Along with the seasonally appropriate sparklings and champagnes (and beer, wine, shots, etc.[my poor overworked liver] ) I've lately had the pleasure of trying some 2005 wines.
Chardonnay and it's oak-y California-ness is probably my least liked variety of wine. That said, there is one 2005 Chardonnay blend that is a cause for pause.
We're selling GOLD like a house-a-fire.
A young chard blend form famed winemaker Jayson Woodbridge with flakes of gold floating around, resembling that Goldschlager stuff. (Goldschlager this is NOT.) Oh, it is very, very nice. I mean it's not totally jaw droppingly Awesome, but whatever. It's been very popular for gifts and the numerous New Year celebrations (including Chinese New Year coming up). Try to find it for under $30. It makes a lovely gift.
Also nice this time of year is the Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes from Cafayate (2005 or 2004, if you can get it). [As an aside, Torrontes is called the Mission grape in California.]
While Torrontes is the most widely planted white wine grape in Argentina, the best Torrontes comes from Cafayate. This is a very impressive wine. My Chard loving friend didn't like it but Maja and I did. It's slightly like a Viognier, peachy, and citrus-y with lots of body. It was so fragrantly floral, but not perfumey. Best served well-chilled and poured by a guy much younger than you (hey, I can dream). This wine helps you (me) forget you're in your (my) 30s. I ran the gauntlet (encouraging the kids) through lots of fireworks.
Nobody got (badly) hurt.
(I burned my leg.)