Top 5 Wines for Holiday Season
The holidays mean two things: comfort and celebration. Colder nights call out for the warmth within traditional winter feasting, in turn demanding a fine wine to elevate the occasion. This holiday season, every wine should count. Please don’t waste the chance to double down on as much festive cheer as one can muster with an inferior bottle. Let’s explore some of this year’s best wines for holiday season, from serious reds to superb whites by way of a sparkling toast.
Moments of note, festive gatherings, aperitives, and “just because”: the time to put a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine on ice is right now!
A classic choice that gives the impression of rarity is a Gosset Grande Reserve – not only for its signature bottle shape. The oldest Champagne house, Gosset’s style is “subtle and refined”: a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier from several different villages, the wine was aged for at least three years. Its aroma is delicately floral, with a complex, rounded taste.
To grace the table during holiday get-togethers, a classic and decadent offering would be a Bordeaux wine. Some of the world’s most reputed chateaux hail from this fêted part of southwest France, with its highly varied soil producing great varieties among its wines.
From its Right Bank, a Saint Emilion brings grandeur to a holiday occasion. This appellation produces wines that are Merlot heavy, blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. A great choice is Chateau Fombrauge’s 2016 vintage. This grand cru blends 93% Merlot with 7% Cabernet Franc and has been aged for 18 months in three different ways, leaving a medium- to full-bodied sip, with black cherry and plum accents.
Over to the Left Bank, Pauillac reigns as the most prestigious of all as home to three of the five legendary First Classified Growths of Bordeaux. Its wines are also among the most expensive globally, but even mere mortals can enjoy exceptional quality; for example, in a second wine such as Château Pédesclaux’ 2015 Fleur de Pédesclaux, which is currently in its optimum year to be enjoyed. Clean and gravelly, the blend of 74% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon have a subtle, balanced finish.
Though more than 90% of Bordeaux’s output is world-renowned red, its whites are also star bottles. Try the honored Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Grand Vin Blanc Sec as a great example. According to Millesima, a French wine merchant and expert in Bordeaux wines, this cuvée is “amazing.” Its 2015 vintage blends 73% Sémillon and 27% Sauvignon Blanc to become “very distinguished” on the palate; powerful and fresh.
And indeed, Bordeaux is our destination to conclude a holiday season meal in style. The Sauternes appellation, using Sauvignon blanc, Muscadelle, and Sémillon grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, produces sumptuous sweet wines unlike any other.
Chateau Suduiraut’s 2007 vintage is a great choice: intense, honeyed and floral, its Sémillon overtakes the Sauvignon Blanc to give a powerful finish.