The 12 Wines of Christmas, 2016

Whether maids a-milking or drummers drumming, we give you twelve wines for the twelve days of Christmas, as inspired by the classic Christmas carol.
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Tis the season for giving…wine. Between endless holiday parties and family time, we all could stand to have 12 extra bottles of wine on hand. Add some festivity to your wine shopping by drawing inspiration from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol. These wines have you covered for gifts and parties, but don’t forget to set aside a few bottles for yourself.

  1. 1

    A Partridge in a Pear Tree

    The Wine: Quinta de la Rosa 2013 Red (Douro); $20, 93 points.

    This wine’s label features a bird perched on a bare winter-esque branch, evokes the first day’s theme. Concentrated yet refined in flavor, it’s a fantastic gift for your wine loving friends to lie down in the cellar.

  2. 2

    Two Turtle Doves

    The Wine: Feudi di San Gregorio 2015 Falanghina del Sannio; $17, 90 points.

    The mosaicked birds on this label aren’t the only thing reminiscent of turtle doves. The bright, fruity palate and hints of Mediterranean herbs also paint a picture of the famous European love-birds. Enjoy this wine during an intimate holiday dinner.

  3. 3

    Three French Hens

    The Wine: Vavasour 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Awatere Valley); $20, 91 points.

    This hen may not be French, but it is delicious. Nectarine and citrus flavors are plump and pleasant to sip while flipping through the old family albums.

  4. 4

    Four Calling Birds

     The Wine: Armstrong Family 2013 Four Birds Red (Columbia Valley); $25, 90 points.

    This brooding red blend sings when paired with holiday dinners, drowning out your chirping aunts, squawking uncles and crying babies alike. Call on the Four Birds to carry you through Christmas Day.

  5. 5

    Five Golden Rings

    The Wine: Armand de Brignac NV Gold Brut (Champagne); $300, 91 points.

    How about five gold bottles of Champagne instead? With its iconic “Ace of Spades” logo and flashy gold packaging, this bottle is as loud as your teenage cousin singing “FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!!” With toasty, complex flavors and aromas, Armand de Brignac shows it’s not just about glitz and glam.

  6. 6

    Six Geese a-Laying

    The Wine: Migration 2013 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast); $55, 92 points.

    This wine is as opulent as a golden egg. Open this when you are tempted to make your great escape south.

  7. 7

    Seven Swans a-Swimming

    The Wine: Innocent Bystander 2015 Moscato (Swan Hill); $14, 89 points.

    This wine hailing from Swan Hill, Australia, is as delicately sweet and preciously pink as a pool of swans swimming in the sunset. May you manage to be as graceful when feigning ignorance about who finished the bottle. You’re no innocent bystander.

  8. 8

    Eight Maids a-Milking

    The Wine: MooBuzz 2013 Pinot Noir (Monterey); $20, 86 points.

    “MooBuzz” could be considered slang for the milkmaids’ gossip. Pour this highly quaffable Pinot Noir at your next holiday gathering to loosen everyone’s lips.

  9. 9

    Nine Ladies Dancing

     The Wine: DanCin 2015 Mélange Chardonnay (Southern Oregon); $29, 92 points.

    The gold-dressed beauty on this label perfectly represents the wine inside: exciting, yet refined. Try this layered and surprisingly approachable wine with your more difficult to please guests.

  10. 10

    Ten Lords a-Leaping

    The Wine: Black’s Station 2014 Red (Yolo County); $12, 88 points.

    Grab a couple of these lords—prominently featured on the wine’s label—when leaping from one holiday party to the next. This dark blend of mostly Malbec is a weighty contribution to all your holiday get-togethers.

  11. 11

    Eleven Pipers Piping

    The Wine: Rutini 2015 Trumpeter Malbec (Mendoza); $11, 87 points.

    Bring this lush Malbec to your next dinner or seasonal soirée and you’re sure to be heralded at the door, without blowing your budget.

  12. 12

    Twelve Drummers Drumming

     The Wine: Charles Smith 2013 Boom Boom! Syrah (Columbia Valley); $15, 88 points.

    Boom goes the drum when you open this easy-sipping Syrah. Linear notes of blueberries and current are elevated by dried herbs. The Boom Boom! will bring playful sophistication to a classy cocktail hour.

Published on December 13, 2016
Topics: Seasonal
About the Author
Fiona Adams
Senior Tasting Coordinator

Fiona Adams’ excitement for wine was sparked at a young age by her father. Working in a handful of New York City wine shops and a stint in Long Island wine country, she developed her wine knowledge, eventually earning her Level 2 WSET certification. Joining Wine Enthusiast in 2014, Fiona hopes to share her passion for natural wines.

Email: fadams@wineenthusiast.net


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