developments. In turn, below are 10 product recommendations and/or interesting vineyard-related news items that are keeping things interesting for wine enthuasists.

19 Crimes’ Snoop Cali Red

Snoop Cali Red, the first California wine from 19 Crimes, introduced a new, boundary-pushing AR experience: “Ask the Doggfather.” Notably, “Ask the Doggfather” is the first experience activated by a wine label using 8th Wall technology, a software that makes it possible to build interactive web-based augmented reality that works on any smartphone without an app. Just go to on a mobile device and scan any bottle of Snoop Cali Red. From there, ask a question and Snoop will appear in miniature holographic form to offer his wisdom and signature swagger in front of his 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red bottle.

19 Crimes Cali Red is a Red Blend of Lodi-sourced Petite Syrah (65%), Zinfandel (30%) and Merlot (5%). All American oak offers a distinct smoky component that also yields vanilla and chocolate. At just $12, Snoop Cali Red is an ideal gift for wine fans and music lovers alike.

Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho 2019

Monçao e Melgaço native son Anselmo Mendes is a bit of a legend, considered to be “one of the greatest Portuguese winemakers” by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Recently named one of Wine Enthusiast’s top wines of 2020, the Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho 2019 is vivid, textured, and decidedly complex. Also great from “Mr. Alvarinho” is the Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Alvarinho 2019, which features notes of orchard fruit, flowers and juicy, mineral-inflected citrus. Tasting this wine blind against sought-after Chablis is a surefire way to show just how exceptional the terroir of Monçao e Melgaço truly is.

Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2019

Favorable soil and climate make the Castiglioni Chianti a proper reflection of the characteristics of its land. Made entirely of Sangiovese, with small quantities of Merlot, Castiglioni Chianti gave its best expression within this vintage 2019. This is an intensely fruity wine, it has a bright ruby-red colour with tinges of purple. The bouquet is rich with aromas of cherry, blackberry and wild strawberry followed by elegant Mediterranean scents. On the palate, it is soft, elegant and vibrant taste is immediately apparent, while the finish is intensely and pleasantly aromatic. It ought to pair well with a pappardelle pasta in a meat sauce, roast chicken, sautéed beef with vegetables, and medium-aged cheeses alike.

Los Dos Cava Brut NV

Like two dancers coming together to create the perfect routine, Los Dos celebrates the intricate steps in the dance of winemaking. In turn, Los Dos Cava Brut NV makes for a classic blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. Expect straw yellow in color with green highlights, yetfFresh and expressive primary aromas such as green apple and pear along with dried nuts and fresh baked bread notes. As per the taste itself of the Brut NV, fruity flavors combine with those from the ageing on lees. The Los Dos label also has great Red and Rose offerings on the market.

Enate Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

This wine is the result of the fusion of the fine Cabernet grapes from Enate’s vineyards in Somontano, Spain. Upon first taste, expect this offering to be hugely-expressive and intense on the nose, with flaunting red fruit aromas swathed in balsam and spice. Meanwhile, pleasant hints of phenols and minerals from the cabernet mingle well with toasted, creamy and cocoa nuances from the new oak. Enate wines portray different artwork on their labels, so you can organically pair their authentic wines with labels from international artists.

Cinzano Prosecco

Cinzano Prosecco is high-quality D.O.C prosecco made with a blend of Glera, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay grapes from the Veneto region of Italy. It has a sweet scent and a soft touch in the mouth, and as such, it is great as an Aperitivo for everyday enjoyment on its own or in cocktails like the Aperol Spritz. It is also easy to pair with seafood, white meat and vegetables, even when citrus fruits are used in preparation. Ideally enjoyed by the glass but also cocktail-friendly.

Mondoro Asti

Made from D.O.C.G. level White Moscato grapes, sourced from the Langhe Hills of Piedmont, Italy. The taste of Mondoro Asti is fruity with subtle herbal aromatics, making it versatile to pair with sweet and savory foods. Its color is bright, pale yellow with fresh greenish reflections, while its aroma is simultaneously floral, fruity and herbal. Best enjoyed by the glass, and currently priced at a low $20.00 per bottle via ReserveBar.

Hahn Family Wines’ 2016 Hahn Winery Selection Blanc de Blancs

Some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world grows in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, a narrow, 18-mile-long coastal region tucked along the western hills of Monterey, California’s Salinas Valley. Hahn Family Wines has a robust portfolio of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as several other grape varieties and wine styles. This 2nd generation, family-owned winery is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Carefully-sourced from of select vineyards in Monterey County, this sparkling wine is crafted from 100 percent Chardonnay, picked in early August when sugars were low and acid beautiful. Done in a Méthode Champenoise, the 2016 Hahn Winery Selection Blanc de Blancs spent 30 months in the bottle. Generous aromas of strawberry and cranberry are complimented by fresh floral notes. The palate opens with flavors of peach, cantaloupe and strawberry, finishing with hints of honey, light minerality and beautiful acidity.

Liano Rosso Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone IGT 2017

The Liano Rosso Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone IGT 2017, which carries a suggested retail price of $35, is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. In terms of its flavor profile, it has an intriguing bouquet of black cherry jam, interlaced with vanilla, spices and a powerful, yet harmonious taste with a lingering finish. Interestingly, the wine itself was named after Umberto Cesari’s Liano vineyard in Colli Bolognesi, 10 miles South of Bologna.

Also great from the Emilia Romagna region in north-central Italy is the Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva DOC 2017. This one is 100% Sangiovese wine, aged 18 months in 30 hl. Slavonian oak barrels and 6 months in steel tanks. The nose is intense and complex, with sweet violet notes and elegant hints of oak and roasted coffee beans. On the palate it is full-bodied, with smooth tannins and a long flavorful finish.


Last but definitely not least… Boxxle is a stylish, bag-in-a-box appliance creates wine on tap at home. Its dispenser holds up to 4 bottles of wine or 1 boxed wine, and it uses new technology to dispense wine, elevating the experience both by offering a convenient and attractive way — one button touch — to pour boxed wine and by placing the spigot above the rim of the glass for easy dispensing. Boxxle will keep your wine fresh for up to a month if you do not finish all of it in a single sitting, and prevents oxidation, which eliminates spoiled wine. Boxxle is available via and Amazon, and also via Bed Bath & Beyond and Target within the physical retail space.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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