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Last minute wines for your holiday table

Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine
Flicker user: Jayneandd (used by Creative Commons License)

By this time Saturday, the presents will all be opened, dinner will be in the oven, the morning run will be completed (I’m training for another marathon), and the family will be sitting around noshing on snacks and waiting for the football game or White Christmas to start on television.

What could make this modern Rockwellian moment even better? Wine, of course!

If you’re still stumped as to what to bring to your holiday table this year, here are a couple of suggestions, all currently available at a variety of stores here in Baltimore.

A 2009 Bronze Medal winner of the Governor’s Cup, the Chardonnay from Frederick Cellars is a great local option. Briefly aged in French Oak, it’s crisp, clean, and a bit friendlier than some of the other more oaky Chards that might end up on the holiday table.

Another fantastic white, particularly if your Christmas dinner features turkey instead of ham, is the Cantina Zaccagnini White. To be honest, I’m not really sure what the actual varietal is – my Italian is really rusty and the label pretty much is limited to “White Wine” – but let’s just call it a fun mystery meant to eventually be solved. Still, I promise you that one sip does invoke the memories of cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey. It’s definitely going on the list for next year’s pre-Thanksgiving festivities as well (remember, y’all, I can’t cook).

In the red department, we find the Colle Ambro Rosso Piceno. Just a note, this Italian Montepuiciano-Sangiovese blend does require food. Nothing fancy, of course, those Tostitos you busted open because the turkey’s taking way longer than you thought it would will do just fine. Now that I think about it, that’s probably good advice with any of these unless you want your parents to finally know about that party you threw when you were in high school. (Trust me, not a good thing.) If you’re thinking “real” food, this would go great with a pork loin or something along those lines. I’d probably do this one mid-Christmas Eve dinner.

Finally, we come to the sparkling. You can never, ever, go wrong with a Prosecco – especially if anyone in your party doesn’t like the taste of pure champagne. I’ve always found that Prosecco is a much friendlier option, and it still goes great with waffles (and orange juice if you must) on Christmas morning. For a fun alternative, a sparkling shiraz like Black Chook is sure to get tongues wagging. Yes, it’s red. Yes, it sparkles. And yes, it’s delicious.

Whatever the holiday season brings you, be it coal or goodies, I wish you the very best. See you next year!


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