Holiday shopping is stressful enough, so pick your wines with these simple, smart tips.
Finding good wine and then socking away a case of it (typically 12 bottles) saves money, as many wine shops offer case discounts of around 10 to 15 percent. It also saves trips to the store. »
More and more excellent wines are being sealed with screw caps to prevent corkiness (a problem with natural corks that produces a wet cardboard–like smell in a small percentage of wines). Screw-capped wines are especially handy for large parties, because they’re easy to open quickly. »
Big holiday meals tend to involve multiple side dishes, which puts a lot of competing flavors on the table. Well-balanced wines that aren’t too extreme (not wildly sweet, not wildly tannic, etc.) are the most versatile when it comes to pairing. Good choices include Pinot Noir, American Rhône-style blends, Austrian Grüner Veltliner and dry Rieslings from Germany. »
Seek out inexpensive wines that would be equally delicious in a bowl of punch or on their own. There are wonderful $12-and-under bottles available these days, particularly from Spain and South America. »