This is a week where “home run” and “pinch hitter” wines are both often needed. Mix and match throughout this week’s Advent Calendar suggestions as required!

December 11, Sunday: Prisini 2006 Barbaresco Gallina – from one of my favorite Barbaresco vineyards (I once vacationed in a house smack in the middle of it, so though the association is mostly flavor it is admittedly partly romance.) hails this youthful yet ready-to-imbibe-Nebbiolo. Iodine and crunchy red fruit on the nose, the pleasantly harmonious savoriness of this wine bodes well for most winter dishes.

December 12, Monday: Avignonesi 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Cortona – a lightly leesy Sauvignon Blanc from Tuscany that is surprising in substance without a considerable price tag. This is a good Sauvignon Blanc to take to those who love the variety but may not know where to find it outside France, New Zealand and the USA!

December 13, Tuesday: Bellus 2007 Girosole – any wine with a reference to sunshine is a fine accompaniment to a winter-y table. This medium-bodied, Tuscan red blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot hits the spot on a cold winter night, complimenting any pasta dish you throw together on-the-spot.

December 14, Wednesday: La Pietra di Tommasone 2007 Pithecusa Rosso – because as the winter chill sets in, we start to think about carefree days spent in warmer climates. This medium-bodied red with gentle tannins from the flower-laden island of Ischia will surely transport you mid-week.

December 15, Thursday: Nals Margreid 2009 Pinot Noir – it’s simple, really. Give me a variety I know and love. This one, a Pinot Nero (Noir) from the heights of Alto Adige, is just the one.

December 16, Friday: Falesco 2010 Est!Est!Est di Montefiascone – light on the wallet, zesty with lemon pulp flavors and creamy in the mid-palate, this is a historical wine that has been forgotten and neglected over many years…just like (perhaps) your holiday shopping list. Time to tend to things before it’s too late!

December 17, Saturday: Medici Ermete 2010 Daphne Malvasia – the bountiful orange flower aromas of this north-central Italian white bubbly refresh in the same manner as a classy perfume or floral bouquet while the bubbles lift the spirits and usher in excitement. Perfect for an afternoon of gift wrapping or for an aperitvo when greeting guests.