Holiday Wine Tips

Whatever holiday you celebrate going into the end of the calendar year, you are likely having guests over, and you are being invited to other people’s homes. Wine can be a key part of the season, and there are some key points to remember when stocking up.

Host or Hostess Gifts

Choosing wine as a gift for your hosts is a great way to say you appreciate their hospitality. Because wine won’t go stale in a week like cookies, your hosts can enjoy your token at their leisure, perhaps once the whirlwind of parties and events is over. When buying wine, an ideal budget of $20 - $25 is a good guide. Think about a country that your hosts have visited, or are interested in, and look for a wine from that area. Alternatively more and more people are choosing Local Products, as such consider Niagara Wine Country VQA wines for your gift. You could also pick out a style of wine you know they like, i.e. Sparkling, Fortified Wine (Port) or Icewine, and get them something from a producer you know and like. Another way to go is to choose bottles from a winery that YOU visited, or are a fan of, and bring a bottle from there. Exposure to something new will be what you share with your hosts. The important thing is for the gift to mean something.

Party Wines

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to settle on just one or two wines for your party, or Coffee. One way to approach it is to sample a few at the price point you like, see which ones you enjoy, and keep notes for referencing when you are in the wine store. You can stock up on a case or two of one white and one red to use throughout the holidays, or you could get a different pairing for each event that you host. Designating a theme for your event, i.e. All-Canadian Christmas, New Year's Eve Party or Lady's Night can help guide you as you make your choices.

Dinner Wines

The holiday table is a riot of different smells, flavours, and textures, so picking one wine to match up with a meal is a real challenge. What you want is something that can stand up to the meal, and refresh the palate. For whites, look for something with a medium level of acidity, like Chardonnay from a cool area, or a medium plus level, like a Riesling from just about anywhere. For reds, a fruit-forward example with a medium level of acidity, such as Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, or Valpolicella, to name just a few selections will work nicely. For bolder tastes or meat or game dishes choose a hearty wines like Cabernet Cabernet, Merlot or Cabernet-Merlot Blend; maybe a Zinfandel or Sangiovese or Malbec to name just few. Most red wines will taste fresher when placed in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving, and some of these wines are no exception.

Whatever you do, remember to get a little something special for yourself. After all, treats are what the holiday season is all about.

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