Travel IndustryBooksSmarter ShoppingSports

11 wines to gift and celebrate with this holiday season

November 19, 2022, 10:00 AM UTC
Gift and drink responsibly.
Getty Images

When you show up to a holiday party with a bottle of wine, sometimes there’s uncertainty about whether or not it should be opened right away. Here’s a list of suggested bottles—across the spectrum in palate, hue, and price point—that can be opened and enjoyed right now or you can keep in the cellar a little longer.

Gift and drink responsibly.

Champagne Henriot Millésime 2012

The 2012 vintage was bottled as a tribute to the intense conditions that led to an extraordinary wine. From icy spring hailstorms to fiery summer heat waves, the making of the 2012 was nothing short of extreme, and you’ll experience that vibrant life right in your glass.

2021 Rock Angel rosé

While most consumers who drink rosé are familiar with Whispering Angel, don’t overlook other rosés produced by Chateau d’Eclans. Among the newest releases that you can drink now or save for a warm day next year, the 2021 Rock Angel is an elegant rosé with the minerality of a Sancerre but its own high-energy vibrancy. This is available by the bottle, but you should also be able to find it at many premium restaurants, hotels, and resorts nationwide, including Boucherie, Tao, Scarpetta, and Daniel Boulud’s restaurants in New York City.

2020 Domaines Ott By.Ott Côtes de Provence rosé

If you want a bottle of rosé that makes you feel like one of the guests on an episode of Below Deck: Mediterranean for a sliver of the price, this is for you. Made by Domaines Ott, which was founded in 1896 and has been producing prestige rosés since 1912, the By.Ott label is one of the best deals in rosé wine right now for the quality at an attainable price point for all. This stems back to the vine, as the blends originate from select vineyards in Côtes de Provence that have been chosen to ensure that the wine is characterized by fruit and freshness with added finesse and complexity. The 2020 vintage is a blend of 60% grenache, 28% cinsault, 8% syrah, and 4% mourvèdre grapes, resulting in a lovely and bright wine in a pretty peachy-pink hue with flavors of white peach and vanilla.

Rose Gold Côtes de Provence rosé

This rosé is truly representative of a new generation of winemaking, down to the winemaker herself. Rose Gold is a Provencal rosé made in France, but the company is headquartered in Texas with founder and CEO Casey Barber. After practicing as a family nurse practitioner, Barber put a pause on her career to become a mother and raise her three children. During this time, she traveled to the south of France and was so inspired by the trip that she started her own trans-Atlantic wine business.

Made from a blend of grenache and cinsault growing on vines just 50 miles northwest of St. Tropez, the grapes that go into Rose Gold’s wine benefit from the cool winds drifting from the sea in the morning and evening, and ripened by the Mediterranean sunshine in the afternoon. All of this allows for an intense flavor to develop, resulting in a crisp, dry wine with flavors of stone fruit and dried apricot.

Valdo floral brut rosé

The bottle alone serves a gorgeous centerpiece, which you can keep after you consume what’s inside. Valdo, the oldest winery making prosecco in Valdobbiadene in Italy’s Veneto region, commissioned Italian designer Fabrizio Sclavi to style the exterior, which is intended to depict the reconnection with a natural (and uncontaminated) world. That alone is a conversation starter for oenophiles, art critics, and anyone who loves Italy. The wine itself is a blend of two native Italian grape varieties: glera, a white varietal used in the production of prosecco, and nerello mascalese, a red varietal typical of warmer climates, like in Sicily. The result of this unusual combination is a delicate but fresh sparkling rosé, with notes of blackberries and cherries.

2019 La Crema Monterey Bay chardonnay

With summer now just a distant memory, many wine lovers are transitioning their go-to-wines for the upcoming cool months. La Crema produces some of the best wines for their price points out of Northern California, with footprints in Sonoma and Monterey Bay. These chards are crisp enough to cool you down but are still structured and complex. The 2019 vintage, especially presents balanced acidity, with fall-friendly notes of baked apple, brioche, and Asian pear.

L’Occhiolino sparkling red wine

Frizzante is typically regarded only as a summer wine, but this Italian sparkling red is ideal for meal pairings anytime of year. (And when your dining room overheats with too many people, you’ll want a chilled glass of vino anyway.) And with a low ABV at 7.5%, it’s also smooth enough to drink longer. With a lightness and sparkle, L’Occhiolino pairs well with cured meats and cheeses, grilled meats, oily fish, spicy foods, and even southern-style BBQ and spicy foods. The wine is best served chilled in a white wine style glass to best appreciate its aromas and flavor profile.

Libby low ABV red blend

This is a bottle that will have guests talking for many reasons. First, it’s a chilled red blend (55% Syrah and 45% zinfandel) with bubbles, and you don’t see that often (except maybe on this wine list), and it could be a people pleaser given how many boxes that ticks off. Second, it’s a low ABV beverage (7.8% vs. traditional wines, which range from 11% to 14%), and not only has lower ABV drinks been on trend for the last few years, they’re also more amenable to parties, where guests are more likely to be drinking longer, so a lower ABV drink is a more mindful choice.

2018 Black Girl Magic California zinfandel

With aromas of plum, dried cherry, and crushed black pepper, this wine is like a warm hug on a chilly night. Look for additional notes of mellow oak lightly suggest at cigar box and a touch of spicy Madagascar vanilla. But the palate is much brighter with flavors showcasing berry jam, dried fig, and subtle spice notes. A perfect festive red for wintertime.

2018 Benovia Winery ‘Liberation’ pinot noir

Showcasing grapes grown for single-vineyard wines, Benovia specializes in chardonnay, zinfandel, and pinot noir wines from the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Sonoma Mountain. The winery has several pinot noirs, in particular, to choose from at the moment, but this fruit-forward bottle also gives back: $10 from each purchase will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families. Additionally, for each bottle sold, The Anderson Family Foundation will contribute an extra $5 to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

2019 Bricoleur Vineyards pinot noir special selection

This 2018 Russian River Valley Special Selection Pinot Noir is the first Special Selection from Bricoleur Vineyards. With notes of red currant, lavender, and dark dry cherry on the nose, this ruby red-hued wine has a long lasting finish with flavors of strawberry, cherry cola, and a hint of peppercorn. And it is ready to drink now but will also age gracefully for years to come.

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.