Tis’ the season for lots of wine, parties, and delicious food! Can you believe Hanukkah is in a few days and Christmas is not so far behind? I certainly can’t but it’s coming and it’s time to get the wine planning started. If you plan on attending holiday gatherings, here are some great wines for every type of wine lover categorized for your convenience.
A lot of Sparkle!
Col Vetoraz Extra Dry – This wine is grown on the hillsides of the Prosecco area getting exposure to optimal sunlight in a high quality growing zone. This area of Valdobbiadene is simply stunning, where you will find incredible views and UNESCO sites for miles. This wine is silky and round with a lot of fruit on the palate full of peaches and minerality and apricots. This wine is ideal with seafood, so go ahead and bring it to your seven fishes feast!
Col Vetoraz Brut– Also grown on the hillsides where they produce great grapes for this wine. I absolutely love Prosecco anytime of year but while your celebrating nothing beats the premium quality of this winery combined with the ideal price points. This Prosecco is lively and entertaining and should be enjoyed with friends and loved ones this holiday season. My favorite pairing with this one is Truffle Popcorn, but you can easily pair it with a nice holiday honey baked ham too!
Col Vetoraz Superiore di Cartizze- One of my favorite wines from their portfolio! This wine is so elegant, so fresh, and so refined it’s a gift. This wine is delicate and pretty and so refreshingly captivating I could not get enough of it. Cartizze are the premium vineyards and growing area of Valdobbiadene, and this wine is certainly on the more high end of the lineup for this winery. It’s absolutely fantastic and a must sip and gift!
I recently began tasting some really interesting wines from Georgia, the country! I had the pleasure of tasting four of them this season, and let me tell you… boy can they pair with some really fun winter stews, Mediterranean dishes, seafood, and more. I would absolutely gift these to an adventurous wine lover who loves to sip as much as they enjoy exploring foods from around the world. These are worldly and exciting wines and something new I have never added to my holiday roundups! I absolutely loved the Napheri 2019 Rkatsiteli Amber White which is a natural wine that seeks skin contact for 6 months. The grape varietal Rkatsiteli is an ancient pale skinned grape and is one of the oldest grapes to produce wine. This wine in particular has white fruit and apricot notes and would be ideal with a baked brie or your Christmas Eve dinner; but I would also totally give it as a host/hostess gift! $19.95
Saperavi is a dark skinned pink flesh grape of Georgia as well, and is used to make some of the regions most well known wines. The Qimerioni Saperavi 2019 is a delicious dry red wine with cherry aromas leaping out of the glass. It’s lighter in body and has a nice soft finish thats easy to pair with food as well as simple appetizers. This is the perfect tapas wine and ideal for entertaining this holiday and winter season. $27
I also enjoyed the 2015 Gozauri Saperavi which is carefully selected and made from hand picked grapes and then matured in oak for 10 months. This wine is drink-able now but I would love to see it 5-8 years from now to see it’s full potential, I feel like it still has more to offer so if you’re gifting someone who can age some wine, this would be a great gift! $19.95
Lastly because I always believe you should have plenty of options this 2020 Akido Saperavi is quite cool and by that I mean great to drink, and cool because it comes from higher elevation vineyards! This creates an elegance in the wine with nice black raspberries, cherry, and nice tannins. This is a great Christmas Day wine with lamb or prime rib, it’s a meat wine. $18.99
Big and Bold!
2019 Brendel Cooper’s Reed Cabernet Sauvignon – A nod to history! I love to feature Napa Valley wines this time of year because there will always be something special about opening a Napa Cab for the holidays. This wine is aged in large casks and is produced from organic grapes, which makes for an incredible wine. This wine is so seductive and drink-able with everything. It’s a wine you want to pair with stew, steak, duck, ratatouille, and cheeses; it’s such a palate pleasing wine. It makes an incredible gift to give yourself and your loved ones this holiday season, and is ideal for the Cab collector looking for something more unique because at Brendel, they harvest under the moonlight and crush at cooler temps to ensure purity and freshness! $50
2020 Renwood Estate Zinfandel- From Amador county this inky dark wine has a nice fresh nose and sweet aromas of blackberry, sweet plums, and dark fruit. From the nose I knew I was going to like this wine, and its round edges, blueberry and cocoa notes, along with its softness is really captivating. It’s a perfect wine to curl up with or pair with a great book to give as a gift to the one you love. It’s a powerhouse, and it’s simply perfect! $25
Robert Mondavi 2021 Napa Valley Rosé- Made from a blend from three different Carneros vineyards, this wine has texture and complexity and which is why it’s in the big and bold section. Lots of cranberry, golden raspberries, citrus, and hints of watermelon. It’s absolutely delicious with a holiday feast both with Hanukkah and Christmas right around the corner. For the rosé lover in your life, this makes a great gift to give; think secret Santa! $30
2020 Cakebread Cellars Pinot Noir- Cakebread always makes my roundups because I love its classic style, unique simplicity, boldness, and overall structure. This pinot I always break out when guests are over because it’s a style of wine everyone will like from my smooth red drinkers, to my “I like anything” drinkers, to my picky pinot drinkers, it seems to please everyone. This pinot is delicious with bright red fruit, soft plum and berries, and a finish with some spice. Overall it’s smooth and alluring and is ideal for this time of year with meat, by the fire, or simply to enjoy sipping. $45
2020 Matthews Claret- A bold Washington State wine! Lots of ripe plum, blackcurrants, dark chocolate and spices are in this wine which is really wonderful. I always find I enjoy more WA wines this time of year since they tend to have a level of boldness that tends to go with the wintery months. It is a wine with a beautiful finish and a lot of power but a good mouthfeel, so it’s still very approachable and enjoyable. I love the dark berries and bramble in this with smooth tannins and its long finish. The blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec really make this wine quite amazing and complex! $50
Boxed, But Good!
Sandy Giovese Boxed Wine- A boxed wine you really can enjoy and have ready in your fridge the whole holiday season! The Rosso I absolutely loved to have as my on-hand red wine whenever I needed a glass, some for a sauce, or to add to my NY Sour cocktail. It’s a smooth organic red wine from Italy that is made from Sangiovese and Trebbiano grapes and you know what… it actually makes me re-think boxed wine! Being a Sommelier, I am exposed to the boxed wine world, but don’t dive too deeply in it. All I can say, is that this boxed red wine is really good and I absolutely recommend it for everyday drinking and even to give as a gift this holiday season.
They also make a fun and very sip-able rosato (in the picture above) made from Sangiovese, Merlot, and Lacrima grape varietals. It’s a fruity wine but really good and very refreshing. Nice fresh strawberry and nectarine with a crisp forward finish.
These thirteen wines are ideal to sip, gift, pair, and enjoy all 2022 and 2023 long! Wine is one of the most popular items to give for the holidays, so why not give the ones you love something unique and amazing they will love!
Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love, please pair responsibly!