5 Crowd Pleasing Wines For the Holidays

By / Wine + Drinks / December 14th, 2021 / Like

In the last few weeks, my inbox has been getting filled with requests for wine recommendations for the holidays. How do you suggest a wine to someone you don’t know? Just the same way you pick a wine to bring to a gathering filled with people you never met before. You bring a bottle of wine that checks all the requirements to be a crowd pleaser. Here are 5 crowd pleasing wines for the holiday season.

Summaroca Brut Nature Gran Reserva Cava, 2018, Spain $18

Cava is always a good option when seeking a sparkling wine that offers great value for money. I particularly like this producer not only for the quality of their wine but for their commitment to the environment. Light on its feet with a delicate mousse and bright acid. Notes of brioche in symbiosis with lemon, red apple and mushroom notes. Nice depth, especially at that price! A great match with gougères.

Tenuta Montemagno Solis Vis, Monferrato DOC, 2020, Italy $26

Made from the little know grape Timorasso, this white from Piedmont first charms by its rounded silky texture.  The aromas are just as enticing with notes of lemon and almond mingling with a pleasing salty tang. Ideal for seafood and white fish prepared simply. 

Les Tètes Tète blanche, Vin de France $19

(Chenin blanc 34 %, Roussanne 33 %, Sauvignon blanc 33 %) This is the perfect wine to quench your friends’ thirst during the aperitif. Light and vibrant with crisp acid and refreshing notes lemon zest, chamomile and apple and a pleasing oily texture and bitterness on the finish. Dangerously easy to drink. 

Clos Bellane La Petite Bellane, Côtes du Rhône Villages, 2019, France $20

The grapes for this wine come from Valréas which is located at the north end of the Southern Rhône. This means that despite the hot and sunny Mediterranean climate, the wines exude freshness. I am a fan of Clos Bellane but perhaps this is the best vintage I have had from petite Bellane, the entry-level wine of the producer. Juicy and fresh with black and red plum notes lifted by violet and black pepper. The vibrancy and fine tannins make the wine easy to drink on its own. Also a great match with meat pie!

Pegaso ‘Zeta’ Viñas Viejas de Pegaso, Cebreros, 2019, Spain $25

Telmo Rodriguez discovered of the slopes of Arrebatacapas in the village of Cebreros during a trip in 1999. He was struck by the beauty of the landscape and the old vines grenache growing wild. The vineyard was abandoned. Assuring the survival of those vines was challenging but their hard work paid off. Today, Telmo makes characterful and complex wine from these vines. Zeta is Telmo’s most accessible wine made from this area. The wine is fresh and bright with lush notes of wild strawberries and raspberries and discreet flavours of dried herbs. The light chewy tannins give good structure to the wine.  Full of personality and charm. If turkey is your classic dish to enjoy during the holidays, this is a great match.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After 20 years in Vancouver, Michelle came back to her homeland in Quebec. In addition of teaching the WSET and doing education for numerous wine associations, she has been the sommelier on the popular Quebec TV show ‘Curieux Bégin.’ She recently published her first book ‘Dis-moi qui tu es, je te dirai quoi boire’ at Cardinal editions and founded the international conference Tasting Climate Change. She also contributed as a wine specialist to ‘Le Secret des Vietnamiennes’, a cookbook published by the famous author Kim Thúy. Michelle judges wine competition internationally, speak at the conferences, writes for numerous publications. She is currently in stage 2 of the prestigious Master of Wine program.

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