Wine Advice: Affordable Wines for the Holidays

Fall has arrived, the time of year jam-packed with entertaining, parties and social events all leading up to the grand celebrations of Christmas and New Years. A busy and costly time of year.

One, often stress-inducing, question that comes up during the holidays is “What wine should I serve?” To help you select the best wine for each and every occasion, I have browsed thru the liquor stores, selecting good quality, wallet-friendly wines. Gems that cost very little but offer a lot, all priced at less than $15.00 per bottle. These worthy wines – white, red, rose and sparkling – are terrific for sipping or pairing.

Perhaps the most popular of events is the wine and cheese reception. Pairing wine with one particular cheese is easy, pairing with a wide variety of cheese is not. The best pairing wines are off-dry (slightly-sweet) and high in acid. Try the ever-popular slightly sweet, and spritzy Jacobs Creek Moscato ($12.99) or the soft and fragrant Trivento Amado Sur, a blend of Torrontes, Viognier and Chardonnay, priced at $14.95. If you prefer dry, tar t wine, the Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc at $12.99 is good value. Pairing with red wine? Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella ($14.99) from Italy or Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha ($11.95) from Spain are both excellent choices.

Tapas have become trendy and popular. The Spanish red wines, El Petit Bonhomme ($13.99), or the more robust El Bonhomme ($14.57), pair beautifully with Spanish food.

If pairing with raw seafood, zesty, citrus-laden white wines like Santa Julia’s Pinot Grigio ($11.00), and Aveleda Fonte’s Vinho Verde, priced at $10.99, are fun, bright and crisp.

When selecting wine for a Traditional Christmas dinner pick up some Fetzer Gewurztraminer at $13.99, or the charming Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Sweet Riesling ($14.99.) These are also wonderful wines to accompany Chinese, Korean, sushi or Thai food.

Sparkling wine is unbelievably versatile and, in addition, imparts a sense of celebration to every occasion. A terrific way to begin an evening and an wonderful wine to top off the evening. Segura Viudas produces white and rose brut Cava, priced at $14.49. Easy and likeable rose’s such as Jacobs Creek Cool Harvest Shiraz Rose ($13.59), Chateau Mas Neuf Rhone Paradox Rose ($13.99) or Sutter Home White Zinfandel ($8.99) are amazingly versatile as well.

And finally, what about dessert? Sweet desserts, fruit and some, often very distinct, cheese, for example aged blue cheese, should be paired with the sweet, decadent and rich, Samos Vin Doux Muscat. A worthy wine and an absolute steal at $13.55.


Kate Wagner Zeke
Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Wine