How to Pick the Best Wines for Christmas Parties
Your Christmas party is right around the corner, and you’re in panic mode trying to find the perfect wine. Relax. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.
Some choose the basic wine staples, perhaps even offering both a red and a white like a cabernet and a chardonnay for a better chance at pleasing an entire gathering.
Why not try going local? If you happen to be trekking through picturesque Western PA, why not try one of the great wineries? (I just happen to know of a beautiful winery B&B and events center in rural Shippenville.)
But seriously, folks, whether you choose wine from a mom-and-pop winery off the beaten path or a name brand off the shelf at your local store, here’s how to delight your guests with the best wines for Christmas parties.
Find the Perfect Wines for Your Christmas Party
Don’t limit yourself to just one selection. I prefer vinotyping over wine pairings, guests of any number will be drawn toward a range of different wine tastes from super sweet to dry.
Here’s a valuable secret the wine czars don’t want you to know: Wine pairing is a myth (just ask my friend Tim Hanni, a wine and fine dining expert). Your guests who typically don’t prefer merlot aren’t going to begin liking merlot simply because it “pairs” best with the veal chop on their plate, as common “pairing” wisdom would have you believe.
Budget permitting, prepare sweet and dry options. That way, if the Cabernet is too stiff for some, they can politely request a refill of the sweeter Sangria.
Here are some great options, by vinotype:
There’s always that one wine that everyone seems to enjoy. This is it.
With a grape and peachy aroma and a slight caramel finish, this red wine is named to honor our hometown and our friends and neighbors. Honor your friends and neighbors at your Christmas party with this spirited selection.
A sweet vinotype has more tastebuds than any other. That’s why our sweet friends can’t always handle the stronger, dryer end of the wine spectrum. So try these for your party.
A delicious blend of raspberry, blueberry, apple, and grape wines, this subtly sweet sangria is perfect for those of us craving a taste of dessert with dinner. Yes, it tastes just like fruit juice!
This wine, squeezed from the common Concord grape, is as American as it gets. It’s a standard. It’s the PB&J of wines. It’s also perfect if you’re serving a light luncheon menu of soups, salad, and sandwiches.
Hyper-sensitive vinotypes live in a sensory world. Even the room temperature is never quite right for these friends of ours. The wines they prefer mirror this sensitivity, with their preferences including a range of sweeter flavors and only cautious steps toward dry wines.
This tantalizing mix of cranberry, pear, and orange wine sets the scene quite well for your Christmas party dinner. It’s festive – perfect to celebrate the season.
This Vino’s Limited Edition wine is sweet to start and tart to finish. It’s a 100% rhubarb wine, named for yours truly.
These vinotypes are truly adventurous. They want to experience the spice of life – and that’s variety. So when it comes to wine? Naturally, they love a range of tastes, bouquets, and intensities.
This semi-sweet white wine comes from grapes grown on a Pennsylvania family farm. Riesling is often called the wine connoisseur’s white. Originally from Germany, some of the best Rieslings today are bottled in the American Northeast.
Do you remember picking blackberries as a kid? Well, this wine is sure to stir those happy memories. And what better time for memories than with family and friends for the holidays? As we like to say, “It’s sweet, it’s familiar, it’s like back home.”
These folks enjoy the driest wines of all. But that doesn’t mean their personalities are dry. They prefer experiences in life to be big and bold. The same goes for their wine preferences.
This traditional, dry red wine is another of our Vino’s Limited Editions. It’ll shout sophistication for your semi-formal Christmas dinner party. Perhaps you should go all out and serve the prime rib.
Now for a dry white wine with citrus and earthy tones. We named it for the rocky ridges that define the Western PA wine land we call home.
Picking the Best Wines for Your Christmas Party
Don’t limit yourself with only one selection that some guests will undoubtedly dislike. Remember, wine pairings actually mean very little.
Not enticed by some of the wines on this list? No worries, we have many other selections that range from sweet as candy to dry as bourbon.
Be adventurous! And remember, ’tis also the season for a warm, mulled wine.