Holiday Wine Guide

Posted by Keith Wallace

Holiday Wine Guide

Holiday Wine Guide

Wine is a significant part of every holiday celebration. We serve them at dinner parties and give them away as gifts. As the holidays are upon us, here are some wine-buying tips.

Hosting a Dinner Party

For intimate dinners of up to five people,  splurge for a few $35 bottles. For larger parties, I suggest wines that cost less than $20. For suggestions, check out out a few wines we have featured recently on our blog.  For pairing suggestion, take a look at the bottom of this article.

What to Bring to a Holiday Party

Giving a bottle of wine as a holiday gift is tricky, but how much to spend is the trickiest. Let’s make is a little simpler: there are really on four price categories, and you just need to choose one.

  • $10. Tasty but unsophisticated wine.
  • $15. Good quality, but stay away from the big brands.
  • $25. Luxury level, pretty harder to go wrong at this price point.
  • $50. Collectors level. Best if you know what you are doing.

Once you’ve figured out how much you’re willing to spend, the next question becomes: What is the appropriate wine to give? If you’re invited to a holiday dinner, a good bottle of sparkling wine is the safest bet. As an alternative to champagne, look for a good quality cava or prosecco.

Holiday Wine Pairings

Since the holidays have dozens of traditional variations, make your wine match the main protein dish. Sides like buttered noodles, chowchow, and latkes are always a bit challenging to pair wines with.

Wine with Roast Beef & Brisket

  • Nero d’Avola A full-bodied Sicilian wine with plenty of smoky fruit flavors.
  • Cabernet Franc Seek out one from Saumur or Chinon in Loire Valley, France.
  • Tempranillo Look for a Rioja or a Ribera del Duero, Spain.

Wine with Ham

  • Rosé Wine The classic region for great dry rosé is Provence.
  • Pinot Noir. Look to New Zealand or Willamette Valley for Pinot.
  • Grenache Blends.  Southern Rhone wines are the smart pick, especially from Gigondas.

Have a great December! Hope to see you soon.

Keith Wallace
Wine School of Philadelphia

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