Mary Thompson, Sommelier, Saint Martha, Los Angeles, Calif., on her holiday wine picks:

For the Wine Aficionado

Dario Princic Bianco Trebez Venezie 2006
“Orange wine” gets its name from its darker, slightly orange tinge and has become quite trendy with sommeliers lately. These wines are lovely as they combine the bright acid of white wines with a bit more structure that you would often find in a red. This is a great pick for the holidays as you are guaranteed to stand out from the crowd and earn the title of “wine geek” among your friends. ($27)

Lambrusco Pronto Secco
Nothing speaks more to the holidays than bubbles. It’s not a scientific fact but I feel wines with bubbles lighten anyone’s mood and keep the holiday stress at bay. This dry Lambrusco is sure to please even those who do not normally enjoy Champagne. It’s certainly not your mother’s sweet Lambrusco of the ’70s but is still red and effervescent. The difference is this one has great brightness and a bone dry finish. ($16.99)

Affordable Find Under $15
Broadbent Vinho Verdes
This is another detour from the traditional Champagne route. This “green wine” from Portugal is made by esteemed wine critic Michael Broadbent. It is easily quaffable, bright, and vibrant—and easy on the pocketbook so you can grab several bottles without the fear of breaking the Christmas bank. ($10.99)

$75 and Up for the Boss’s Get-Together
The Farm Winery Cardinal Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
One of the most expensive cabernet sauvignons ever from the city of Paso Robles, Calif. It’s dry, full-bodied, and balanced. The blackcurrant flavors are powerful and delicious, and well worth the price tag, especially if you’re looking to impress. ($100)

Mary Thompson
Mary Thompson pouring wine. (Mike Kelley & Ryan Phillips)