Its Time for Holiday Party Wines!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means holiday parties are all around. From family and friends fêtes to office soirées, you are definitely going to need libations to keep the party going. Whether you are a reveler joining as a guest or a dutiful host, here are 10 fantastic holiday party wines that won’t break the bank, but are guaranteed to brighten everyone’s Christmas spirit.
Castell de Sant Pau Cava Brut Nature
Look, bubbles are expected from your holiday party wines at this time of the year. It’s a celebration after all. You can keep the price down by shying away from true Champagne and looking towards Spain for Cava. This selection from Castel de Sant Pau is aged on its lees for 24 months and given no sugar during the dosage stage. The result will remind you of grower Champagne, but at a fraction of the cost. It is crisp and refreshing with citrus, dried apricot, biscuit, and nut notes. Pair with fresh out of the oven gougères.
Naia Las Brisas Blanco
You will quickly learn that Spain has some of the best values on wines. This bright and cheery white blend is no exception. Made from Verdejo, Viura, and Sauvignon Blanc, the Las Brisas is racy and aromatic with notes of green apple, lemon, nectarine, and lime. Its bracing acidity makes it adaptable to a variety of party foods. I suggest a pairing of a classic fondue.
Scarpetta Pinot Grigio
Keeping a Pinot Grigio on hand is a safe bet for the guest that is not too adventurous in their wine journey. However, that does not mean that your holiday party wines have to be pedestrian or insipid. The Scarpetta Pinot Grigio is a flavorful and beguiling Italian beauty. Aromas and flavors of citrus, peach, melon, and white flower are braced by a stony minerality. This wine shows that Pinot Grigio can be lively and surprising when made well. Pair with prosciutto and soft Italian cheeses.
Kono Sauvignon Blanc
This has been one of my favorite finds and has shown up on a few Top 100 lists over the years. A prototypical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Kono shows all the right notes of gooseberry, tropical fruit, melon, and grapefruit. It has a delicate balance of racy acidity and juicy fruit. A real crowd pleaser of a white wine. Kick it old school and pair this with crab puffs.
Cave de Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay
Let’s keep the Chardonnay lovers happy and surprise a few others with this French offering. A classic Maconnais wine and a superb value at the price, the Les Charmes is wonderfully rich and round Chardonnay that shows notes of lemon and orange, baking spice, and honeyed nuts. Looking for a holiday party wines pairing? Deviled eggs, y’all!
Banfi Centine Rosso Toscano
I’m kicking off the holiday party wines red selections with this guaranteed pleaser. The Banfi Centine takes the Sangiovese grapes not chosen for the more esteemed Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino selections from Banfi and blends them with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The result is a mini-Super Tuscan for just a ten-spot. Intense and spicy, with gobs of dark berry fruit and a smidge of earthiness. Break out some “Mad Men” inspired recipes and pair this with rumaki for a flavor explosion.
Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir
There are very few Pinot Noirs under $15 that I recommend, but this is one that I am always happy to give. The Cartlidge & Browne is an easy-going Pinot, with dark raspberry and Bing cherry fruit, touches of cinnamon and clove, with a hint of underbrush. Drink this as while you standing at the buffet table hoarding the brie en croute.
Stephen Vincent Crimson Red Blend
A lush and juicy California red blend, the Crimson is made of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit forward with minimal tannins and showcasing notes of blueberry pie, baking spice, dark chocolate, and black licorice. No frills, no fuss. Just good, honest juice. Keep it fun by pairing this with pigs in a blanket.
Silk & Spice Red Blend
This one is a gem. Portugal is not just about Port wine anymore, as the country’s winemakers keep producing cheap and cheerful reds and whites for us to enjoy. The Silk & Spice Red Blend has been honored with many “best buy” and “best value” accolades from publications the past three years. Yes, it is silky and spicy, but also shows off gobs of red and black berry fruit, anise, and dark floral notes. Pair with spicy beef empanadas.
Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clásico
A fantastic, easy drinking Malbec is always welcome at a party. The Altos Las Hormigas is a fruit-driven pleaser with no touches of oak. Bright raspberry and dark plum fruit float on a savory palate. Pair with Swedish meatballs.
Looking for more wine suggestions? Check out what we recommended for Thanksgiving!
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