Holiday Wine Survival Guide: Ideal Party Wines
Inexpensive, versatile, delicious wines for every gathering—from cocktail parties to dinners.
Holiday Party Wines for Every Guest
NV Scharffenberger Brut Excellence ($20)
Made in the traditional Champagne style, this rich and creamy wine from northern California can be served throughout a meal.
2011 Domaine Daniel Dampt Chablis ($24)
Third-generation winemaker Vincent Dampt ages his wines entirely in stainless steel, resulting in this lively, fresh Chablis that can pair with practically any appetizer.
2011 Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge ($16)
A medium-bodied Syrah blend from the Rhône Valley that is spicy and fruit-forward—great on its own or with food.
2009 Stags’ Leap Napa Valley Merlot ($33)
This is for guests who like full-bodied reds. Made with estate fruit, it’s aged in oak barrels for 16 months, giving the cherry- rich wine a compelling roundness.
Updated December 2012
NV Segura Viudas Aria Brut ($12)
Segura Viudas is one of the top names in Cava, the classic Spanish sparkling wine, and its Aria cuvée is crisp, citrusy and refreshing—ideal as an aperitif, and for holiday toasts.
2005 Antinori Villa Antinori Bianco ($12)
This nectarine-inflected white blend from one of the most respected producers in Tuscany is light-bodied and low in alcohol, making it a great all-purpose wine.
2001 Taurino Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva ($12)
This plummy, smoky red produced in Italy’s Apulia region is light enough to pour at cocktail parties but has enough depth of flavor to serve at dinners as well.
2005 The Magnificent Wine Company House Wine ($10)
This curranty red made by Charles Smith, owner of Washington state’s K Vintners, is a steal for a good American Cabernet blend and lovely at holiday meals. -->
Wine Cocktails: Pitcher Solutions
Mixing cocktails one by one is exceedingly impractical at a big party. Instead, F&W’s Nick Fauchald suggests these pitcher drinks.—Ray Isle