Holiday Wine Tips

This will be my last post of 2017. I’m taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays and scheming what I want to do with Palate Practice in 2018. I’ll be back on January 11th!

If you grew up in a Christian household – or even a secular one – you’re probably mired in holiday goodness right about now. Personally, I’m now off work until early in the New Year and planning to do as little as possible (except for all the cooking my mom has planned for us). I’m also planning on enjoying some great wine over the next few weeks, and so of course I wanted to share the wine-y goodness with all of you.

Here are a couple of holiday scenarios you might encounter and some suggestions for how to handle them – WITH WINE.

When you want to impress your wino in-laws

Maybe it’s your in-laws, maybe it’s your best friend, or maybe it’s your sister’s slightly annoying fiance who won’t shut up about their recent trip to France. I get it – you’re intimidated.

I’m here for you. Here are some suggestions of really nice wine that’ll make you look like you really know what’s going on. Even if they don’t like these particular selections you’ll come off well.


Cesari Amarone Classico DOC

$39.45 for 750mL

A bit splurgy, but worth it. If the person you’re trying to impress likes port or Italian wine, which will do the trick.


Paul Jaboulet Ainé Les Jalets Crozes-Hermitage 2014

$26.45 for 750mL

Another slight splurge, but reds from the Northern Rhone are absolutely delicious. If your person likes BBQ or charcuterie, this is the wine for them.


Cave Spring Estate Bottled Riesling

$18.95 for 750mL

The bargain of the bunch, and an award winning white to boot. If your person is a fan of German wines or bigger whites then trust me and buy this bottle.

When you love wine but your family doesn’t

Say you’re in the opposite situation. You love nerding out over wine but your loved ones… not so much. What do you do then? Here are a few suggestions.


Beau’s Brewery’s New Lang Syne

$16.00 for 750mL

A beer – of course! This beer walks the line between wino and beer snob, being a Belgian style tripel that’s been aged in Pinot Gris barrels. Tropical, hoppy and sparkling, this might be the best middle-ground bevvy to bring to your holiday celebrations.


Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

$19.95 for 750mL

Montes is one of Chile’s biggest and best producers, consistently coming out with tasty and reliable wine. Plus, this bottle won’t break the bank, making it a reasonable investment for you.

When it doubt, bring bubbles

Bubbles, they really are a cure-all. They pairs well with just about any food and always bring with them a sense of occasion. Here are some of my own personal go-tos.


Pierre Sparr Cremant D’Alsace Brut Reserve

$19.95 for 750mL

That Pierre Sparr sure knows what he’s doing. This sparkling is light and fruity and bubbly and just darn wonderful. I defy you to buy a bottle and not notice the moods of your guests perk up when you open it.


Codorníu Selección Raventós Brut Cava

$13.95 for 750mL

This is my attempt to prove to you just how affordable bubbles can be. This wine is biscuity like any good Champagne, but comes from Spain and is made with different grapes. Still good, still good! And definitely worth a try.

BONUS – When you’re celebrating with teetotalers

I know, it’s weird to think about but some people don’t drink. And they like it that way! Instead of bringing something to a party that your host might not like (and, my greatest fear, offending them), here are a couple suggestions for non-boozy options.


Ikea Dryck Bubbel Päron

$3.99 for 25oz

Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you tried it! If you live near an Ikea (and are sturdy enough to brave the crowds) this might be a great option for your non-drinking peeps.


Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit

$48 for 700mL

I know, I know, the price – yikes! But I’ve heard that this drink with legit make a tasty cocktail without the booze. Fancy bars in London and Toronto are all about it, especially during January when so many people cut back. Worth a look for any booze-loving teetotalers in your circle.


And with that, I take my leave until 2018. Have great holidays if you’re celebrating something, and if not, have a great end-of-December!


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: