Specially Curated Wines and Champagnes that Will Impress Guests Attending Your Holiday Celebration
Volume III of a Three-Part Series — Champagne Toasts and Wine Flights
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s all the more special when you can host magnificent holiday dinners and events for your friends and loved ones. The essential ingredient to having a fearlessly fun, fabulous celebration is the selection of the right wines and champagnes. Whether it is an intimate gathering for eight or larger party of 80, you want your guests to know and feel that you went out of your way to pay close attention to every detail. Adding these exceptional wines to your wine cellar, serving them by the glass, and offering samples as a wine flight, will help cement your status as an excellent holiday host.
Internationally known as The Champagne of James Bond, this extraordinary champagne is a great one for celebratory toasts including ringing in the New Year. Select several for this year’s holiday parties. The Bollinger Special Cuvee 007 Limited Edition was created to celebrate a 40-year partnership. It is the Official Champagne of 007 and the motion picture No Time To Die. Champagne Bollinger has announced production of a limited-edition bottle and gift box designed by internationally renowned Bond photographer Greg Williams. Add Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée NV, Champagne Bollinger Brut Rosé NV, and certainly the Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007 to your wine collection. The latter is an exclusive vintage edition.
Sterling Vineyards, for the past six years, has been the Official Wine Sponsor of the 73rd Emmy® Awards. The likes of Jason Sudeikis, Jean Smart, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, and John Oliver have received a hand-personalized bottle of the Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon. Treat your guests at your Christmas gathering to a glass of aforementioned wine as well as others such as 2015 Ltd. Edition Diamond Mountain Cabernet Magnum, 2017 Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay, and 2016 Napa Valley Merlot.
If you desire to host an intimate Christmas dinner, this winery has several exceptional varietals that will pair nicely with your meal. Prepare Roasted Butternut Squash Soup to accompany the 2018 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey will pair nicely with the 2018 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir Carneros. Dessert wines to serve include the 2019 Moscato d’Oro Napa Valley and 2018 Sauvito Sauvignon Blanc.
Back in the 1860s, H. W. Crabb planted vines in the heart of Napa Valley. He called the wine that was yielded from the vineyard TO KALON. The Greek name means “highest beauty”. Highest Beauty 2017 and Highest Beauty 2016 wines are sold in sets of three. For your Christmas party guests who are Cabernet Sauvignon aficionados, you can present them with a glass of this varietal. If you are fond of masterfully balanced blends, serve Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur NV which contains a combination of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. There is also the Ayala Le Blanc de Blancs 2015 Champagne and Champagne Ayala Rosé.
If seafood is on the menu of your yuletide party, select the Château Minuty 281 Rosé 2020 as this cuvée pairs well with baked John Dory fish with fennel, scallop risotto, and grilled prawns. The family-owned estate based in Saint-Tropez, a town on the French Riviera, has several refreshing wines that your guests will enjoy. They include the Minuty Prestige 2020, M de Minuty 2020, and Rosé et Or 2020 which you can pair with a strawberry and basil salad, aperitifs, seafood, and bouillabaisse.
Take your holiday guests captive with this unique wine portfolio. It would be a great idea to offer a wine flight featuring the following selections. Share the tasting notes as well. Start with 2019 The Prisoner Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma includes vanilla, black cherry and ripe plum while the taste on the palate includes blackberry, cocoa, and baking spice. With 2019 The Prisoner Red Blend, you have Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and roasted fig while raspberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, and vanilla rests on the nose. Finally, 2019 The Prisoner Chardonnay which is a blend of Chardonnay, Roussanne, and Gewürztraminer grapes, has the smell of vanilla, apple pie, and pineapple as the flavour of baked apple, toasted oak, and crème brûlée.
Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino founded this winery in 1877 in the Tuscany region of Italy. Today, your guests can gather around and dine on an expansive charcuterie board, roasted ham, T-bone steak, and beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce as the sip a glass of Ruffino 2017 Modus Toscana IGT. Round out your selection with a sparkling such as Ruffino Prosecco, white including Lumina Pino Grigio, and red like Riserva Dulcale Chianti Classico.
Vanderpump Cabernet Sauvignon, Vanderpump Chardonnay, and Vanderpump Rosé are a trinity of wines produced by Vanderpump wines, a company founded by Pandora Sabo Venderpump. Vanderpump Rosé is made from Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah grapes from Côtes de Provence AOP, France vineyards. Their Estate Grown Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the family’s vineyards off the Sonoma Coast. Their cabernet is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot that was aged in French Oak for 18 months.
Founded by Dave Collins, Big Cork Vineyards ships exclusively to Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, DC, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, New York, California and Pennsylvania. Inform your guests that for the holiday season, you will be serving ice-style wine which is a method of freezing grapes while still on the vine. The 2019 Vidal Blanc Ice with kumquat and tangerine flavors, 2019 Siberian Ice fermented in French oak, and 2019 Petit Verdot Ice with the aromatic scent of fresh cut hay are great selections.
The Attems Winery can be found in Capriva Del Friuli, Italy. As early as 1106, there is documentation confirming the Attems dynasty would dedicate land to viticulture in Collio. Today, your guests at your holiday event can enjoy several of its blends. Intriguing selections include the 2019 Cicinis Collio from a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in Collio, 2018 Trebes Ribolla Gialla from the vineyards of Friuli region, and the 2016 Cleve Cabernet which has hints of mulberry and plum.
Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods has added several exceptional wines to its portfolio. The Fischer & Wieser Culinary Adventure Wine Collection includes Dry Riesling having a zesty lime and pear taste, Konig Red with dark berry and plum flavors, and Sangiovese with the taste of roasted tomatoes, cherries, and black pepper. The Peach Moscato is made with peaches from the company’s orchard at Das Peach Haus located Fredericksburg, Texas. Having honeysuckle aromas, it’s tasting notes includes peach flavors, pear, and citrus zest. The Gewürztraminer has palate notes of mango, lychee, and sweet ginger. For a truly phenomenal holiday dining experience, pair them with extraordinary recipes featuring the brand’s award-winning sauces, condiments, and jellies.
Welcome to the House of Ayala. It was founded in 1860 by Edmond de Ayala who also pioneered the “dry champagne” style in 1865. Your holiday party guests can be served the Le Blanc de Blancs 2014 Champagne along with lemony sea bream ceviche, braised veal, and prawn risotto. Produced in small quantities in exceptional years, it is 100% Chardonnay. Add Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur NV which is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pino Meunier. The Champagne Ayala Rosé Majeur is ideally served with salmon fillet and pink lamb chops.
One of the oldest family-owned vineyards in Napa Valley, the Larkmead estate was founded in 1895. Today, the 110-acre vineyard it is owned by Cam and Kate Solari Baker and tended to by viticulturist Kelly Maher and manager Nabor Camerena. The 2016 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, having black fruit, dried herbs, and earthy flavors, would be a great selection for any holiday gala. Consider the 2013 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo and 2017 Larkmead Solari Cabernet Sauvignon as well.
Martini & Rossi was founded in Turin, Italy in 1863. Just about every great holiday party requires a sparkling wine. This company offers several. The Martin & Rossi Prosecco, having the D.O.C. designation, is a combination of Glera grapes, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The Martini & Rossi Asti boasts the D.O.C.G. designation and is created with Moscato Bianco grapes. Your guests can note the peach, sweet wild sage, fresh pear, and pineapple flavors. The Martini & Rossi Rosé has a proprietary blend of grapes that include Riesling Italico and Nebbiolo. The soft wild rose aroma balances out the dry fruit and citrus taste.
Babe wine is literally the new kid on the block. In a world of distinguished wine brands that date back centuries, this canned alcoholic beverage is quite refreshing — that’s literally and figuratively. Just pick up several of the BABE 100 Variety Packs which include Rosé, White, and Red and you are well on your way to hosting one heck of a party.
This article is a part of the holiday wine and spirits series which features ready-made mixed drinks and beers in Volume I as well as liquors and spirits in Volume II.
Let’s Have a Wines & Spirits Sidebar — Check Out Links to 7 Articles by Leslie E. Royal
Medium.com Contributor Leslie E. Royal is a global travel writer, author, micro-influencer, and multi-media journalist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: Chicago Tribune, ESSENCE, AAA Midwest Traveler, Black Enterprise, The Ashro Blog, FORTUNE.com, Medium, Upscale Living, and AAA Southern Traveler. She is an Ashro Brand Ambassador and the host of their popular video series called Onward and Upward with Leslie E. Royal. The creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog, she has two books: Leslie Lane The Book!: Your One Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel & More ( $14.95) and How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s KDP: An Easy Way to Complete Your Manuscript in Seven Stress-Free Steps ($9.95). Follow Leslie on Instagram @LesliesLane and see her Amazon Author Page.