Here we are just past Thanksgiving with Christmas a few weeks out.

Sure, there are gifts to think about, and wine is always a good one, but at this time of year, it’s about stocking up for yourself, too, so you know that when you get home from work and it’s as dark as 10 pm at 5:30 pm, a nice glass of wine can be at the ready.

I asked Nikki at Hillsdale Fine Wine & Spirits for her recommendations, and she had some great ones. She highly recommends an Alsatian Gewurtztraminer from Joseph Cattin because it’s an “easy-drinking crowd pleaser,” a great “winter white that pairs well with a lot of different food.” Gewurtz is characteristically bright and acidic but with a note of lychee that rounds out the wine. Yum! And for under $20/bottle, it’s a steal.

Speaking of steals, Nikki said the Mezzacorona Dinotte red blend from Italy is a very good one. Perfect for the colder temps, she described it as “jammy and warming – and just $11.99/bottle.”

Another personal favorite, she said, is the 1000 Stories Cabernet Sauvignon that’s aged in bourbon barrels. “It’s a heavier red with the bourbon notes of vanilla and caramel. So good!” That one is now $17.99.

There’s lots of good wine and a super-friendly proprietor in Nikki at Hillsdale Fine Wine & Spirits.