Dreaming of white (or red) Christmas? The best wines for the holidays

Nov 29 2022, 7:08 pm

Are you dreaming of a white or red Christmas?

After two years of lacklustre holiday festivities, everybody deserves to enjoy this season to the fullest. It can be overwhelming choosing wine for your celebrations with all the different food and personal preferences to take into consideration. Take the guesswork out of selecting wine for dinners or gifts and leave more room for enjoying the season!

From fun bubbles to strong reds, our guide has something for everyone. Please note that the prices of each wine vary depending on which province you are shopping from.

Chapoutier Bila Haut Roussillon Blanc

French White Blend

Credit: M. Chapoutier

This crisp French white packs a big punch for a humble price tag. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu creates a delicious wine that is universally pleasing. Expect lemon, grapefruit, and smoky notes. This white blend is highly acidic with ample minerality, which makes it a wonderful choice to pair with more rich holiday dishes. Pair with pasta featuring cream sauces, seafood salad, and soft-ripened cheese.

Kir Yianni Kali Riza Amyndeon Xinomavro

Greek Red Blend

Credit: BC Liquor Stores

If you are attending an event with oenophiles, opting for a Greek wine would be a wise play. Greek wines are lesser known than their Mediterranean counterparts but have the same ideal and historic terroir for making fantastic wines. It may be a little bit difficult to pronounce, but this red blend will certainly start a conversation. Impress your friends by sharing that the Greek Xinomavro grape is very similar to Nebbiolo (the grape responsible for creating the world-famous Barolo). Expect complex truffle on the nose followed by smooth tannins and stewed red fruits on the palate. Would pair very well with venison, duck, or hearty burgers.

Cedar Creek Pinot Noir

Cedar Creek Pinot Noir

Credit: Cedar Creek

The favourable soils and climate surrounding Okanagan Lake at Cedar Creek create the ideal growing climate for Pinot Noir. This red boasts earthy notes such as dried leaves, blueberry and dark cherry. Additional points because it is certified organic. Pinot is a notoriously difficult grape to grow, but this one was done just right. This would be best enjoyed alongside pork, warm stews or filet mignon.

Bottega Rose Gold Brut

Rose Gold Bubble

Credit: BC Liquor Stores

For a cocktail party or a flashy soirée, Bottega’s pretty pink bubble is a sound choice. The bottle makes an impact upon arrival, and its notes of currant, mixed berries, and wild strawberries are easy to pair with canapés. This fresh, delicate and soft bubble will definitely get guests in higher spirits. Pair with a prawn cocktail or baked white fish.

Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

Oregon Pinot Noir

Credit: BC Liquor Stores

Pinot Noir is a delicious and complex red on the lighter side, making it a safe choice to bring to a holiday gathering. This wine is from Oregon, which is quickly becoming a world-renowned destination for some of North America’s best Pinots due to its similar cool climate to Burgundy. This wine is very savoury, with notes of tobacco, leather and graphite. Pair this Pinot with grilled vegetables, pheasant, or bean salad.

Tierra Rica Sauvignon Blanc

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

Credit: Mark Anthony Wine and Spirits

This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is brisk and refreshing, featuring aromas of citrus, bell pepper and herbs. Similar to New Zealand, the coastal vineyards in Chile highlight the best of this popular grape. Tierra Rica will surely keep you calm and cool in a warm and crowded room. The minerality in this wine calls for pairing with grilled vegetables or seafood linguine.

Please note this wine is only available in Ontario.

Haywire Vintage Bub

BC Sparkling Wine

Credit: BC Liquor Stores

This well-known BC bubbly is easily one of the province’s best. This sparkling wine would suit a beautiful champagne flute perfectly, served at a crisp temperature. You’ll notice warm bread aromas and distinct green apple on the nose. Try this with chicken salad or a delicate tart.

Tierra Rica Cabernet Sauvignon

Tierra Rica Cabernet Sauvignon

Credit: Mark Anthony Wine and Spirits

Open this wine on a chilly winter night. This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and robust with lots of dark fruit flavours such as plum, black cherry, and blackberry. This red boasts grapes grown in Chile, a destination known for truly excellent Cab grapes. Enjoy aromas of smoky oak accompanied by a warm, long finish. Due to its decisive taste, enjoy this with something especially flavourful, like prime rib.

Please note this wine is only available in Ontario.

Blank Canvas Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Credit: Blank Canvas

Every group has someone who loves New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Instead of bringing the usual suspects (like Oyster Bay or Matua), opt for a different but critically acclaimed version of the prominent varietal. The vines from which Sauvignon Blanc are grown have a much lower yield than their popular cousins. This wine is still flavourful, with grapefruit, guava and passionfruit on the palate balanced by a high acidity. Any dish featuring mushrooms or cream will pair well.

Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon

California Cabernet Sauvignon

Credit: BC Liquor Stores

Nothing warms the soul quite like a robust Cabernet Sauvignon. This well-known Californian red is an elegant choice, clad with signature dark fruit like black cherry and blackcurrant. This Cab is not overly tannic, which makes it palatable to the masses. Bring this red out during the main course at dinner while you’re having a rack of lamb, grilled steak, or osso buco.

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