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Holiday Wine Guide

The Ultimate Holiday Wine Gift Guide

For bottles from $15 to $150, we’ve got you.
By Ray Isle
December 16, 2020
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Gifting wine is a key part of the holidays, so we rounded up the best holiday wines at every price point. Read on for great options for gifting and drinking the whole holiday season and beyond.

Wines at $25 and Under

2018 Côté Mas Rouge Intense

A big, joyful French red, this will lift a friend’s spirits in the heart of winter. Spicy strawberry aromas from Grenache and juicy blackberry fruit from Syrah are the story here. $10/1 liter at garyswine.com

2019 Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Bianco

For Pinot Grigio fans, this Italian white offers more depth than usual at this price; for folks tired of overly oomph-y Chardonnays, it’s a refreshing shift of style. $15 at wine.com

NV Borgoluce Lampo Prosecco

It’s vital during the holidays to have a good, affordable sparkler on hand. This vivacious, peachy bottling comes from a family who’s owned the land their vineyards are on since 958 A.D. $18 at vivino.com

2017 Dashe Cellars Delta Reds

The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta is home to the ancient Zinfandel, Carignane, and Mourvèdre vines that provide the grapes for this robust, blackberry-rich red. $24 at drinkdispatch.com

NV Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Need a stocking stuffer? This canned Cabernet from Washington state delivers plenty of dark, rich fruit bolstered by soft tannins. $15/375-ml Can

2018 Eroica Riesling

The 20th vintage of this Washington state Riesling is as good as ever, full of lime zest and mineral notes. It ages well, too, as the recently rereleased 2011 vintage ($35) shows. $20 at vivino.com

NV Montinore Estate Vivacé

Oregon’s Montinore is one of the largest biodynamic vineyards in the country. Adventurous gift recipients will enjoy this crisp, juicy sparkler, made from a range of aromatic white grapes. $20 at vivino.com

2018 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay

Winemaker Mick Schroeter and team made a superb Chardonnay in the 2018 vintage. It’s bright and focused, with plenty of zippy citrus and green-apple flavors. $22 at vivino.com

2017 Trig Point Cabernet Sauvignon

Black cherry notes, soft tannins, and a just-enough touch of oak make this affordable Alexander Valley Cabernet a go-to red wine pour for the holiday season. $25 at vivino.com

2018 Tenuta Di Fessina Erse Etna Rosso

The best Etna reds combine intensity of flavor with a kind of limpid weightlessness; this wine has that, plus wild red-berry flavors and a floral spice recalling pink peppercorns. $25 at vivino.com

Holiday Wine Guide
Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Wines from $25 to $65

Nv Jean-Baptiste Adam Cremant D’alsace Brut Rosé

Champagne runs at least $35 a bottle, so why not spring for this brioche- scented sparkler from the Alsace region? The Adam family uses 100% Pinot Noir for this lively cuvée. $25 at vivino.com

2018 Château Climens Asphodèle

The first vintage of this wine from Sauternes producer Château Climens bursts from the glass with honeysuckle and lemon blossom. It’s exquisitely balanced now and should age impressively, too. $42 at binnys.com

2016 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve

This complex white’s honeysuckle, quince, and spice flavors feel quintessentially Alsatian. From one of the region’s top producers, it’s full-bodied and juicy but has bright acidity—an elegant white for wintertime drinking. $30 at vivino.com

2017 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage

This benchmark northern Rhône Syrah is a stunner. Think deep blackberry fruit with savory green peppercorn and black olive nuances, juicy acidity, and fine, gripping tannins. $45 at vivino.com

Lustau Rare Oloroso Emperatriz Eugenia Sherry

This beautifully layered oloroso from a solera started in 1921 offers concentrated flavors of toasted hazelnuts, caramelized citrus peel, and dark chocolate. $32/500 mL

2018 Ridge Lytton Springs

Ridge’s devotion to organic farming and heritage vineyards has long resulted in many of California’s greatest Zinfandels. This one is all about earthy boysenberries and spice; give it an hour in a decanter for best effect. $45 at vivino.com

2009 Bodegas Faustino Gran Reserva Rioja

Believe it or not, 2009 is the current vintage of Faustino’s Gran Reserva, and it was worth the wait. It’s got classic Rioja red-cherry compote, vanilla, and earth notes, plus a seamlessly silky texture. $32 at vivino.com

2018 My Favorite Neighbor

Have a neighbor you’re fond of? This Cabernet-based red from Paso Robles is a great way to let them know. Intense black fruit, leather, and olive notes; gripping tannins— you might give them some big steaks, too. $45 at wineexpress.com

2017 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Chardonnay

Why doesn’t Smith-Madrone get more attention? Its age-worthy Cabernets are superb, and this Chardonnay, with its lemon zest and marzipan notes, is a knockout. $40 at vivino.com

2017 Clos Du Cellier Aux Moines Givry Premier Cru

This finely cut Givry is a pleasure. Savory tea leaf and blueberry aromas give way to ripe raspberry flavors, with fine tannins wrapping up the finish. It’s a great present for any Burgundy lover. $65

Wines for $65 and Beyond

2017 Gaja Ca’marcanda Magari

This herb-scented, supple Tuscan red is a great introduction to the talents of Italian winemaking legend Angelo Gaja. $65 at vivino.com

2017 Quilceda Creek Cvr

This gorgeous cuvée costs a good $80 or so less than Quilceda’s flagship bottling yet is flat-out delicious. Think cassis, black cherry, and mocha flavors, ending on a hint of cured tobacco. $70 at klwines.com

2018 Kosta Browne One-Sixteen Chardonnay

This white from Kosta Browne rivals its Pinot Noirs, using fruit from nine Sonoma County vineyards for a seamless wine with floral aromas and peach-lemon flavors. $80 at vivino.com

2018 Tor Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Tor Kenward, who makes some of Napa Valley’s top Cabernets, sources this luscious, structured red from the same four-acre vineyard as his $155 Tierra Roja Vineyard bottling. $95 at bountyhunterwines.com

2012 Biondi-Santi Brunello Di Montalcino

Biondi-Santi effectively created the Brunello di Montalcino category in 1865. Its wines—like this layered cherry-and-tobacco- scented vintage—remain benchmarks. $118 at vivino.com

NV Champagne Bollinger Pn Vz15 ($120)

The first new wine from Bollinger in 12 years is a triumph. This Blanc de Noirs offers creamy layers of raspberry and blackberry, tangerine and yuzu citrus, and subtle spice; it’s essentially irresistible. $120 at woodencork.com