Winter Wines and Happy Holidays
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December 21, 2022

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From left: Bisson Glera, Franck Millet Pouilly-Fume, Ridge Grenache Blanc, Vietti Barbera D'Asti Tre Vigne, Rootdown Cole Ranch Trousseau.

5 of the Best Wines for Holiday Gift Giving
Writer: Karla Walsh

Whether you’re in need of a host gift, are seeking something for your clutter-averse pal or want to win over your boss, wine can be a winner this holiday season. (P.S.: For those who don’t imbibe, check out our guide to 11 local shops for stocking up on food gifts and experiences.)

Rather than reaching for that bottle that’s popular—but displayed on end caps at every supermarket in town—take a walk on the wild side, suggests Sam Tuttle, wine director at RoCA. Clocking in at less than $35 per bottle, and all available locally, these red, white and sparkling wines are sure to impress, Tuttle promises.

Bisson Glera: “There’s no need to spend Champagne prices to get a fun, energetic sparkling wine,” Tuttle says. Made with the primary grape used for Prosecco, glera, this budget-friendly bubbly plays nicely with everything from deviled eggs to ham. ($23, Gateway Market)

Franck Millet Pouilly-Fume: Surprise the Sauvignon Blanc-lover in your life with this value-priced wine from the Loire Valley in France. It delivers “smoky minerality,” Tuttle says. ($19, Ingersoll Wine and Spirits)

Ridge Grenache Blanc: White wine season doesn’t end on Labor Day. “Rich, luxurious whites are in season,” Tuttle says, and this full-bodied blend of aromatic white grapes from Paso Robles will steal the show at any meal—or on its own by the glass. ($35, the Cheese Shop)

Vietti Barbera D'Asti Tre Vigne: Owned by the Krause Familyyes, the same crew who helms Kum & Gothe makers at this Italian winery have “mastered this grape,” Tuttle says, which is ideal to welcome non-red drinkers over to the darker side. “This crazy-complex red offers ample dark fruit flavor, without the huge tannins.” ($25, Ingersoll Wine and Spirits)

Rootdown Cole Ranch Trousseau: Adventurous drinkers will love this rare, dark fruity wine. The rarity of it does not match up with the price and will be a guaranteed topic of discussion on most fun wines tried this year. ($35, the Cheese Shop)

Tuttle also has a few questions to ask yourself before you find the perfect fit for your recipient. Click here to find out what to consider when giving wine as a gift.

Friday performances from Mannheim Steamroller will feature new multimedia effects and lighting for added holiday excitement. Photo: Des Moines Performing Arts.

Celebrate Christmas With Mannheim Steamroller

The American music ensemble group Mannheim Steamroller will play two Christmas concerts at the Des Moines Civic Center Friday. The group is known for its epic modern sound and classic Christmas songs, such as “Carol of the Bells” and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Mannheim Steamroller has been led by Grammy Award-winning composer Chip Davis since its founding in 1974. This year’s performance was designed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the group’s first Christmas album release, and will feature new multimedia effects sure to add to the holiday spirit.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances are available
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Dome After Dark (Friday, 6-10 p.m.): Have you checked out the magical greenhouse light show at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden yet? The winter tradition offers late-night admission to the garden’s conservatory for strolls through the colorfully lit pathways along with drinks and snacks from the cafe. Purchase tickets in advance here.

Jolly Holiday Lights (Friday, 5:30-10 p.m.): There’s still time to catch the holiday light display at Adventureland Park in Altoona. Drive through over 2 miles of dazzling illuminated characters and holiday scenes while helping raise money to support Make-A-Wish Iowa. Reserve tickets here.

SnowGlobe pop-up bar (all weekend, hours vary): Embrace all things Christmas at the annual themed pop-up bar inside Exile Brewery. Hundreds of lights, ornaments and other decorations cover the walls, and festive drinks pepper(mint) the menu. Due to popular demand, the attraction will now remain open until Jan. 8. Reserve a table here.

Celebrate with reindeer: A classic holiday special is getting star treatment at the Des Moines Civic Center. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will show at 2 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, just in time for Christmas. The production features all the favorite characters from the TV special, including Hermey the elf and the Abominable Snow Monster. Tickets for both showings are available here.
Blues concerts: Starting Jan. 8, the Botanical Blues annual winter concert series at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will run Sundays in the afternoons. The live shows will feature a variety of jazz musicians and singers performing in the conservatory. Guests can wander the grounds as they enjoy the music, or take a seat and watch. See a full list of scheduled performers and purchase tickets here.
The East Village twinkles with colorful string lights next to the glow of the Capitol building this time of year. Photo: Sam Battaglieri.


Happy Holidays From the dsm Team!

We at dsm want to wish you—our readershappy holidays and a joyous start to your new year. As 2022 wraps up, we thank you for your readership and continued support, and we look forward to bringing you more arts and culture, food and dining, home and garden, and new and noteworthy news from around our city. Warm wishes for a festive holiday weekend!
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