Ahhh, the holidays — the perfect time to justify spending just a little bit extra on a fancy holiday wine. After all, you’ve worked hard all year and now it’s time to get cozy, spend time with friends and family and get a nice little wine buzz going.
So, step away from the Apothic Red (unless that is the wine that fills you with comfort and joy) and try something new this year.
To help you navigate the shelves of your local wine shop, we’ve consulted a variety of black wine experts and knowledgeable consumers. We asked them to tell us what wines they are excited about serving this holiday season and what they plan on pairing them with.
So, make that list and check it twice…
Owner/Buyer for J&R Symposium Wine and Spirits
Wine for the holidays: Mauro Veglio Barolo 2011 ($45)
What is Barolo?: Barolo is a full-bodied, Italian wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. It can look light in the glass, but it packs a punch of complex flavors and aromas.
Pairing Suggestion: James suggests pairing this sultry, classic Italian wine with grilled fillet steak, roast goose or roast beef.
Owner of The Wine Noire
Wine for the holidays: 2014 LVE John Legend Vineyard Exclusive Red Blend ($50)
John Legend Makes Wine?: Yup! John Legend has partnered with Raymond Vineyards to produce a collection of premium wines. This red wine is a blend of the powerful grape known as Petit Sirah and Merlot, making for a harmonious holiday wine.
Pairing Suggestions: Alicia recommends serving it with classics like smoked turkey, roast beef and grilled sweet yams.
Certified Sommelier and CEO/Founder of Sip & Swirl Events
Wine for the holidays: 2014 Brut Rosé from Domaine Carneros by Tattinger ($39)
What is this Brut Rosé all about?: April says this sparkling rosé is “made with Pinot Noir grapes and has Chardonnay added for structure which helps to make it quite versatile with food pairings.”.
Pairing Suggestions: Duck, Dressing, Salmon, Roast Beef and light desserts. It’s also great with a holiday brunch!
Wine Writer, My Vine Spot
Wine for the holidays: Michael David Winery 2014 Earthquake Petite Sirah – Region: Lodi, California. ($26)
Why does Dezel recommend this wine?: “I call this a ‘go big or go home’ wine. It is rich and concentrated; a weighty wine with firm, youthful tannins and a velvety, voluptuous texture. There’s no shortage of ripe blackberry and blueberry preserve flavors. Though substantial, it is well balanced.”
Pairing suggestions: “It is a wine to enjoy while sitting around a roaring fire pit on a cool fall evening with family and friends. And it can easily stand up to hearty comfort foods—think turducken, roasted pork loin, and some lip-smacking baby back ribs. If you like wines with a bit of oomph, you will love this wine. As a matter of fact, I think you would be enamored with every selection in Michael David’s “Earth Quake” and “Inkblot” portfolio—especially the Tannat and Petit Verdot in the latter. Keep something delicious in your glass and have a great holiday season!
Alisha Blackwell-Calvert, CSW.
Certified Sommelier and Beverage Director at Reeds American Table
Wine for the holidays: Charles Bove 2015 Vouvray ($19)
What is Vouvray?: Vouvray is a white wine made of Chenin Blanc in the Loire region of France. It can be made in a variety of different styles. Alisha says that this particular Vouvray is high-acid with a hint of residual sugar for balance.
Pairing Suggestions: Alisha — who really knows her stuff when it comes to pairing food and wine — suggests that the fresh yellow apple and green pear notes in the Vouvray make it perfectly complimentary to turkey and chicken.
Enofylz Wine Blog
Wine for the holidays: Roederer Estate Brut Rosé ($30)
Martin’s thoughts on this wine: “What’s a holiday meal without some sparkling wine? My choice is the Roederer Estate Brut Rosé. It’s a multi-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Roederer’s Anderson Valley California estate. The wine is a pale pink color with baked bread, strawberry, rose petal and a hint of orange zest aromas. On the palate it’s dry with a soft creamy mousse and vibrant acidity. It shows infectious strawberry, raspberry, apple and and citrus flavors with a very satisfying finish.”
Pairing Suggestions: This wine makes for a fine aperitif, but it up to the challenge of pairing well with the diverse flavors and textures of your Thanksgiving meal!
CEO of ShallWeWine.com - Certified by International Sommelier Guild, Level II
Wine for the holidays: 2015 Iris Vineyard C Block Pinot Noir, Oregon ($38)
Why is this Pinot Noir special?: Regine describes this wine as “ Pretty, young and intense. Dark ruby color with plums, violets and spice on the nose. Ample palate with cherry, earthy and cocoa flavors.”.
Pairing Suggestions: Don’t ignore those side dishes. Regine says she loves holiday sides and plans to pair the Pinot Noir with “ sautéed mushrooms, mac and cheese, and my mom’s famous eggplant casserole.”.
Former Wine Consultant and Enthusiastic Wine Consumer
Wine for the holidays: 2013 Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir ($50)
What is up with Oregon Pinot Noir?: Oregon has become a stand-out state for premium Pinot Noir. The climate of the growing region is compatible with this notoriously finicky grape so the resulting wines show beautifully. Dea describes the Adelsheim as ” So unbelieveably good!”.
Pairing Suggestions: Turkey, sides, bitter green salad, apple pie, pumpkin pie, tres leche cake, fruit, cheeses and nuts. Basically the works!
Wine Enthusiast - Sip & Share Wine
Wine for the holidays: Theopolis Vineyards Yorkville Highlands Symphony Theopatra Lee, a black, female winemaker! ($22)
What is Symphony wine?: Symphony is a grape variety that was created by crossing Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. Expect an aromatic wine with ripe, tropical fruit and crisp finish.
Pairing Suggestions: Nicole suggests pairing the Symphony with turkey, duck and desserts.