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SOMM SERIES: Lisa Redwine @ The Shores

The city's top sommeliers pick the best bottles for your holiday wining.


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Bring-a-decent-bottle party season is here. You could stare at the shelves until, in a Rorschach moment, a pretty label speaks to you. You could treat it like a numbers game and just get the least bank-breaking 90-pointer. Or you could let San Diego's top sommeliers' guide you to the best. We've asked them to play down to our level, including one from the grocery store, one from the wine boutique, and one "I just sold my startup/I am Oprah" pick from their personal collection.

You've already got picks from Grand Del Mar's Jesse Rodriguez and Joshua Orr at Marriott Marquis & Marina. Today it's Lisa Redwine. Yes, a sommelier named Redwine. Enjoy that one. Let it sink in. Now, let's move on. The CIA grad started in San Francisco at Aqua with George Morrone and Michael Mina, then at Liberte with chef Elka Gilmore. But she really made her name (and hauled in some Wine Spectator awards) alongside John Curtin at Cypress Club. Now she's wine director at The Shores, the beachside restaurant at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Here are her picks for your weekend:

 

WHITE

Grocery Store Selection: Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve, Santa Barbara/Monterey ($20 avg.)
"For a large producer, they consistently produce a great, well-balanced wine. Perfect for a large group."

Wine Shop Selection: Pinot Gris, Inman Family, Russian River, Sonoma ($26 avg.)
"Made by Kathleen Inman, this wine captures the essence of the cool Russian River—crisp and elegant. A great food wine, from cheese to shellfish."

“Hello, I’m Oprah” Selection: Chardonnay, Batard Montrachet, Morey Coffinet, Grand Cru, Burgundy ($150-$1,500 avg.)
"This is the Mercedes of Chardonnay—from a small, family-owned winery makes a spectacular Grand Cru. Bright minerality, spice, tart green apple and quince. Worth every penny!"

 

RED

Grocery Store Selection: Merlot or Cabernet, Franciscan, Napa ($15 avg.) OR Cambria, Julia’s Vineyard, Santa Maria ($20 avg.)
"Both producers make fantastic, varietal-correct wines that are consistent year in and year out. The Pinot is perfect with ham and lighter dishes, the Merlot or Cab with roast beef or filet."

Wine Shop Selection: Syrah and Cabernet Blend, Mi Sueño, “El Llano”, Napa ($42 avg.)
"A long-standing favorite made by Rolando Herrera. For the price, the quality is fantastic. The Syrah gives it an approachable fruit-forwardness, and the Cab balances it out with power and structure."

“Hello, I’m Oprah” Selection: Pinot Noir, Marcassin, Blue Slide Ridge Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($165-$475 avg.)
"Made by Helen Turley and her husband, this legendary Pinot is the perfect partnership between land and winemaker. Drinking them isn’t having a glass of wine. It’s savoring an artist’s vision."

 

BUBBLY

Grocery Store Selection: NV, Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley, Mendocino ($18 avg.)
"Perfect sparkling wine for a larger group, dry with yeasty notes and apples. It over-delivers for the price."

Wine Shop Selection: 06 Tony Soter, Brut Rosé, Willamette, Oregon ($70 avg.)
"Tony Soter has dedicated himself to the vineyards of Oregon. He’s making some of the best domestic sparkling. His rosé is a rare gem. The structure and body lend itself to a wide range of appetizers and holiday fare. Plus, a festive hue!"

“Hello, I’m Oprah” Selection: 04 Special Club Cuvee, Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, Brut, Blanc de Blanc, Cuis, Cotes de Blanc, France ($73 avg.)
"Rich, heady and perfect. It is comprised of all grand and premier cru grapes, and is part of a prestigious wine organization of 26 growers. It tastes of Bosc pear, brioche, granny smith apple, and lemon curd. It's full bodied and rich. A perfect bottle to celebrate friends and family."

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