The art of pairing wine shouldn’t be limited to food. Special occasions deserve perfect pours, too. Here are the best bottles to help mark your holiday moments this season.
The Christmas Party Bottle
Go big and gift your host with a bottle of Steven Kent 2010 Small-Lot Offering Ghielmetti Vineyard Livermore Valley Cabernet Franc (90 points, $50), rich in green olives, violets and herbs surrounded by soft tannins and earthy black pepper. As a testament to your friendship, make a date in the New Year to crack it open together.
When It’s Time for Bubbles
Whether celebrating or simply pairing your holiday meal, this Monte Rossa NV Prima Cuvée Brut Franciacorta (91 points, $30) is the ideal bottle to pop. It boasts vibrant citrus fruit, spice and bread crust aromas. It has a creamy palate that captures the essence of Christmas, with baked apple and pastry cream.
Winding Down on Christmas Eve
The Domaine les Cantates 2012 Roussanne from Chignin-Bergeron in Savoy (90 points, $30) is a white that evokes images of a winter wonderland. Creamy in texture, with rich yellow and white fruits and touches of vanilla, this is ideal for nesting in the living room, basking in the lights from the Christmas tree and fireplace.
Christmas morning is a time for celebration, when the kids get extra helpings of whipped cream on their hot chocolate. The grown-ups deserve a flute or two of Roederer Estate MV Anderson Valley Brut (92 points, $23). A sparkling blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that’s gorgeously luxurious, with honey-raisin, apple and pear aromas . Rich and soft, it offers both depth and length, an ideal marriage of bright acidity and ripe fruit. A made-in-heaven match with bagels and lox, or bacon and eggs.
After the Feast
A gorgeous Spanish dessert wine, the Bodegas Toro Albala 1947 Don PX Reserva Especial Pedro Ximénez (93 points, $258) is coffee-colored and backed by lush, deep aromas of fig, caramel, toffee and prune. Treat this as a digestif or a very expensive (but worth it) topping for vanilla ice cream. And keep this in mind: Whatever you don’t drink can replace maple syrup atop pancakes or French toast on Christmas morning.