Great Wines for Holiday Entertaining

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The holidays are upon us. Time to gather with friends and family, celebrate life, and get in from the cold! There are a few wines I always have around the house just in case someone pops by or I need to add an extra punch of flavor to that evening’s meal. These wines are fun, tasty, and inexpensive.

The first is Segura Viudas Spanish Cava at $7.99. Segura is refreshing, light, and tart. It is perfect for making mimosas and other Champagne cocktails. Speaking of sparkling cocktails, one of my personal favorites is an Aperol Spritz. I first tried it while in Sicily and found it to be the perfect aperitif. An Aperol Spritz is simply one ounce of Aperol in a rocks glass over ice and about two ounces of Prosecco Italian Sparkling wine, with an orange wedge to garnish.

When you add up the Aperol at $21.97 plus the Prosecco at $12.99, it can get pretty pricey for a party. That’s why Nicola Biscardo, an Italian winemaker, made Veneziano Sprizzzissimo. It is a premade spritz all for the low price of $9.99, and it is delicious! Crisp with a vibrant orange color and flavor, this fancy yet simple cocktail will wow your guests. Also, it’s a great way to utilize the tasty naval oranges that are in season!

Good inexpensive whites are invaluable during the holiday season. Whether you’re adding a splash of dry Sauvignon Blanc to creamy risotto, or hosting the office Christmas party and don’t want to blow the boss’ budget, Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc at $7.99 and Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay at $6.99 are my go-to whites. As far as reds go, I really love Les Trois Couronnes Cotes du Rhone at $7.99, McManis Cabernet Sauvignon at $9.99, and Castle Rock Pinot Noir at $8.99. The Les Trois Couronnes is rich with black and blue fruits–perfect for lamb. McManis is full bodied and dry, with notes of black cherry and oak–great for red meats or on its own. And the Castle Rock is light and fruity but still dry–tasty with roasted chicken.

Throwing a big party and not sure what everyone drinks? I recommend the hottest wine trends right now: red blends and Moscato. Red blends tend to be a bit more fruit forward than your typical Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, with the same rich body. They generally consist of rich, full-bodied varieties like Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel, like the very popular Apothic Red Blend. More than ever, I have been told, “I never liked wine until I tried Moscato.” This is because Moscato is light and fruity, with subtle hints of sweetness. My favorite is Dulcis because of its enjoyable effervescence and light honeysuckle sweetness. If you are sure your guests only like dry wines, I would stick to the ever-popular Chardonnay, but Moscato is always a fun alternative to have available.

Well, from sparkling to still, sweet to dry, and red to white, these are my favorite “party pleasing” wines. When planning your next big get-together, you can bet that any of these wines will be a hit!

Enjoy!

Jennifer Laurie