Wines for Christmas Holidays

by Jack Nicholson

All year around, fine wines from numerous areas of the world provide outstanding and enjoyable tasting adventures. However, there is no better time of year than Christmas to celebrate memorable wines and meals with family, friends, neighbors and other special individuals in our lives.

Many people have considerable knowledge of wines and certainly will provide wonderful pairings for their family and Christmas Holiday guests. For others who may not have such knowledge, this information should help make wine selections that work best for them.

When visiting a wine merchant, be sure to ask for help from their expert staff people. Wines range from low and moderate price to quite expensive and here the experts will assist to make the appropriate choices.

There are hundreds of wine growers and grape varietal choices from all over the world, so the suggestions that follow are wine types not brands. Hopefully, this will lead to great choices for your holiday gatherings.


Sparkling wine, Prosecco, Champagne Riesling – from semi dry to slightly sweet. Apple, citrus, flavors to honey, spices.

Pinot Grigio – Light body with citrus flavors. Quite popular

Sauvignon Blanc – Slightly less dry than Chardonnay. Very pleasant taste

Chardonnay – Most favored white. Dry to slightly sweet, medium body, citrus hints, very drinkable


Zinfandel Unoaked – easy drinking, hints of fruit flavors

Zinfandel Oaked – more full body, rich, pleasantly intense

Pinot Noir – Delicate, tasty with cherry, strawberry hints, light to medium body

Merlot – Very drinkable, medium to full body, pleasant lasting taste

Cabernet Sauvignon – King of reds! Medium to full body, smooth lasting taste, typically aged in French or American oak barrels where the wine combines with the oak to produce a wide range of tastes.

Of interest the Tempranillo grape in Spain has many of the same characteristics and tastes of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Malbec – Signature red grape wine from Argentina and Australia. Rich, full bodied, perfect for pairing with grilled beef

Bordeaux – Extensive selection of fine Bordeaux wines particularly from France


Sauternes, Late Harvest White Wines and Tawny Port White wines are bottled when young compared to red wines. They should be carefully kept but not stored for years as they are to be consumed as the peak of their flavor

Red Wines are best stored in a cool, dry place, away from bright light and heat. They should be lying down while stored so the wine is keeping the cork moist. A dried up cork can allow air to enter the bottle, causing it to spoil, turn into sour wine

This information is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” Begin your wine exploration journey and enjoy!

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