The Holiday Issue - December 2023 | Wine Enthusiast
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Dec 2023

The Holiday Issue

At the time of year when we most indulge ourselves and others, WE offers our holiday survival guide (plus bottles to bring to family feasts) and the top 100 ageworthy wines of the year in our annual Cellar Selections list; plus we go barrel hunting in Cognac, visit the Rhône Valley and meet some of the producers at the forefront of the absinthe (re)revival.

Hang onto these!

Top Ageworthy Wines Released This Year

Looking beyond the obvious, these wines are ripe for adventure and discovery. Go further with recipe pairings that make the most of a cellar splurge.

Top 100 Cellar Selections

Letter from the Publisher

The Test of Time

Is it the people we invite that make that moment memorable, or the wine?

The company we keep is as important as the bottles we share.

“Who should we drink this bottle with?” That’s the first question my husband and I ask each other when a prized wine is ready to open. Who do we deem “cellar-worthy”? It reminds me of a Seinfeld reference I won’t place here, but if you know you know. Each stored bottle is like a future moment squirreled away until the time is just right.

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How do we select those people in our lives with whom we want to share treasured experiences? Is it the people we invite that make that moment memorable, or the wine? Or perhaps it’s the kismet of the universe finding a way to bring the people we love together that deems we must open something good.

Either way, I find it’s the collecting of forthcoming memories that brings us such joy in this hobby of ours. Our December issue has one of my favorite lists of the year for this express purpose—our Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2023.

Jacki Strum
Photography: Paul Aresu,Hair and Makeup: Robert Moulton

At first glance, you may think it’s a list reserved for the lucky few. However, we strive every year to make the list both enviable and accessible. I’m partial to the wine at No. 11, a Syrah from The Ojai Vineyard in the Solomon Hills priced at $70. A wonderful gem that can stand the test of time. I recently wowed a few friends at a local French bistro with a wine from Torbreck in our 38th spot on this year’s list. The food was humble, but the night was exceptional due to the company we kept and the drinks we shared.

Aging wine can be such a pleasurable endeavor—like any collection. Unlike most types of collecting though, it’s one of the easiest with which to share and spread joy. Even making small investments with some regularity over time adds up to a prized assortment sooner than you know it. I challenge you to pick one wine this year that you want to lay down to gain some complexity. My only hope is that you’ll deem me worthy to join when the right moment arrives. —Jacqueline Strum, Editor & Publisher, WE Media

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