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Red or White: The best 2018 Christmas Wine Guide

Written By | Dec 20, 2018

SEATTLE:.  With so many clamoring to snatch up last minute Christmas gifts, it can be easy to overlook many a great wine. This somewhat brief line-up comprises a list of white and red wines that will help make your Christmas meals memorable.  Or double as a great gift idea. Keep a few on hand, in attractive gifts sacs, for last minute gifts.

Without a doubt, prime rib is the most popular protein consumed during this time. In this list you’ll find the hearty reds play very favorably with prime rib. Others may enjoy ham or turkey dinner and we have you covered there, as well.

As most vinophiles will tell you, unless you’re picking out a sparkling Rosé wine, it can be very difficult to find one wine that’ll go with everything. I suggest grabbing a few bottles of varying styles, so you can make sure to have something tasty with each kind of food being served.

Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs (SRP $15)  A lively, and feminine sparkling wine. Anna was the first Cava to incorporate Chardonnay in its coupage. , The wine’s delicate aromas are of brie, brioche, toast, pine nuts and a hint of creamsicle.
2017 Long Meadow Ranch Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (SRP: $22): Gorgeous aromas of stone fruit – pear, peach and apricot along with a splash of lychee as well as grapefruit. The fruit-forwardness leads into well-rounded mid palate and a lingering finish.

2016 Ammunition Chardonnay (SRP $23): Notes of honeysuckle, granny smith apples, lemon zest and bartlett pears abound. It’s a very clean-tasting Chardonnay – not one of those typical California butter bombs. It shows balance, restraint and poise, across the entire palate. An easy pick for the money.
2016 J. Bookwalter Double Plot Chardonnay (SRP $38): A lovely Chardonnay that has good acids, helping it play well with food – that exhibits aromas of pear, meyer lemon, peaches, chamomile tea, a hint of pineapple and toast. An elegant wine that goes down easy, feels rounded across the entire palate and leaves with a solid finish.
1865 Single Vineyard Carmenere (SRP $16.99): A zest-bomb, fruit driven wine that exhibits flavors of bell pepper, fresh-cracked peppercorns, fresh raspberries, tobacco, nutmeg, and cheries. This wine is zesty enough to go with a prime rib. However, it is able to carry an herb-crusted turkey or ham as well.
2016 Four Vines “The Kinker” Cabernet Sauvignon ($18): Intense flavors of baking spice, black currant, blackberry compote, black plum and a tinkle of blueberries. A very easy drinking Cab from the Paso Robles area that’s value priced and could easily be a daily pounder.
2015 Purple Heart Red Blend (SRP: $20): A blend of 67% Merlot, 19% Zinfandel, 8% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Notes of cardamom, blackberry, marionberry, black plum, peppercorns, shoe leather, and dark chocolate. Smooth tannins glide down easily.
2013 Vina Pomal Reserva (SRP $21): Deep cherry color with an intense ruby rim. Floral, red fruit and roasted coffee notes on the nose. A long lingering finish with the balance of great Riojas.
2015 Badgerhound Zinfandel (SRP $23): A zesty wine for the holidays, this delicious Zinfandel rewards your nose and tongue with notes of vanilla, fresh-rolled cigars, marionberries, chocolate, oak, and spice. Smooth all the way down the hatch.  This lively Zinfandel would go great with a spice-crusted prime rib, bbq or cured meats.
2016 Ammunition Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $23): Black cherries, spice, black raspberries, plum, currant, tea, and cocoa greet your nose in a harmonious invitation to indulge. Tasty from start to finish, this value-priced Cab from the San Luis Obispo area, makes a great companion for prime rib, buffalo or elk.

2015 Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico (SRP $25): A Sangiovese blend that is begging for meatballs, pasta with a veal ragu sauce or pizza. Intense aromas of dried cranberries, raspberry, cocoa powder, blackberry and balsamic nearly make you feel as if you’re standing in Italy. A tight tannin structure speaks to the youth of this wine. This, however, helps it pair so well with a variety of meat-laden foods.
2016 Pomino Benefizio (SRP $45):   This is a soft golden wine that at first glance already demonstrates all the richness of this barrique-aged Chardonnay. The elegant flavors range from hazelnut to spicier aromas are perfectly balanced by the floral scents of acacia and lilac.
2014 Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations (SRP $60):  This is a Cab-dominant Bordeaux blend (Cabernet makes up 84% of the final product) that’s quite delightful. Coffee beans, brick, blueberries, cocoa, vanilla and toast. A multi-layered wine that envelopes your palate like a well-fitted glove. A solid transition from the mid to rear palate that feels like it lingers for days.
2015 J. Bookwalter Suspense Red Blend (SRP $60):   Easily one of the most floral red wines in this entire round-up. Killer notes of cassis, rose petals, rainier cherries, dark cocoa, a slight hint of bell pepper from the Cab Franc and undertones of peppercorns and black plum. Solid midpalate transition that parlays into a lingering finish that hangs around for a long time.
2013 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino (SRP $80): This tasty Sangiovese from Tuscany is just what the doctor ordered for a hearty prime rib. Its tannin structure and notes of earth, violet, fresh raspberries and pink peppercorns are a no-brainer for hearty meat like prime rib.
2015 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP: $100): Barrelled for 18 months in new French oak. You’ll be greeted with aromas of coffee bean and blueberries that lead to flavors of baked berry, caramel, and vanilla, resulting in a full-bodied, supple, and truly elegant wine.


Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a lifestyle writer and CDNs Auto Editor. Pemberton loves anything that helps bring people together which is why he writes about food, wine, cars, and travel.