Around the holidays, your weekly shopping list can take on a life of its own. Between gifts for family and friends, decorations, and lengthy ingredients lists to tackle your latest recipes, it's easy to let things fall to the wayside. But here's one way to cross one thing off your list before the holiday rush: finding the right holiday wine. The question remains: What kind of wine? This can be a tricky one, especially if you haven't already figured out your menu yet.
To make your wine selection process a little easier, we asked three sommeliers to recommend their favorite wines to drink during the holidays. Ranging from crisp whites to dry rosés and full-bodied reds, there's a little something for every taste. No matter whether you're serving a traditional turkey or a selection of seafood, you'll find the right pairing for every dish.
Get a jump start on your task list; these are the definitive best wines for the holidays.
Whites and Rosés
"This is classic Verdejo and with flavors of lemon zest, fresh herbs, and pineapple, and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on the holiday table. It's a great pairing for any vegetable sides," Sarah Howard, regional ambassador of Ribera y Rueda, suggests. We're always happy to drink a lighter, airier white during the passed apps portion of the evening.
"If you are looking for a white wine that is a little bit creamier and the perfect pairing for turkey, look no further than the Shaya Old Vines Verdejo. Bright fruit flavors are matched with notes of baking spices and peaches," Howard notes. Not that it matters, but the bottle is pretty charming, too.
"You'll be shocked at what winemaker Ben Jordan and the team at Early Mountain are doing in the tiny town of Madison in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Like all the best Virginia wines, the Early Mountain rosé is really great surrounded by food. Best pairings would be sausage and oyster stuffing or any seafood dishes as well as vegetable sides," advises Booth Hardy, sommelier and owner of Barrel Thief Wine Shop and Café.
Pair this rosé alongside an intricate cheeseboard for a fail-proof cocktail hour.
No matter the season, we're always down for a glass of rosé, and we're even more excited about sipping a sommelier-approved bottle.
"Need a wine to impress your family and friends? The Pingus PSI will have your guests thinking that you splurged on an expensive bottle, but they don't need to know you found one of the best values from Ribera del Duero. This Tempranillo has velvety, full-bodied flavors of blackberries and blueberries accented by hints of spice and violets," Howard explains. Generally, we drink white with dessert, but we'll happily make an exception for this bottle.
"A hearty red and classic example of Bordeaux Superieur is perfect for a fall Sunday supper. Pair this with your pot roast or shepherd's pie. A meaty dish with good richness will pair nicely with this elegant and savory red," suggests Anthony Cailan, beverage director of The Nolitan and a Bordeaux Superieur brand ambassador.
"An unoaked Tempranillo is ready to be paired with turkey and cranberry sauce. The bright red fruit flavors are a great match for the warm, decadent flavors of traditional holiday dishes," Howard comments. Sold!