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Holiday Wine Guide
During the holidays, your wine can be just as important as what you’re sitting down to enjoy with your family and friends. Remember the first time you snuck a sip of that boxed wine your mother hid on top of the refrigerator and how awesome you thought it was? (Little did we realize then that she was using that crap for cooking those meals we refused to eat!) Well, now that you’re all grown up, it’s the perfect opportunity to recreate that feeling, only this time with quality wines that are sure to impress your guests!
For the holidays, we're all about big, bold spicy red and sparkling wines.
If your family is anything like ours, chances are from the moment you walk in there's a football game on the television and you'll either find everyone huddled around the television or in the kitchen waiting for their one meal of the day to be served. Choose light and medium-bodied wines that go well with hors d'oeuves. Red wines such as Pinot Noir and Rhone are easy drinking wines that can be enjoyed with various snacks and Barbera and Zinfandel can stand up to turkey. For whites, we like sparkling.
Our Pick: Miner Family Winery 2005 Odyssey Rhône Red Blend is flowing with spice and structural aroma. This will pair beautifully with a turkey brined in this.
For etiquette sake, it's typically considered a polite gesture to bring the host/hostess a gift, your way of saying thank you for the invitation, so if you've been invited to a holiday party and you plan to attend, consider purchasing a bottle to take along with you (just don't buy anything too fancy, otherwise you might be upset when you see that your $100 bottle of Super Tuscan has been opened and poured into a giant vat of sangria.) If you're buying a bottle for your boss and you don't know his or her wine preferences, consider a sparkling rosé which are easy drinking and are easy to pair. If you're hosting the party, consider purchasing several different varietals at various price points to appease everyone. Be cautious of serving sparkling wine as we've all heard horror stories of someone drinking too much sparkling wine and relieving themselves all over your freshly cleaned white carpet (we tend to over do it on sparkling wine!)
Our Pick: WTN Exclusive House Red & White Mixed Case (host; $242); J Vineyards Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine (gift; $30)
Christmas / Hanukah
For Christmas and Hanukah, you want to select wines that will stand up to the ferocious roast you've prepared for your loved ones. Cabernet Sauvignon is the obvious choice as it can stand on its own when put up against a robust prime rib, while Syrah and Tempranillo won't be overpowered by your grandmother's brisket recipe. For your non-red drinkers, give them the option of Rosé, which isn't as delicate as one may think.
Cabernet Sauvignon can get pricey, so it's our recommendation to go for a moderately priced bottle ($50-$80 range) as opposed to a cheap or overly-expensive bottle. Seek out a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with solid tannins (bold, cases fruit, autumn scented). A more affordable alternative is Tempranillo. Buy a bottle that is fruit-forward, with a hint of tobacco and leather to go with your beef brisket or rib roast. If you're serving ham or chicken, consider Rosé, Syrah (not Petite-Syrah) or something sparkling.
Our Pick: Clos Pegase 2004 Hommage Cabernet Sauvignon $80
New Year's Celebration
Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles are in order for a festive New Year's Eve Celebration. Buy a case or several different types of sparkling wine to keep your guests on their toes. You don't have to serve only white bubbles, go for some rosé or even Moscato or Riesling for those who (gasp!) don't enjoy bubbles with their wine.
Our Picks: Poolside Sparklers Summer 6-pack $160 or Sparkling Bubbles Collection - 6 Bottles $180