Sparkling wine, Champagne, Riesling, or Pinot Noir? Whatever type of wine you settle on, Eric Jeffay, a sommelier and server at Minibar by Jose Andres in Washington, D.C., offers his picks for each category:
Ch. Greffe Vouvray Brut NV. What better way to celebrate than with a classic sparkling wine? Fortunately for your wallet there are more affordable ways to celebrate than with Champagne. In fact, sparkling wines are produced in almost every wine-growing country and pair surprisingly well with food. Take the Ch. Greffe Vouvray Brut NV, for example. Dry in style with bright apricot, pear and Meyer lemon notes this wine has a medium full body that can stand up to that rich holiday food on your table. Impress your friends by telling them it’s from the Chenin Blanc grape in the Loire Valley of France.
Krug “Grand Cuvée” Brut Multi-Vintage. If you find your holiday shopping leaves you with some money on hand, why not splurge and impress the party with one of the world’s top Champagnes? From one of the most well-known houses in the region comes Krug “Grand Cuvée” Brut Multi-Vintage. You can always take comfort in the fact that this pricey wine isn’t even the top bottling from the producer! Known for its rich, toasty, and buttery style, Krug is made with a high percentage of Pinot Meunier in the blend leading to a seriously impressive wine. And if you’re hesitant to spend a small fortune you can always opt for the more restrained half bottle that’s available.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling Finger Lakes 2014. While Riesling might be maligned as a syrupy sweet rookie wine to some, serious world-class riesling is one of the most elegant and food friendly wines available. Look to Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling Finger Lakes 2014 for a affordable wine with plenty of aromatics to stand up to even the most diverse holiday plate. Riesling is most loved for its bright acidity, and slate like minerality, with relatively low alcohol levels which can keep you refreshed and on your feet until the party’s over.
Domaine Weinbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg “Ste. Catherine” 2013. Justify this splurge by knowing it’s a top bottling from a top producer in one of the best regions in the world for the Riesling grape. Domaine Weinbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg “Ste. Catherine” 2013 is a rich, round white wine with laser-like focus and steely minerality to boot. Pair this one with the honey glazed ham for a stellar combination.
Wyatt Pinot Noir Sonoma California 2014. This easy drinking, uncomplicated red is well suited for your holiday table. Lush red fruits dominate this wine making it an easy counterpoint to whole roast turkeys. Wyatt Pinot Noir Sonoma California 2014 has a medium body meaning a versatile wine, one to carry you through from lighter appetizers into the main event.
Domaine Rapet Corton “Pougets” Grand Cru 2012. This powerful, serious red from the Pinot Noir stronghold in France, Burgundy, is an ideal holiday splurge. While red wines from the region routinely fetch astronomical prices at auctions, this young bottle comes in at a more affordable, but still spendy, price. Look for bright red fruits, and a underlying savory mushroom note. Domaine Rapet Corton “Pougets” Grand Cru 2012 is still pretty muscular so, if you’re very patient, you can always buy it now for the holidays in five years and wait to drink.