Discover the perfect holiday wines to gift and enjoy with our curated list. From festive Champagne to decadent Ice Wine, use this guide to elevate your holiday gatherings.
The holiday season is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to start your wine shopping before your favourite wine sells out. What I love most about sipping on wine during this festive season is the joy it brings when shared with friends and family. As the days grow darker and colder, there's nothing that brightens up the atmosphere than lively banter over a glass of decanted wine in a warm home. All in all, wines make for excellent housewarming gifts and set the perfect tone for holiday gatherings. Moreover, wineries go the extra mile to provide a festive experience through special wine bottle designs and gifts. So before you rush over to your nearest wine shop, check out my top 7 wine recommendations to gift or enjoy this holiday season.
There's no better time to pop open a bottle of Champagne than during the holiday season. If you're in the mood for something special and splurge, consider a Blanc de Blanc or vintage Champagne. I adore the holiday edition design of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc (shown in the image below). If you’re looking for something classic, you can’t go wrong with non-vintage Champagnes like Veuve Clicquot or Moët & Chandon. For those on a tighter budget, check out Champagne’s Spanish counterpart, Cava, which is produced using the traditional Champagne method. Check out this blog post for a guide on different Champagne types and styles.
2. Ice Wine
For a classic winter wine experience, indulge in liquid gold - Ice Wine. Perfect for pairing with sweet desserts or savouring on its own, Canada stands out as one of the leading producers, with noteworthy options from wineries such as Inniskillin, Quail's Gate, and Mission Hill. Buy this early if you plan to gift or enjoy this rich, decadent wine—there’s a limited supply of it.
3. Chardonnay (Oaked)
Oaked Chardonnays are one of my favourite white wines to have during the holidays. With their full-bodied, buttery, toasty, vanilla, and spice notes, complemented by a creamy mouthfeel, these wines make for fantastic pairings with holiday favourites like mashed potatoes, turkey, and mushrooms. Explore the California, BC, and Australia aisles at your local wine shop for some excellent oaked Chardonnay options. I recommend the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay from California.
Bring your friends and family the Italian experience with a bottle of Chianti. This full-bodied, juicy, tannic red wine pairs wonderfully with flavourful red meats like beef and pork. Ensure a delightful experience by pairing it with the right food, and consider decanting or aerating to soften its robust tannins. Chianti brings the warmth of Tuscany to your home and body. For a guide on Chianti classifications, head over to this blog post.
For those craving a sparkling red wine, Lambrusco is the way to go. Semi-dry and medium-bodied, it boasts lush notes of raspberry, blackberry, and rhubarb. This wine serves as the perfect aperitif to welcome guests into your home, bringing out people’s bubbly side (pun intended). Being Italian, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Pair it with festive strawberry sandwich cookies or a heartwarming charcuterie board.
The holidays call for the rich indulgence of a good ol’ glass of Port. As a fortified wine with higher alcohol and sugar content, it serves as the perfect heart warmer. Pair it with a decadent dark chocolate dessert for a harmonious duo. There's many different styles of Port like Ruby, tawny, and vintage, so check out this blog post to find more information about them.
7. Baileys Irish Cream
While not a wine, Baileys earns its place as my last recommendation because it's my go-to liqueur for the holidays. Versatile and delicious, Baileys can be enjoyed in coffee, hot chocolate, espresso martinis, and desserts. With so many flavours like Tiramisu, Salted Caramel, and Espresso, there’s a Baileys for every friend and family member to try. Its availability in small bottles also makes it an excellent choice for stocking stuffers and mini holiday gifts.
For more holiday guides, check out these blog posts: