December 13, 2012

The 12 bottles of Christmas

The gift of wine, spirits or beer to suit almost every taste

1 of 13

The All-American bottle

While there’s no shortage of sips made in the good ol’ U.S.A., some have a more distinctly American flavor and character than others. When it comes to whiskey, that means bourbon — and among the best bourbons we’ve tasted recently is Booker’s Bourbon from the Small Batch Collection ($50), which is part of the Jim Beam lineup. This is an overproof whiskey, meaning it has a higher than normal alcohol content (80 for most bourbons) — it comes in at 127 proof. But it’s also an incredibly smooth and supple one — a little sweet, a little fruity, but never overpowering in any respect. (If the alcohol scares you off, you can always cut the drink with water or ice.) Looking for a wine alternative? Consider just about anything from California that bears the stamp of Philippe Melka, a Bourdeaux-born winemaker who has found his true identity in America. Among Melka’s latest: the silken 2010 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) from his own Melka Wines and the 2009 Black Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon ($125), praised by Wine Enthusiast for its “explosive flavors,” from Parallel Napa Valley. (See a video of MarketWatch’s Charles Passy discussing “ The 12 Bottles of Christmas ”.)

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.