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12 Wines to Toast the Holiday Season

by Melissa S. Lobo
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Oaked Chardonnay wine

Whether it’s a formal dinner with family, a year-end event with co-workers, or a cocktail party with friends, holiday gatherings are often the best time to propose a toast and blast off your holiday “cheers!”.

Below are 12 best wines to offer to your guests (or bring as a gift to your host, if you’re coming as a guest) to different events this holiday season.


  1. Oaked Chardonnay

A wine that was left to sit in oak to age slowly absorbs the oak’s compounds. Oak has a compound known as vanillin, which tastes like vanilla. This enhances the taste of wines. This is why oaked wines, like oaked chardonnay, have a prominent vanilla aroma and taste.


Serving oaked chardonnay to your guests for holiday events will leave them with fuller mouthfeel.


  1. Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape that’s used for different wine varieties. Merlot-based wines typically have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant.


Some merlot varieties has a velvety texture that exhibits a balanced aroma of fruits, and a bittersweet chocolate or black tea undertone. This type of wine is more appropriate for intimate gatherings and formal dinner.


  1. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely known red wine variety, and is made from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors and savory tastes and has a noted aroma of black pepper, green peppercorn, and black currant. It is best paired with steak.


A great wine to toast during with your colleagues and friends.



  1. Shiraz (or Syrah)

Shiraz is one of the darkest red wine that has aromas and flavors of blackcurrant. It has overtones of black pepper spice and roasting meat. A distinct full-bodied, hearty, and spicy feel.

Shiraz aged in whiskey barrels tasted richer, fuller, and has a slightly more intense aftertaste. Perfect with meat, but can also be enjoyed with other foods.


  1. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine variety with primary fruit flavors of lime, green apple, passion fruit, and white peach. It has herbaceous notes and fresh aroma, and is best paired with white meats and seafoods, cheese, and green herbs and vegetables. It delivers juicy citrus and guava flavours with elegant acidity, giving a long refreshing finish.


  1. Rosé

Rosé is a type of wine that has a pinkish, peach, or near-purple color. This color pigmentation is the result of having the skins of red grapes touch wine for only a short time.


It can come in still, semi-sparkling, or sparkling variety with different levels of sweetness. Rosé is perfect for ladies’ gathering, or a not-so-formal event.


  1. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is an expensive variety of red wine which is pale in color, translucent, and has subtle flavors. It can be paired with almost any food such as seafood, red meat, pasta, cheese, pizza, and even vegetables.

Cabernet Franc wine

Some of the best food brands offer different types of Pinot Noir wines, each with different notes and undertones. Holiday parties, business events, and any formal gatherings, Pinot Noir makes a good company.


  1. Malbec

Malbec wine is known for its plump, dark fruit flavors and smoky finish. It has a fruity taste such as a combination of black cherry, pomegranate, plum, raspberries, blackberries, and


blueberries. It provides a mixed aroma of cocoa, chocolate, black pepper, and tobacco. With medium acidity, it pairs best with red meats and cheese or try some of these wine recipes.


  1. Sherry

Sherry is a popular dessert wine made from white grapes. Different types of sherry wines exist, including Fino, the driest and most saline; Amontillado, with nutty notes and rich body; Oloroso, which can be both sweet and dry; and Cream Sherry, which is sweet and smooth.


People love having chocolates and cookies with it. As it is, wine and chocolate make for a healthier food option any day.

  1. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is an American wine known for its jammy and fruity characteristics. It has medium acidity and best served in room temperature.

Because it leans on the sweeter side, it is best paired with spicy dishes such as curry. This will make a great choice for young adults to toast with friends during the holidays.

  1. Viognier

Viognier is a full-bodied wine with a mixture of peach, tangerine, and honeysuckle aromas. It has a variety of intensity from light and spritzy with a touch of bitterness to bold and creamy.

It is typically dry on the palate and often noted for an oily sensation on the middle of the tongue. Poultry meats are the best pairing for viognier wines.


  1. Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc has a medium body and is known for its savory, bell pepper flavors, medium to high acidity, spicy aroma, and mouthwatering taste.

It wonderfully complements both white and red meat, goat cheese, ravioli, and seafood.


Holiday season marks the beginning of fun, food and fervor and what better than wine to raise the toast.

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