Holiday Wine Guide!

Fall approached fast, after what seemed to be a never-ending summer. I know many enjoy as much summer as possible, but in the fall and winter is when I thrive. I absolutely love the chill in the air, it’s energizing by day, and also makes you want to curl up with a great glass of wine at night.

I’ve had the pleasure of tasting many wines this year and think these wines pair perfectly with fall foods, friends, family, and more. Whether you’re thinking about gifts to bring to holiday parties and dinners, or whether you simply want some pairings for your own celebrations and get-togethers this season, here’s a list for you to try!

Sparkling

Martini & Rossi Rosé- This demi-sec style of sparkling wine is exciting with aromas of raspberry, strawberry, and rose. On the palate it’s playful and alluring, making it a great aperitif to greet your holiday guests. If you want to pair it with food, however, appetizers would work very well with this fun and food friendly sparkler! $12.99

Martini & Rossi Asti- This sparkling wine is fragrant and low in alcohol, which makes it the perfect day drinking wine (at least in my opinion)! This is a wine you can enjoy with friends while cooking your holiday meal, or simply just because. It’s sweet and food friendly and is a great match with spicy food as well as Asian inspired dishes. $12.99

Tommasi Filodora Prosecco- This wine comes from carefully selected grapes grown on a small estate. It’s light in color with an enticing nose of citrus fruit and flowers. On the palate, it is elegant, dry, and easy to drink. This is a great wine with cheeses, appetizers, as well as white meat. $17

Bervini 1955 NV Rosé Extra Dry- This wine is made from Raboso and Cabernet grapes which is very different than many of the rosés I’ve had on the site before. It’s dry with notes of raspberry with balanced acidity and a finesse that’s irresistible! Pair this with meats, fish, and pizza. $18.99

Côté Mas Crémant De Limoux Rosé Brut- From the Languedoc, France, this beautiful sparkling wine makes my top picks every single year three years in a row now! I love this wine for its nose of honeysuckle and peach and it’s elegant palate. This wine is great on its own but can also easily pair with a variety of cuisines. $15.99

Louis Pommery California Sparkling-  This California Sparkling wine is that of Champagne Pommery, who decided to launch this Louis Pommery, seeking to keep the tradition of sophisticated French winemaking combined with California style and innovation. Notes of green apple and lemon fill the glass, and on the palate, you will notice nice bright acidity with peaches and apricot notes. This is a playful wine that’s perfect for the holiday season! $19.99

Carpene Malvolti 1868 Brut Prosecco Superiore DOCG- This fresh and vibrant prosecco is an elegant expression of the Galera grape. It is extra dry and fruity with aromas of apple and citrus. On the palate, it’s soft with nice acidity making it a perfectly pleasing prosecco to enjoy as an aperitif. $22.00

Whites

Sant’ Arturo Moscato-  I am not putting this wine in the dessert category even though it is sweet because many people enjoy this style of wine with their holiday celebrations and meals. If you’re anything like my mother, you enjoy Moscato anytime and anywhere. This sweet sparkling wine is friendly and approachable with notes of honeysuckle and stone fruit. Overall it’s a fun sweet wine for a great price. $12

Sant’ Arturo Pinot Grigio- This Pinot Grigio from Veneto is crisp and refreshing with bright mineral notes, some citrus, and white flowers. On the palate, it is dry and fruity. Keep this around at the holiday table for your Pinot Grigio lovers, it’s a great price and very food friendly. $12

Snowbirds Vintners Grüner Veltliner- Created by award-winning Chef Jamie McFadden, this wine is seriously delicious in a “not so serious” bottle. With Winemaker Normal Saley, Jamie created a wine that would pair well with a variety of cuisines. This wine is from the Lake Chelan AVA of the Columbia River Valley and grown at a vineyard that specializes in German/Austrian varietals. This wine is crisp, fresh, and mineral driven with notes of key lime,

Au Contraire Chardonnay

lemon, and grapefruit. $18 

2016 Au Contraire Chardonnay- This Russian River Valley Chardonnay has pronounced lemon and pear notes that are very attractive. On the palate, you will notice striking brioche notes with lingering citrus and nice acidity. This wine is a match with many of the holiday dishes you will have out on the table and is a staple chardonnay when entertaining. $19.99

2016 NZ Sauvignon Blanc, by Dave Phinney- A bright pale yellow with a nose of tropical fruit and a long finish. This wine is very well balanced and beautiful. For the crisp and dry sauvignon blanc drinkers, who like something upbeat, less grassy, and more vivacious… this is the wine for you! $18.99

2014 Nik Weis Urban Riesling- This Mosel Riesling from Nik Weis Selection is fresh and juicy with elegant mineral characteristics from the rich slate soils the vines are grown in. This wine has bright tangerine and stone fruit flavors with a crisp long finish. $12

2015 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Riesling, Semi-Dry- This wine is from the Finger Lakes, NY and is semi-dry. It’s light golden in color with a vibrant mouthfeel of honey, citrus zest, and some stone notes. This wine is really fun with Asian cuisine, however, it can easily pair with your holiday appetizers and side dishes. $14.99

2015 Bex Riesling From the Nahe area of Germany, this Riesling is crisp and refreshing with juicy stone fruit flavors and some orange blossom. It’s mouthwatering and mineral driven with a very attractive stone and lime finish that easily pairs with appetizers and even dessert! $11

Rosés

2016 F Rosé, by Dave Phinney- 100% Grenache and a super fun rosé! Once again, Dave Phinney has managed to make me fall in love with another one of his locations wines. It’s a rich salmon color with intense notes of watermelon, raspberry, and flowers. Hints of minerality are noticeable which compliment the strawberry flavors on the palate.  $18.99

2016 Ramon Cardova Rosado- From Rioja, this Garnacha/ Viura blend is predominately Garnacha with just 20% Viura. It’s a wine that’s fresh and balanced with intense fruit, a gorgeous salmon pink color, and is ideal as an aperitif or with Thanksgiving dishes. $15.99

2016 Psâgot Rosé Wine- This blend is from Israel from the northern Jerusalem Mountains. This wine is fresh and clean with bold fruit flavors, mineral notes, and grapefruit. This wine is medium bodied with clean notes of stone and pomegranate with good acidity and dryness. This wine easily pairs with lamb, Mediterranean cuisine, and holiday festivities! $19.99

2016 Sainte Beatrice Instant B Rosé- Because Provence rosés aren’t all gone for the season, this Instant B rosé combines modern winemaking techniques with regional traditions. This is a typical Provence rosé that’s absolutely perfect for the holiday season and will easily pair with your Thanksgiving meal. It’s both light and fruit forward, as well as elegant and fresh. $13.99

Maiden and Liberty 2016 Languedoc Rosé- Our Languedoc Rosé is a full-bodied, complex companion to meatier fish like salmon, tuna, and swordfish, as well as turkey, chicken and Christmas hams. Enjoy it on its own with it’s crisp, refreshing taste and a long finish. $17.99

 

Reds

2016 Aimé Red Blend- This wine is made to be shared the Argentinian way, with food, friends, and fun! This red blend is made from Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes and is elegant, spicy, and fruit forward. $8.99

2016 The Crossings Pinot Noir- This New Zealand Pinot Noir has bright aromas of black fruit and violets. This wine is elegant and approachable with savory notes that linger on the palate and pair beautifully with meats and vegetable side dishes. $19.99

2014 August Kesseler Pinot Noir From the Pfalz region in Germany, this dry red wine is elegant and attractive. It’s lighter in style with nice cherry aromas and black currant notes. This wine is very well balanced and has a lingering finish. Pair this wine with meats, pasta’s, and cheeses. $31.99

2013 La Pinot Pinot Noir- From the Santa Lucia Highlands in California, this pinot noir is seriously smooth and velvety with subtle hints of earth, sage, and purple fruit. It’s a wine that gives you everything up front, leaving you time to spend with family and friends, instead of analyzing its complex flavors and aromas. $19

Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel- This wine is refined yet assertive with attractive cherry, spice, and earthy aromas. On the palate it’s dry and incredibly seductive expressing notes of dried cherry, coffee, and chocolate with hints of plum, blueberry, and blackberries. The finish is long and delicious making this wine a wonderful one to sip from appetizers to dinner, and if there’s any left… dessert too! $60

2013 Snowbirds Monterey Merlot- This 2013 Monterey Merlot was a collaboration between Chef Jamie McFadden and Winemaker Norm Saley. It’s soft with balanced tannins and a nose of cherry and licorice. On the palate, it is dry with present oak notes and spice. This wine is perfect for pairing with pork and braised meats. $18

Maiden and Liberty French-American Red Blend- This blend’s complexity and smooth texture make it perfect for sipping with meats such as brisket, roast beef and steaks, and as well as meatier fish varieties. It’s soft tannins pair well with lasagna or enjoy by itself near your fireplace. Retail: $21.99

2015 Arrogant Frog Cabernet Merlot Blend 2015- Intense ruby color with a striking nose of raspberry, cherry, currants, and sweet baking spice. This wine is approachable and food friendly with intense fruit and spice flavors. It’s dry and smooth with seductive tannins and a lingering finish.

2014 3C Premium Selection (Grandes Vinos y Viñedos)- This wine is named for the town, appellation, and grape: Cariñena. This red is aged for 5 months in French oak and has an intense taste that combines the ripe fruit and flowers, which is typical of the Cariñena variety. To add complexity you will also notice spice from the oak. 

2015 Particular Cariñena (Bodegas San Valero)- This wine is part of a special collection of wines that pay tribute to the winegrowers’ ancestral traditions. Deep cherry in color with rich aromas of black ripe fruits and hints of balsamic. It’s a fresh and silky wine that is ideal with all types of meat. $10

2015 Paniza Cariñena (Bodegas Paniza)- is one of five single-varietal bottlings from the winery, displaying the unique characteristics of different varietals grown in the Cariñena vineyards. Well-structured with bright acidity, Paniza Cariñena displays aromas of strawberries and blackberries together with spicy notes. $13

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! PLEASE PAIR RESPONSIBLY…

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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