12 Wines to Drink Around the Holidays
Ready or not, here they come! The Holidays are just about here again, bringing 2022 to a close. But though the year might be ending, we have the chance to look back on a year of some truly spectacular wines we got to taste and now we can share those wines with you! Here’s our list for 12 Wines to Drink Around the Holidays - wines that we feel go great with Christmas Ham, Hanukkah Matzah Brei, New Years Celebration, and winter in general!
Winter Wines For Any Occasion:
This wine can barely be defined as a Pinot Noir, despite being made 100% from the Pinot Noir grape, just because of how thick and lush it is. Jammy blackberries and blueberries fill the mouth, with intense flavors of red berries, vanilla, and oak on the finish. Sure to warm you up and keep you feeling great!
Talk about a winter wine! 100% Syrah from the Northern Rhône in France, this wine is peppery and food-friendly. Bright red berry/raspberry-scented fruit with plenty of crushed black pepper notes. Medium body with bright acidity, pair this with a thick cut of meat (or a grilled mushroom burger!) for a perfect Winter pairing.
Nothing says “sitting by the fire and enjoying a white wine” like California Chardonnay. WALT (an off-shoot from HALL and representative of their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offerings) Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is a perfect accompaniment to a cold winter’s evening. Aged 15 months in 30% New French Oak, the wine has plenty of acidity to stand up to food, and plenty of mellow oak and butter notes to sip all on its own.
I can hear you already, “Zach, we want a red that isn’t aged in oak. Something light, but full of flavor!” Ok, consider your request heard! Domaine Faillenc’s Corbières Rouge is just that wine! A blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault (pronounced sin-so, for those wondering), this is a wine with enormous character often showing a rustic, almost animal aspect married to a vivacious wild berry symphony of aromas and flavors. Superb year round, but especially welcome in the cold weather.
Forget everything you know about Riesling - this wine is here to prove that Riesling can be the most versatile wine around! Neither sweet nor dry with spectacular aromatics and intensely food friendly, Koyama’s Riesling is the perfect pairing to the usual Riesling-paired cuisine (Thai, Indian, anything with Asian spices, really), but is simply gorgeous when enjoyed on its own. For those nights you’re letting spice keep you warm, keep this wine around!
Wine for Hanukkah:
The great thing about Jewish cooking is that it tends to make excellent use of middle-eastern spices and ingredients. When paired with the right wines, these ingredients really sing, and Bartenura’s Moscato is definitely one of the best wines you can use. On the sweeter side, but able to stand up to any spices you throw at it. This one is Kosher too!
Not Kosher, but paired with my favorite food out of Jewish cuisine (Matzoh Brei) Viognier is just spectacular. This particular wine, coming from Napa, California, is 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier, with all the floral qualities of the Viognier coming through against the backdrop of the acid and the balance of the Chenin. A beautiful wine for Hanukkah this year!
For me, Christmas with my grandma is defined by the food and that always means a glistening Christmas ham. I can’t think of a better example of wine for Christmas ham than a California Zinfandel, and Saldo is my favorite of the bunch. Dark, deep red fruits with explosive berry flavors that mesh perfectly with the cold and any paired fruit with your ham.
An absolutely stunning addition to your Christmas, and the perfect pairing for any Christmas dinner. Meyer lemon, pineapple, mango, lemon meringue, cantaloupe, and grapefruit. The wine finishes with a bright acidity, a touch of minerality, and a nice creamy mid palate texture. I cannot recommend this Sauvignon Blanc highly enough.
New Year’s Eve Wines:
This New Year’s doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, you can forego the traditional Champagne toast in favor of a Cava toast without missing a thing. In fact, you’re getting some pretty incredible flavors at a fraction of the cost - aromas of golden delicious apples and pears with pleasant floral notes, crisp and light-bodied on the palate, with slightly sweet dried fruit flavors accompanied by a mild minerality on the palate.
There’s something to be said for following the trends and drinking the hot new thing. Organic and Natural wines like the Jousset Exile Pet-Nat not only give you the beauty of a sparkling wine, but all the flavors that can be lost during typical fining and filtration. White fruits, ripe peach, floral notes with a salty and crisp palate. Gentle, easy-drinking bubbles.
If you’re going to go for a Champagne, well, you might as well go for the best, right? Go big or go home! Though many are turned off by a rosé Champagne, the truth is that these are the best of the best and the most highly sought after. Intensely fruity flavors, clean and slightly sharp, the wine opens to the sensation of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, cherries, blackcurrant and raspberry. The finish is supple, rounded and rich.