5 Must-Try Wines For The Winter Holidays

Wine and the holidays seem to go hand-in-hand (yay!). But what wine do you serve with what dish/course/meal plan? What wines make a great hostess gift?

From wine pairings for charcuterie boards to which wine to serve with your holiday dessert, you should find something in this post. I’ve tried to outline why I love these wines, some food pairing ideas and tips on how to serve them. I didn’t get into too much detail on tasting notes…we’ll touch on that in the new year!

Below I’ve outlined five of my favorite wines for the holiday season or really any time of year. These are household staples for me (i.e. I usually have them on hand), they’re easy to find and shouldn’t break the bank. Whether you’re staying in or heading out, these wines should pair perfectly with your holiday plans. Cheers!

 

A Bit of Bubbles: Prosecco

Ah, bubbles. My go-to party favourite! Often less expensive than Champagne and perfectly refreshing, her Italian cousin, Prosecco, is a lovely sparkling wine! Bubbles are great for celebrations, pairing with snacks and even fruit platters.

I like a crisp, semi-sweet Prosecco for its refreshing qualities and the size of bubbles. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a great bottle of bubbles, but this is not an area where I’d cheap out, either…as anyone who was served Baby Duck can attest!

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Current Fave: La Marca Prosecco

Why I Love It: It’s well-priced, great quality and easily accessible. You can literally find it at any liquor store and sometimes it comes in little single serve bottles! It’s unfussy and a great “every day” wine.

Serving Tips: Many like to serve bubbles in traditional flutes, but I like my Prosecco in a stemless wine glass – even better are stemless flutes. Always serve chilled. I’ve always got a bottle of this in my fridge, just in case! Serving mini bottles? Pair with striped paper straws!

Alternative Ideas: If serving a custom cocktail at a holiday party is something you’re looking to do, check out our compiled list here on Pinterest. Prosecco can be an easy substitute for Champagne in any champagne-cocktail recipes.

For the Charcuterie Board:
Full Bodied Red

Many wine drinkers, especially those new to the wine scene, tend to lean towards a full-bodied red. And who can blame them, really? I love a beautiful, full-bodied red wine as much as the next person, but it has to be good.

My issue with many of the easily accessible, medium price point wines on the market is that they are often sugar-added and can lean towards syrupy. I want full bodied flavour, not a dessert topping!

This season if you’re looking for a great charcuterie board wine pairing or a wine that goes great with red meat dishes, look no further.

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Current Fave: Six Eight Nine

Why I Love It: Because it is really, really good. Simply put, for a really great red, this one is (usually!) pretty easy to find, at a fair price point and is quite simply, just lovely. 689 is the best California red wine I’ve had in a long time. It’s a delightful red wine blend so it should pair well with most dishes.

Serving Tips: Serve in a large, stemmed wine glass. It’s a nice wine, break out the nice glasses. I personally don’t like my full-bodied reds warming too much in my hands (which can be the case with a stemless glass).

For Everything…Even Turkey:
Pinot Noir

If you follow me on Social, you know that Pinot Noir is my current favourite varietal. I love it as a lovely red wine or in bubbles (it’s what Champagne is made out of, after all!). Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine for fish and poultry dishes. the recommended bottle below lends itself well even to red meats as it is a medium body and nicely balanced. This isn’t your red fruit-forward or overly peppered pinot.

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Current Fave: Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir

Why I Love It: I love this particular vineyard’s Pinot Noir because of its balance and versatility. I haven’t found anything yet that it doesn’t pair nicely with. It is also of very high quality at a reasonable price point. The Okanagan is one of Canada’s best wine growing regions and their Pinots are some of my fave. When someone tells me they don’t like Pinot Noir, I serve them a glass of this and watch them fall in love with it. Every. Single. Time.

Serving Tips: Pinot Noir can be served lightly chilled or at that perfect 18C (“castle temperature”). Serve in stemmed or stemless glasses before, during and after dinner.

Tip: If you don’t have access to Canadian wines, try a Pinot from Washington State! 

Fireside Favorite: Oaked Chardonnay

I love a good oaked Chardonnay. There, I said it. Not all wine drinkers think that Chardonnay should be oaked at all, but I think that there are some really nice ones out there. Also, some people avoid white wines in the winter because they’re looking for something “warmer” and fuller bodied. An oaked Chardonnay can take care of that.

If you haven’t had an oaked Chardonnay before then I really suggest you start with this one. It’s slightly pricier than others in its category but it is well worth it. The stunning bottle makes it a perfect hostess gift, too (hint to future guests…).

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Current Fave: Mission Hill Perpetua Chardonnay

Why I Love It: Its buttery goodness. This is my absolute favorite oaked Chard and we even have a few bottles cellared (we’re collectors).

Serving Tips: I love this wine in a stemless glass – I find the flavour profile changes a bit from chilled to room temperature. My fave way to enjoy this wine? Some homemade popcorn with a drizzle of truffle oil and shaved parmesan cheese. You can thank me later.

Tip: If you’re ever in the Okanagan, be sure to visit the Mission Hill winery and tasting room. This particular bottle can be found in the special, private tasting room. 

Dessert Delight: Sauternes

In lieu of ice wine or traditional “dessert wine” (whatever that means), why not impress your guests this holiday season with a Sauternes (pronounced “soh-turn”). It’s immediately impressive to novice wine drinkers because it’s French and it’s not a varietal commonly found on your liquor store shelves.

I’m not one for sweet wines, ice wines or dessert wines of any kind, but I love,  love, love a good Sauternes. I find it pairs so nicely with desserts that feature fresh fruit, cheese platters with grapes and berries or even as dessert on its own. I prefer it to a brandy as a nightcap!

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Current Fave: Chateau Doisy-Védrines

Why I Love It: It’s smooth and sweet without being “bite-y” (if that makes sense?). This bottle should be easy to find (if it isn’t, please ask for help!) and shouldn’t break the bank for your holiday shopping list.

Serving Tips: I like to serve a Sauternes in small dessert wine glasses like those you’d use for an ice wine or even brandy.

Other Info: Want some more info on this type of wine? Don’t worry – we’ll get to it in the new year for you! Subscribe below so you don’t miss any updates!

 

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Carlee Krtolica
Carlee Krtolica

Editor-In-Chief

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