Holiday Wine Guide 2020!

The holiday season is upon us! After Thanksgiving begins a season full of cheer, music, and hope. Although this year has been weird for most, I think that no matter what, the holiday season can always bring some sort of cheer, light, and reflection to our lives for the better. I love reflecting this time of year, and seeing all the good things, and the lessons the year brought me. Doing so, with a glass or two of great wine does help as well, but also sharing great wines with those you love, is a great way to feel the spirit of the season too!

Here are some great wines to sip, gift, and enjoy all winter long!

Best for stocking stuffers!

Robert Hall Winery Half Bottles- Robert Hall one of my go-to wineries in California for amazing quality wines, at everyday prices now has the best gift this holiday season. Half Bottles that will fit right in your Stocking are the ideal Christmas season stuffer to give! I had the pleasure of tasting the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and the quality is right there, just like in the regular size bottles. Pair these with some fun cheeses, chocolates, and or a restaurant gift card for a cute date night gift idea. $8.99/bottle

Acrobat Wine Cans- These cans are perfect for a stocking stuffer, and will pair well with your holiday plans. The Rosé is a favorite of mine, as well as the Pinot Gris. Both are refreshing and fun, and perfect for any time, and anywhere (as long as you’re not driving). Pair these cans with some great snacks, for the ultimate winter movie night in! $7.99/can

Best to bring to a holiday brunch or small gathering!

Paul Cheneau, Lady of Spain Cava This is a fun bottle that will totally stand out at your small gathering! It makes a great gift, as well as a fun piece to entertain with. The wine is wonderful it’s crisp and refreshing with nice acidity and a creaminess. It has a nice mouthfeel, and would pair great with Roasted Grape and Ricotta Crostini! $14.99

Weed Cellars Sparkling Rosé- Just a fun bubbly to bring to a party or brunch. It’s fruity and fun on its own, but add it to sangria or a cocktail, and you can have even more fun! Don’t worry there is no CBD or THC in this wine, the name is simply the brand. This wine is fruity and fun with strawberry, raspberry, and red fruit notes. On the palate, it’s delicious and can easily pair with a perfect winter brunch! $12.99

2018 The Prisoner Chardonnay– Working with a diverse variety of Chardonnay, Roussanne, and Gewürztraminer, this wine is bursting with aromas of vanilla, crème brûlée, and baked apple. Full-bodied and rich, this Chardonnay integrates flavors of pineapple and toasted oak for a smooth finish. This wine is ideal for a winter brunch complete with Lemon Ricotta Pancakes or Lobster Benedict! $39

2018 Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon- A cabernet for brunch? Hell yeah! Sometimes the weather is just too cold to want to sip anything else but delicious red wine. This Cabernet by Hess is outstanding, with aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, lavender, and a touch of vanilla. Allomi Cabernet is concentrated but also has well-integrated tannins that provide a round, luxurious mouthfeel. Layers of juicy black fruit, with hints of espresso backed by a subtle oak spice that is ideal for brunch or lunch this winter. Pair this with some Butternut Squash Ravioli, a warm Bolognese Sauce over fresh pasta, or even a Margherita Pizza, the pairing opportunities are endless with this wine! $36 

Best gift for the “host/hostess with the most-est” or your boss! 

Champagne Boizel Brut Réserve-  You can never go wrong by giving someone Champagne! This Brut Reserve is the ambassador of the Boizel House. Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Champagne’s most coveted Grands and Premiers Crus, this wine is ideal for a gift and or any celebration! It is elegant champagne, blended with the best crus of Pinot Meunier and is ideal for anyone who you want to give something really nice too, without spending too much. $49.99

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial- A beautiful gift, made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. It’s a spontaneous and romantic expression from this iconic wine brand and is full of bright fruit, maturity, and elegance. It has a gorgeous pink color with amber highlights, and a full nose full of fruit and flowers. Some pepper lingers, following through to a lively finish complete with peach and berries. $60

2019 The Prisoner Red Blend- Driving the luxury red blend category, this exceptional wine combines Zinfandel with an unusual but really nice mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Charbono. In this vintage, the Red Blend highlights aromas of dark cherry and cooked fig. You’ll also notice delicious ripe raspberry and hints of vanilla. It is structured and full-bodied with a smooth and delicious finish. Overall this is great for anyone who loves California wines and wants to try something outside the Cabernet and Pinot Noir category.  $49 

2018 The Prisoner Cabernet Sauvignon- Made in the same popular style as the Red Blend, this Cabernet Sauvignon features focused dark fruit flavors for a rich, full mouthfeel. On the nose, aromas of black cherry and ripe plums are very attractive, following through to a seductive vanilla and baking spice finish. This wine is ideal to gift to someone whether you know their tastes or not because everyone could always use a great Cabernet to have around the house! $54.99

2017 Hess Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon This striking Napa Cab is elegant in texture with aromas of blackberries, black cherries, and notes of freshly ground coffee. Ideal as a gift to give yourself and another person you love (yes, I recommend buying more than one). This wine has a touch of Malbec which adds a softness to the tannins. It’s a smooth wine layered with notes of blueberry, smoke, and chocolate. It has an elegant finish and is ideal for entertaining this cold winter season! $65

2012 Chêne Bleu Abélard- An incredible wine, made predominately with Grenache and using a touch of Syrah. It’s stunning, and I enjoyed this one decanted before serving because of its layered complexity and concentration. This wine is ideal for the holidays and makes a great gift to someone who really loves and appreciates wine.  This is an unusual example of Grenache and a fantastic one at that! This is a wine that’s perfect for your Christmas dinner and tastes great when decanted or opened a bit. It’s a special wine that should be shared with good company and great pairings. $90

2012 Chêne Bleu Héloïse: Another expression that is elegant and refined. It is a Syrah-based blend with one-third Grenache and a touch of white, Viognier, or Roussanne depending upon the vintage. Produced in the “spirit “of the cooler climate of the Northern Rhone, like a Côte Rôtie, while still maintaining its own identity. It’s gorgeous and delicious and can be enjoyed now as well as laid down to age a bit. This is ideal to gift to a great boss, as well as a wonderful friend because if they enjoy luxurious and interesting wines, they will absolutely fall for the Héloïse.$90

The most popular question I get from Thanksgiving until Valentine’s Day is “What’s a good wine?” or “what do I buy for my…” Here is a great list, you can gift to yourself, as well as everyone you know. These wines are all very approachable in price and style and are great wines to entertain with and give as gifts. Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love, please pair responsibly!

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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