Wine 101: Holiday Party Guide and What To Buy
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Wine 101: Holiday Party Guide and What To Buy

Whether you’re hosting a party this holiday season or simply bringing wine along as you enjoy the celebrations, it’s good to know which wines work well for holiday meals and parties. But with parties, shopping and more parties – the holidays are busy. So we’re not going to take up much more your time, instead we’re going to arm you with these simple and easy tips for selecting wine this holiday season.

General Tips

– To figure out how much wine to purchase, estimate a half-bottle per person, which amounts to about three glasses per guest. (A standard 750ml bottle of wine contains six small 4oz glasses) It’s better to have wine left over than not have enough!

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– Pick up both a Red and a White as preferences can widely vary.

– Purchase inexpensive wines that are simple and tasty. Holiday parties usually consist of a wide variety of food, so cover your bases and buy wine that all types of food will get along with.

– You can be festive and frugal. Look for sales. Wine shops and retail outlets often have great deals on wine this time of year.

– If you’re hosting a party, sample a few wines beforehand and then buy it in volume. Most wine shops offer discounts for 6 bottles or more. It’s usually at least a 5 and maybe as much as a 15% discount if bought by the case.

The best way to chill bottles for a crowd is to put them in large buckets of iced water – ice and water chill faster than ice alone.

White Wines

Cocktail Party:
Riesling, Chardonnay or Moscato

Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine is a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes.

Riesling: A top pick for pairing with dinner as it compliments a wide range of foods – from Aunt Bae’s jello-mold to mom’s cajun stuffing. Rieslings are excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet and its flavors pair very well with turkey, sweet potatoes and herb-filled stuffing.

Gewurztraminer: A delicious white wine option for Christmas Day, this wine goes well with with turkey and gravy, bringing out the best in both.

Red Wines

Cocktail Party:
Merlot, Shiraz or Cabernet

Pinot Noir: A traditional favorite, Pinot Noir’s subtle undertones and fruit features pair well with the traditional flavors of spiced meats and stuffing.

Zinfandel: Zinfandel is a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine than Pinot Noir. It pairs well with heavily spiced flavors.

Beaujolais Nouveau: A light, fruity red wine that goes quite well with turkey and all of the fixings. This wine is traditionally made available on the third Thursday of November, just in time to highlight your holiday feasts!

And our last tip – don’t stress! The wine you serve or bring to a holiday party isn’t as important as spending quality time with family and friends. Wine only enhances it.

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