Christmas Wine Selections
I was writing an entire three part article on wines for Christmas and pairing wine with Christmas dinner, but I thought to myself; who wants to take the time to read all that right now? I want to make this super fast and super simple! I do a little bit of explaining on each Christmas wine pairing, but if you’d like just see my recommendations feel free to skip down to the bottom!
Christmas is about decadence as opposed to Thanksgiving which is about gorging. Fruitcake to Ham, Christmas is full of rich foods, super sweet desserts and even beverages. Christmas is also a time for hanging out with family.
Christmas Wine Recommendations
Red Christmas Wines
Amarone – Rich and Robust. Flavors of dried cherries, dark bitter chocolate, almonds and herbs. Great for strong cheeses, rich foods and roasted meats.
Zinfandel – Red Zinfandel, not White. Red Zinfandel is a classic American wine. Rich and Robust with flavors of Stewed Cherries, Stewed Blueberries, Cola, Root Beer and lots of spice. Great for BBQ, Pork and foods with rich sauces! Also great with dark chocolate and fruity desserts.
White Christmas Wines
Riesling – From Sweet to Dry, you can’t go wrong. Great acidity, enough body to stand up to bigger dishes but also not overpower your lighter ones. Flavors of Lemon, Apple, Baking Spice and Honey.
Gewurztraminer – Same theory as Riesling, but can go head to head with your much heavier dishes you may normally only think should be paired with red. Spices galore in this wine, very perfumed, lychee fruit and other stone fruits. Can handle rich meats to puddings!
Dessert Christmas Wines
Here you can have a lot of fun! So many desserts and so many dessert wines!
Port – Both Ruby Port and Tawny Port.
Ruby Port for your Chocolate Desserts, Rich Cheeses any desserts with berries.
Tawny Port for your nutty, cheesy or caramelized desserts. Pair Tawny Port with Fruit Cake, Custards! Port is also great for sipping by the fire while you hang out with family!
Moscato D’asti – Fizzy and Sweet! Flavors of Syrupy Peaches and Pairs, Mandarin Orange with a little floral essence. Versatile Dessert Wine! Can go with lots of stuff!
Sauternes – Classic Dessert Wine and doesn’t get much better than this. Rich and Round with flavors of Citrus, Nuts, Toffee and Vanilla! Wide price range from cheap to incredibly expensive, but try to get an old of a vintage as possible.
Icewine – Very similar to Sauternes but a bit fruitier and more of that white grape flavor.
Recommended Wines for Christmas
7 Deadly Zins, Zinfandel – Lodi, California, $13-$14
Jammy red fruit and Baking Spice
Seghesio, Zinfandel, 2011 –Sonoma, California, $20
92 Points Wine Spectator, Medium-Bodied, Black Cherry, Wild Berries, Vanilla and Herbs
Zenato Amarone – Veneto, Italy $60
Every vintage is solid from this producer. Full-Bodied and Rich with flavors of Wild Berries, Cocoa, Nuts and Earth.
Righetti Amarone – Veneto Italy $35 – $40
Full-Bodied with flavors of Almonds, Dried Red Cherries and a slight hint of herbs.
Dr. Heidemanns, Riesling QbA – Mosel, Germany $10
Off-Dry, Medium Body with flavors of Peaches, Honey and Apples.
Rene Sparr Riesling – Alsace, France $18 – $20
Dry and Crisp. This wine is Floral with citrus tones, peach and wonderful minerality.
Albrecht “Tradition” Gewurztraminer – Alsace, France $20
Dry, Round and Crisp. This wine is floral with flavors of tropical fruits, lychee and baking spice.
Quinta De Ventozelo 10 Year Tawny Port – 90 Points Wine Spectator – $20
Full-Bodied with flavors of nuts, caramel, raisins and dried fruits.
Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto, Ruby Port – $18
Robust Ruby Port with flavors of rich dark berries and spice.
Chateau Doisy-Vedrines Sauterns 2005 – Boreaux, France $25
90 Points Wine Spectator
Rich, Full-bodied with flavors of dried tropical fruit, caramel, vanilla and baking spice.
Rivata Moscato D’asti – Piemdont, Italy – $10
Fizzy and Sweet with flavors of Peachs, Pears, Mangos and Honey.
Inniskillin Vidal Icewine – Niagara Peninsula, Canada $45 to $50
Rich, Creamy and Full-Bodied with flavors of Honey, Apples, Lemons and Tangerines.