Top 10 Wines for the Holidays

assortment of filled wine glasses

Here’s our solution for all your holiday wine-serving conundrums: Ten bottles that work for every occasion, from casual family gatherings to dressed-up dinner parties and brunches. Stock up now and you'll be ready to enjoy every festive moment. Cheers to that!

1. Veuve Clicquot Brut

Veuve Clicquot Brut wine bottle

This iconic champagne sets the standard, with soft effervescence, and a refined palate that hints at toasty brioche, baked apples, and a touch of citrus.

Pair it with: oysters. It’s a classic duo for a reason. Oysters’ salinity brings out the minerality in a semidry sparkler, and no strong tannins in the wine compete with the rich seafood.

Bring to: a fancy cocktail party

Wine Simplified icon - white sparkling sparkling

2. Federalist Zinfandel

Federalist Zinfandel wine bottle

Hefty tannins and earthiness weight plum, boysenberry, and cinnamon aromas in this fruity but slightly dry California zinfandel.

Pair it with: homemade fudge. The deep fruitiness and soft mouthfeel of this red make it a match for dark chocolate, balancing the slightly bitter richness of the cocoa.

Bring to: a wine and desserts party

Wine Simplified icon - medium-bodied red medium-bodied red

3. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet wine bottle

This elegant cabernet is accented with a blend of syrah, carignan, malbec, petite syrah, and petit verdot for a smooth balance of fruit and tannins. Vanilla and mocha spices round out the lush berry and cherry flavors.

Pair it with: smoked salmon blini with capers. The classically rich and savory appetizer benefits from a full-bodied wine, like cabernet, which can stand up to the indulgent flavors in the bites.

Bring to: a festive holiday brunch

Wine Simplified icon - full-bodied red full-bodied red

4. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio wine bottle

Crisp and slightly floral, this classic Italian white balances sweet notes of apple with fragrant lemon for a cool, aromatic, and versatile wine.

Pair it with: shrimp cocktail, as a light, balanced complement to the delicate minerality of shellfish, and a refreshing counterpoint to the horseradish zing of cocktail sauce.

Bring to: an intimate dinner party with friends

Wine Simplified icon - light-bodied and fruity light-bodied & fruity

5. Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet

Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet wine bottle

Classic berry, cherry, and vanilla flavors bring a jammy, fruity concentration to the forefront, deepened by subtle notes of toasted oak, herbs, and cinnamon at the finish.

Pair it with: spicy roasted nuts. The smooth oakiness in the wine matches the rich oiliness in the nuts, while the juicy fruit in each sip tones down the spice.

Bring to: a gift-wrapping party

Wine Simplified icon - medium-bodied red medium-bodied red

6. Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay

Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay wine bottle

A luscious chardonnay with a long finish, this full-flavored white wine is creamy and rich enough to pair with holiday meals but refreshing enough to start the party alongside the hors d'oeuvres.

Pair it with: brined roasted turkey. Chardonnay and turkey are traditional friends at the holiday table, neither overpowering the other, but complementing earthiness with flavors of apple and pear.

Bring to: a family Christmas dinner

Wine Simplified icon - full-bodied white full-bodied white

7. La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay wine bottle

Bright and lemony at the outset, this chardonnay develops into a complex but sippable blend of tropical and stone fruits, with subtle aromas of baking spice and oak.

Christmas pairing: frosted sugar cookies. As a chardonnay that falls on the lighter side of oak aging, its subtle hints of baking spice and sweet fruit complement the pure vanilla sweetness of baked goods.

Bring to: a cookie exchange party

Wine Simplified icon - full-bodied white full-bodied white

8. 1000 Stories Zinfandel

1000 Stories Zinfandel wine bottle

Aging in bourbon barrels adds another dimension of flavor to this peppery, berry-rich northern California zinfandel, bringing in extra vanilla, caramel, and herbal notes.

Pair it with: sweet and spicy cocktail meatballs. The bold fruit in the wine can stand up to the tangy mix of flavors in this party-pleasing appetizer.

Bring to: an ugly sweater party

Wine Simplified icon - full-bodied red full-bodied red

9. Charles Krug Cabernet

Charles Krug Cabernet wine bottle

Loaded with ripe, dark fruit flavors, such as currant, cherry, and blackberry, this esteemed Napa Valley cabernet finishes long and juicy on the palate, with hints of oak and cocoa.

Pair it with: beef tenderloin. Cabernet is a traditional pairing for showcase roasts, enhancing the natural char and caramelization of a great cut while bringing its robust flavors to the table.

Bring to: a celebratory dinner

Wine Simplified icon - full-bodied red full-bodied red

10. Meiomi Pinot Noir

Meiomi Pinot Noir wine bottle

Sweet and tart fruits, from strawberries to pomegranates, wash over the palate in this luxurious pinot noir. Woodsy herbs and vanilla give structure to the intense ripeness.

Pair it with: holiday fruitcake. The ripe and jammy fruits play well with the blend of spice, nuts, and candied fruit in a traditional fruitcake or Italian panettone.

Bring to: a Christmas caroling party

Wine Simplified icon - medium-bodied red medium-bodied red

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