When trying to explain to someone how or why a wine... well, no. There's not a way around this. Subjectivity isn't an adequate word. Serendipity is closer but not quite, and synchronicity is too firm. Convergence seems about right. These bottles each tell their own story, and then we've added our own, as well.

1) A matched set of 2005 Stewart and Athena—there’s a running joke I have with Athena Pappas when she asks what bottle she should open next. “Have you got an ’05 Stew?” One time she did, and that turned out to be Jai’s Wine Epiphany. It’s true that I  already have this particular horizontal set, but if I open it I won’t, anymore. So I need another. Just to be sure.

2) 2012 Twentieth Cuvée by Westry—tasted during a great chat with winemaker David Autrey while we talked about King Crimson. I asked and followed his advice on the best reissue pressing of In the Court of the Crimson King, was glad I did, and can’t wait to listen to an album that rearranged my world thirty years ago with this great wine.

3) 2012 Boedecker Cellars Cuvée Y-C—there are only two places to get this dark celebration of ripe and yummy fruit: at the winery, or at Portland’s most exclusive restaurant, El Gaucho (dinner at which is another great holiday gift). There’s not much left.

4) 2010 Cristom Sommers Reserve—Many people I know would argue that winemaker Steve Doerner’s work ages better than anything else in the Valley, and we at Oregon Wine Lovers heartily agree. As we go into 2016, this one might be approaching its peak, which it will hold for several years. It's my favorite of several great vintages.

5) 2013 Colene Clemons Margo—It was a fit of misplaced frugality that made us think  we shouldn’t blow our budget entirely in the Colene Clemons tasting room. Jai and I got back in the car with a nagging feeling that it was a mistake, and sure enough, three wineries later we wished we’d bought more. In the Spirit of Christmas Future, you’ve been warned.