420 3rd St, Oakland
Best celebratory bubbly selection: Champagne Fleury 2002 Millésime Extra Brut. This is vintage-grower Champagne, run by the same family since 1895, certified biodynamic. Full-bodied and very dry.
Pre-feast quaff: Wind Gap Soif. Soif is French for “thirst,” and this is definitely a thirst quencher. Savory, light, exotic and delicious.
Best wine for a typical turkey dinner: Onesta 2012 Cinsault. It has the lightness of a pinot noir with the spicy rich fruit of a zinfandel, coming from the oldest vineyard in Lodi. Exceptional example of a varietal rarely used alone.
Best wine for a holiday fish feast: Massican 2014 Annia, a blend of Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and chardonnay. Produced in Napa, but feels like another world.
Best wine for a plant-centric feast: Habit 2014 Grüner Veltliner. Fresh and vibrant with great minerality, extremely food friendly, from a dry-farmed vineyard in Santa Barbara County.
Best wine to go with a spicy dessert: Meulenhof 2013 Erdener Prälat Riesling Spätlese. Thick fruit and honey texture, ripe and delicious.
Wild card: Scar of the Sea 2014 California Hard Cider. Herbal, barely sweet, dry, and utterly sophisticated.