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Fine wine for the holidays

Fine wine for the holidays

Ten reasons to sneak off to your cellar over the holidays

If you're anything like me, you love spending time with friends and family over the holidays, but you'd still rather be sipping wine quietly in a cellar. There's something about that cool cellar air and the sweet smell of cork that's instantly calming, even during the most stressful holiday get-togethers. Here are a few excuses that you can use to visit your cellar this holiday season and spend a little more time with your favorite wines. Learn more.

How to organize your cellar for the holidays

Many collectors assume that they don't have to plan for storage when they buy holiday wines because they know the bottles will leave the cellar quickly. While it's true that most of these bottles won't stick around for long, if you refuse to organize them like any other wine you own, you're more likely to lose bottles, accidentally mix them in with rarer wines, or absentmindedly drink one of them the day before the party. Learn more.

Thanksgiving wine pairing tips

We have only one rule in our family on Thanksgiving: no one is allowed to bring Cabernet Sauvignon to drink with dinner. That's because the table would end up crowded with big, bold California fruit bombs that would completely overwhelm the lighter dishes. Even turkey struggles to compete with these intensely concentrated wines. Instead, my family uses Thanksgiving to experiment with new varieties, especially lighter styles with relatively low alcohol content. By avoiding bold reds, my family has already discovered dozens of lighter, less appreciated wines that we adore–Philippe Pacalet Gamay is now a Thanksgiving tradition at our table. Learn more.

The best wine for Christmas dinner

Pairing wine with Christmas dinner is different from other kinds of food and wine pairing, such as you might do for a wine tasting party. In a tasting party, you'll pair your food to your wine, ensuring that the ideal balance of flavors comes through in both. But on Christmas day, you're at the mercy of your family's traditions and their dietary restrictions; the food comes first, and the wine comes second. This means that the best wine for Christmas dinner needs to be bold enough to compete with the intense flavors of the food, yet have enough acidity to cut through some of the fattier, creamier dishes on the table. Learn more.

The best vintage gifts for Christmas

Whenever I decide to give someone a bottle of wine for the holidays, I always have to take a buddy with me to the wine shop. Why? Because I know I'll walk away with one gift bottle…and about 20 other bottles for myself. My buddy is there to make sure I get only what's on my list, and not one bottle more. As a wine fanatic, it's tough not to splurge during the holidays, especially with so many delicious wine options out there. Whether you're looking for that perfect wine gift that will please the ultimate wine critic in your life or you're a collector wanting to spoil yourself just a little, these are the absolute must-have vintages this season. Learn more.

The best wine gifts for Hanukkah

Latkes and sour cream are a staple at my family's dinner table as the first day of Hanukkah approaches. Recently, we've started giving each other Hanukkah wine gifts specifically designed to pair well with latkes, as well as all the other delicious fried foods on our plates. At first we only served kosher wines or wines from Israel as a celebration of our family's heritage, but we have since expanded our Hanukkah wine gifts to include a wide range of varieties and regions, from white Burgundy to oaky CaliforniaChardonnay. Regardless of whether you stick with kosher wines or branch out, when it comes to giving wine for Hanukkah it's important to remember why we celebrate this holiday. Learn more.

The best champagne for New Year's Eve

Champagne and New Year's Eve go together like bread and butter–no New Year's celebration feels quite right without a flute of bubbly to toast with when midnight strikes. The night of December 31st is all about new beginnings, and the right bottle of Champagne can make this special event feel like a major milestone in your life. Rather than kicking the new year off with a less-than-exciting glass of Prosecco, sipping on finely aged 1971 Moët & Chandon Dom Perignon feels more significant and can set a positive tone for the year. The best Champagne for New Year's Eve will make even the most casual party feel like an iconic, once-in-a-lifetime event, and it's a great opportunity to uncork your showstopper bottles. Learn more.

The best red wine for New Year's Eve

When you think of the aftermath of a New Year's Eve party, you probably picture dozens of empty and half-empty Champagne bottles scattered around the room. But while many people love a splash of bubbly on December 31st, not everyone wants to sip on it all night. Some of the best red wine for New Year's Eve can be just as impressive as a vintage bottle of Krug, and may win the hearts of even the most diehard bubbly fans. Whether you want to break out of a Champagne rut or simply want to offer your red wine-loving guests a few more choices this year, choosing a handful of high-quality, rare red wines could make your New Year's party a raving success. Learn more.

Choosing the perfect wine for Valentine's Day

Couples are under a lot of pressure to plan for Valentine's Day. There's the restaurant that has to be booked weeks in advance, the romantic gift and bouquet of flowers that have to be bought, and the perfect bottle of wine that needs to be found. What's more, that wine not only has to taste delicious with dinner, it also needs to be special in some way. After all, if you're dining at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant and it took you months to book a table, you need a wine that will match the caliber of the food. Whether you already have reservations at a fine restaurant or you plan on cooking a rustic, romantic meal at home, the perfect wine for Valentine's Day will complement your meal, making the occasion feel even more luxurious. Learn more.