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Holiday Wine Recommendations from Coaltrain’s Jim Little

Jim Little is one of those guys who has lived a charmed life. As co-owner of Coaltrain Wine and Spirits he has traveled to 60 countries, tasting wine in some of the world’s most storied wineries in France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, and all over America. Jim works closely with the FAC to plan the Wine Festival each year, so we asked him for his holiday wine recommendations. Here’s Jim’s on the best wine picks for the season:

On the heels of last year’s Wine Festival, where we poured 130 different Spanish wines at the Grand Tasting, Spanish wines are still one of the hottest things we sell. They’re reasonably priced; they’re beautiful. They combine the Old World with the New World. They’re wonderful.

With the holidays coming up, we also love sparkling wines and true champagnes. The true growers champagnes, the ones where you don’t see the Veuve Clicquot name on it, the Mumms name on it. What we love is the true grower champagnes, where they’re raising the fruit, making the wines themselves and the price of the champagnes is about $20-$25 less per bottle than the very expensive Veuve Clicquot, because they’re not spending all their money on advertising dollars and propaganda and promotion. They’re spending their money on putting a great product into a bottle, so that’s a wonderful way to go as well. Around the holidays, how can you go wrong with great sparkling wines.

Save the date for Wine Fest 2012: March 9-10. And, if you like wine events, coming up this Thursday is Coaltrain’s annual Christmas Sale Tasting.