By Rai Cornell
Mulled cider, honey ham, peppermint sticks - the holidays are paired with some of the most wonderful traditional scents and flavors. Complete the picture with the perfect holiday wine. Here at Vinebox, we believe the only true way to discover your unique wine profile is to try a lot of wine. (We’ll be right over to twist your arm.) The perfect time to do that is while you’re warm and cozy beside the fire enjoying all the beauty of the holidays. To get you started on your wine exploration and self-discovery journey, we’ve put together a little checklist for you. These are our favorite 12 wines to sip during the holidays. We hope you enjoy them all this holiday season.
Whether you want to treat yourself or you’re looking for the perfect wine gifts for the oenophiles in your life, reds are always a must-have during the holidays.
Warwick Estate Trilogy Stellenbosch
If you’re putting together a wine gift box this year, you best include this classic bouquet of three Bordeaux grapes. On the first sip, you’ll be awakened by the multitude of deep, bold flavors in this 2012 South African wine. Notes of black currants, cherries, and dark chocolate will keep you going back for more.
Château Maison Blanche
This 2005 timeless Bordeaux will give you a new perspective on fruit cake. Mixed with herbal aromas and tobacco undertones, this blend includes a sophisticated blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc for a robust yet smooth experience.
Asda Extra Special Chianti Riserva
To make those holiday wine gifts extra special, reach for this 2013 Chianti from Tuscany. What gives this vintage its extra unique twist is a longer aging process. Time allows this bottle to develop richer notes of juicy black cherries and complex spices. Enjoy a glass with a rich stew or bolognese sauce.
Seresin Estate Rachel Pinot Noir
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas wine, it doesn’t get much better than this beautiful 2012 pinot noir from Marlborough, New Zealand. Christmas rings of baked goods, pies, and tart fruits like raspberries and cranberries - and so does this pinot noir. Enjoy it with your holiday feast or anytime you’re in the mood for something that tastes like Christmas.
Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage Port
The only way to know port is to try port. Deceptively sweet, this Portuguese red from 2011 is full of surprises. Though you’ll certainly enjoy the deep flavors of dried fruit and tannins in a glass of this port, it also comes with a wonderfully rich mouth feel that will satisfy your after-dinner sweet tooth.
Refreshing, bright, and always in season, we love our white wines. While you’re unwinding in the winter evenings, reach for one of these wonders.
Cave de Beblenheim Pinot Gris Reserve
Pinot Gris is our go-to when we’re feeling like sipping something fresh and fun. This 2016 vintage from France is just that and more. With layers of pear, quince, and spices, you’ll love this sweet but savory almost-dry white while enjoying a dinner of turkey, blackened fish, or curry.
Kumeu River Chardonnay
Another must-have in your holiday wine gift baskets, this 2015 Estate Chardonnay from New Zealand is a must-try. Each sip will have you dreaming of pineapple upsidedown cake and fresh melon. Enjoy it early in the evening before your meal or with a fruit-based dessert.
La Dame Blanche White Bordeaux
We love mulled cider and rich, frothy cups of hot chocolate, but every once in awhile we crave something crisp with a bit of bite. This 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from France is a refreshing twist on white wine. Its notes of grapefruit and exotic fruits will brighten up those long nights and short days while pairing perfectly with fish and vegetable dishes.
Hauck Riesling Spätlese Trocken
Though the Germans are often better known for their outstanding beer brewing skills, their rich countrysides are teeming with excellent wineries as well. This 2015 Riesling from Rheinhessen, Germany, is bright and acidic with characteristics of peaches, apricots, and limes. As a “trocken,” which means “dry” in German, this Riesling often surprises and delights those who are diehard red wine drinkers. Pair it with cheeses and buttery desserts rich in fat.
Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos
Sometimes when you’re craving something sweet, you just have to indulge your tastebuds. This 2009 bottle of Hungarian sweet white wine is certainly an indulgence, but with uplifting layers of citrus and apricots.
Rosés are like the middle child in a huge family - they’re often forgotten, but they can be something extra special. While you’re getting to know your reds and whites this holiday season, don’t forget about the rosés.
Clos de l'Ours Rosé L'Accent
We love a great wine with an impressive backstory. The winemakers at Clos de l'Ours are true dream-chasers. In 2008, this family of four left their home in London to move to the French countryside in Provence and start a family-run winery. Not only does their passion and dedication to quality speak through all of their wines, but their adventurous outlook on life has introduced us to something amazing. This Rosé L'Accent is a delicate blend of five different grapes that all come together to form the perfect blend of fruity complexity. Enjoy a glass as an aperitif to awaken your palate before digging into a hearty winter meal.
Reginato Celestina Sparkling Rosé
During the holidays, sometimes you need to pour yourself a glassful of something festive. The Reginato Celestina Sparkling Rosé is that for us. Not only is this rosé’s bubbliness enchanting, but the notes remind us of some of our favorite winter treats like rhubarb pie and strawberry trifle. The Reginato Celestina Italian rosé is made entirely from Malbec grapes which will give you a fabulous first impression of this grape’s character and whimsy.
Did you find a favorite among our collection? Tell us about your favorite holiday wine in the comments below. For extra brownie points, share a picture with us on Instagram at @GetVinebox.