Christmas is almost here! Time for the round up of the Best Wines for Christmas 2015. Let’s go through some of the wines we’ve tried this year to find the right bottles for your holiday! There are also a few more wines coming, so be sure to check back!
Need a quick reminder on how many bottles you should get for your party, we’ve reported the guide from our Thanksgiving list at the bottom!
First Pour Wine’s Best Wines for Christmas 2015
Valley of The Moon Chardonnay 2012 – No doubt a stand out choice for chardonnay regardless of the occasion, Valley of the Moon Chardonnay is a super smooth and creamy, loaded with vanilla, orange blossom, melon, and pear. A perfect choice for poultry or pork, and the chardonnay fans in your life. Available at Wine.Com
Rhiannon 2013 – Huge flavors of jammy blackberries, blueberries, and smoky caramel combine in a wonderful combination of sweet, spicy, and fruit. Luscious mouthfeel, and pronounced ending, and a subtle sweetness lends Rhiannon well toward dishes like duck, or complimenting lighter desserts.
Luccio Moscato d’Asti 2014 – Loaded with fresh, ripe peaches, apricots, and honey, Luccio Moscato d’Asti is beautiful, and semi-sweet. The wrong choice for beef tenderloin, but nice for cookies at dessert or perhaps turkey. No matter what guests drink this with, glass after glass are going down easy.
Clone 5 Pinot Noir 2010 – Clone 5 has a delightfully smooth texture, and pops with spice, cherries, and earthiness. If you happen to love pinot, this is a great choice, and will work well with pork, poultry, or salmon. Available at Wine Library – Use code IGC5P10 for Free Shipping
Dark Horse Petite Sirah 2013 – Packed with deep, jammy dark fruits, hints of oak and sweetness, Dark Horse Petite Sirah has a large smooth body and great tannic structure. It’s a great potential partner for heavier meats or desserts.
Gerard Bertrand Languedoc 2011 – Spicy gingerbread and garigue hide in the background of Gerard Bertrand Languedoc adding spicy notes to a beautiful combination of raspberries, blackberries, and black pepper. The medium body and tannins will make it versatile for almost any main dish. Available at Wine.Com
Peller Estates Baco Noir 2013 – Gamey, with plenty of smoke and blackberries, Peller Estates Baco Noir is something else entirely. The jamminess of the blackberries, brightness of the currant notes, and moderate body make a great adventurous choice for those who normally drink merlot or pinot noir.
Pillitteri Estates Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2014 – Combining the best of both worlds, Pillitteri Estates Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion has nice mix of honey, minerality, floral notes, and fresh pear. Both riesling and gewurz lovers will find something to like here, and the bird won’t mind either.
Last Minute & Acceptable
Need something but can’t find anything on our best list? Check out these alternatives:
Rios de Chile Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – Lean, with plenty of black plum and currants, Rios de Chile Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon offers a great, lean cab sauv that’s great for food duty, and won’t alienate medium bodied red drinkers.
Colores Del Sol Reserva Malbec 2014 – There’s a lot going for Colores Del Sol Reserva Malbec, especially with some of the delicious cherry and blackberries notes that get complimented by the smoke. That said, it’s worth it under $10, but outclassed at $20.
Pillitteri Estates Viognier 2012 – Pillitteri Estates Viognier offers nice, cool climate viognier with a lot of balance and texture. Good floral characteristics with hints of melon and citrus. A nice choice for the holiday meal.
Spergolino Bianco Classico Secco 2012 – Based off Sauvignon Blanc, Spergolino Bianco Classico Secco hits plenty of green notes and pulls in some gooseberry, apple, and lemon with a hint of musk. Available at Wine Library
Americo Nunes Seabra Dao 2008 – With a fleshy texture and lots of flavors of underripe cherries, stone, and black plums, Americo Nunes Seabra Dao 2008 is reaching a prime point in it’s life. It would make a good choice for beef tenderloin or roast pork.
Paringa Shiraz 2013 – Lots of smoke and berries combine to make a nice spicy – fruity mix that features prominently in Paringa Shiraz. The brightness and tannins will work well with roasts for dinner.
Alexander & Fitch Merlot 2013 – Spicy with lots of baked fruit cherries and plums, there’s a definite skew toward spice for Alexander & Fitch Merlot. Even so, there’s a lot of value here for a merlot under $10.
Maggio Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 – When it comes to Christmas dinner, sweetness in the wine isn’t the first thing you’d look for. Nevertheless, Maggio Old Vine Zinfandel offers a lot of raisin, chocolate, prunes, and dried cherry flavors with a hint of sweetness. It might be fun for after dinner though. Available at Wine.Com
Trader Joe’s Blanc de Blancs Brut – Bright, bready, and lemony, Trader Joe’s Blanc de Blancs Brut has some peaky flavors that might be good for cocktails, but is a bit muddled on it’s own.
Bosco Del Cirmioli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013 – Bosco Del Cirmioli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes in huge bottle, containing huge rustic, farmyard flavors and sour cherry notes. The acidity is fun, and it’s very food ready, but not a sipper.
Perescuma 2013 – Tons of complexity here, with flavors ranging from coffee to unripe blackberries to black pepper, Perescuma 2013 has promise. The tannic structure is still somewhat tightly wound, and needs serious decanting or another year or two. Perhaps next year! Free Shipping with code IGPER13 at Wine Library
Electric Reindeer White Zinfandel – Electric Reindeer White Zinfandel is no Sutter Home, but it does off some refreshing fresh strawberry flavors. Just be careful opening.
Lumps of Coal
If someone on your list has been bad this year, you might consider giving them one of these bottles.
Electric Reindeer Moscato – Electric Reindeer Moscato has some bizarre rubbery flavors and an artificial sort of pineapple thing going on. It’s sweet, but not worth the time. Try Seven Daughters instead.
Santa Rita Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Green peppers, herbal notes, and unripe blackberries are the driving flavors here. If you need an organic choice, this is your bottle. Otherwise, consider Alexander & Fitch Merlot or Gerard Bertrand Languedoc in the section above. Available at Wine Library
Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Elegant and muscular, Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is full of baked blackberries, caramel, baking spices, and violets. A subtle earthiness and a smooth texture make this a beautiful choice for the big red lover in your life. Wine.Com has the previous vintage 2012 for $32
Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – With a texture like silk, Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is deeply flavorful. Loaded with chocolate, jammy plums, fresh figs, and cigar box, it’s unbelievably drinkable, especially with the velvety tannins and the full bodied texture throughout. Sure, it’s expensive, but darn is it worth it. Available at Wine.Com
Need more ideas? Check out First Pour Wine’s Holiday Wine Gift Guide 2015
How many bottles should I buy for my party?
In order to figure out the number of bottles you’ll need, use the following formula:
# of Bottle for Holiday Party = (# of guests drinking wine x # hours for the party) ÷ 5
For example, a 5 guest party going for 4 hours would want to have 4 bottles of wine. If the party had 10 guests, you’d want to buy 8 bottles.
Finally, please remember to get your DD something nice, and drink responsibly!
Got questions about wines for the holidays? Let us know in the comments, and have a happy holiday!