You can really work up a thirst Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. No worries – we made a list (and checked it twice) of the three best kind of wines to tip back this season, along with some solid serving advice.
Track 1: Bubbles
Nothing says PAR-TAY like sparkling wine. Champagne is obviously the standard-bearer, but unless you’re willing to shell out 50 bucks (or more) a bottle, you may decide to go a different route. Many (freakin’ delicious) wines are made just like Champagne, but cost a lot less: Spanish Cava or many California-grown sparklers, for instance. Those are both great bets. But it’s Prosecco – Italy’s most famous fizzy export – that lands at the top of the charts for holiday enjoyment. It’s peachy, bubbly, refreshing AND a great value – especially this fab little trio.
💫Rockstar Serve Tip: To chill your fizz (or any bottle) in under 10 minutes: Fill a sink or ice bucket a third of the way with ice, sprinkle with a half cup of table salt, and top off with cold tap water. Add your bottle(s) and presto – party-ready!
Track 2: Pinot Noir’s Your Secret Weapon
With a range as huge as Axl Rose’s 5-octave voice, Pinot Noir will pair GREAT with just about anything you can throw at it. Cheese plates, roasted turkey, glazed ham, smoked salmon, roast beef, salads, sushi … you get the point. It’s also great sipped solo. But there is a trick to picking the right Pinot for you.
In general, if you like your reds richer and darker in color, reach for bottles from southern France or southern California – the sunnier, warmer climes of these two spots yield more voluptuous Pinot. If you prefer the more traditional, elegant, and paler-hued Pinot, head to cooler Burgundy or Oregon.
🍷In Case of Party Foul: No need to freak if someone spills red wine on something. First, gently blot the spot with a paper towel to remove excess liquid (for the love of God, don’t rub!). Then sprinkle the area generously with table salt and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum or sweep up. The salt crystals should work to soak up the liquid that’s trapped in the fibers, lifting the stain like magic. Alternatively, invest in some Wine Away – that stuff is The Best.
Track 3: White Wine for the WIN
“I only drink reds in the winter.” Yeah, I get it. Most reds are served at or near room temperature, which feels more appealing than an ice-cold beverage as soon as you’ve come in from the cold. But especially if we’re talking crowded house parties and cranked thermostats, it’ll get warm real fast. And dammit, all you’ll really want is something crisp and refreshing!
❤️My two faves: lightly chilled Chardonnay – made in a weighty, riper style – and good Pinot Grigio. And if you need a hint … Alessandro Gallici’s 92-point Pinot Grigio is the No. 1 white on virginwines.com (I can see why – it’s everything standard Pinot Grigio isn’t: complex and refreshing, with personality for days). Also, it’s a great value.
Cheers to the holidays – may your glasses always be half full this season!