Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

Insight creates conversation to build community, exploring issues and events that connect people in our region. Insight covers breaking news and big ideas, music, arts & culture with responsible journalism, civil discussion and diverse voices.


Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
on News Station

 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Kushman By The Bottle: Wine For Holiday Parties

File / Paul Sakuma / AP

File / Paul Sakuma / AP

In this month's Kushman By the Bottle,  wine expert Rick Kushman shares advice for holiday parties: what to serve if you're the host and what to bring if you're the guest.  Should it be red, white or bubbly? And what about those kitchen knick-knacks with wine motifs? He tackles it all.


Rick’ picks for December


  • La Marca Proseco ($15): This Italian sparkling is fresh, a little frothy, and seems a tiny but sweet because of the fruit. A crowd pleaser.
  • Korbel Blanc de Noirs. They have a bunch, the Blanc de Noirs rocks. It’s $12-13 in the stores.
  • Domaine Chandon Brut Classic and Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut (Both $15-20-ish): Both are vibrant and clean, and both have mouthful of fruit. Of the two, I’m a bigger fan of the Domaine Carneros Brut and its soft yeasty undertones.
  • Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley ($20-22): Drinks very like a French Champagne, meaning it’s a bit lighter, and slightly more crisp than some other American bubblies. Goes with everything.
  • Sigura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad ($20-22): This is an easy-to-find Spanish bubbly called Cava. The bottle has a silver band on the bottom  -- so it makes a great gift -- and it’s both crisp and rich.
  • Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($30): This is the top American-owned sparkling wine house and this wine is creamy and a bit yeasty but still bright.
  • Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut ($34): Everything a genuine Champagne should be. It hits the sweet spot between the dry crispness of French sparklers and the richer fruit flavors Americans love.
  • Veuve Clicquot Brut ($42): This is a go-to Champagne for lots of people. Starts with apples, pears and hints of bread and yeast, then finishes crisp and clean.          

Other wines that fit the season:

  • Layer Cake Malbec ($12-$14): Argentina’s great grape, a bit spicey, lots of dark fruit. Pairs well with a party
  • Clarksburg Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarksburg ($26): This is always a surprise, and always good. They focus is the fruit but it’s round and well balanced and a great local wine.
  • Oberon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($23): From Michael Mondavi, everything a Napa Cab should be, except for the price.
  • Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($32-$36): One of the best, and most underpriced Cabernets in Napa. Great fruit that goes from bright to dark, and there’s a light lushness to it all.

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.