Woman sitting on a bench pouring red wine into a glass
Courtesy Naked Wines
Courtesy Naked Wines

5 Wines For Holiday Entertaining

Everything you need to know about choosing wines and the best food pairings for the season’s celebrations.

Think back to some of the best holiday gatherings you’ve enjoyed over the years. They likely had a few things in common – great company, delicious food, lively conversation, and, yes, wine.  

Deciding who to invite to the celebration, what to serve, and what topics of conversation it’s best to avoid can sometimes be tricky. Choosing wines, however, is a cinch. Here’s what you need to know to keep your wine rack stocked and everybody merry for those holiday parties.  

How Many Bottles Do You Need? 
First, let’s do some math to determine how much wine you should purchase. There are five standard five-ounce glasses of wine in a bottle. Party experts suggest planning on one glass of wine per guest per hour. So, for example, if you’re inviting 10 guests for a party that will run from 6 to 9 p.m., that means 30 glasses of wine or a total of six bottles. But, with all the toasts and good cheer the holidays summon, you’ll want to have at least a couple more bottles on hand. 

Five Types of Wine for the Holiday Season 
Yes, the rule of five applies to the types of wine you’ll want to make part of your holiday entertaining.  

Sparkling: Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco, a Spanish Cava, or a French Crémant, a glass of bubbly is the perfect way to get your party started. It pairs beautifully with appetizers and nibbles – a charcuterie platter of cheese, cured meats, olives, almonds, smoked salmon on toast, stuffed mushrooms, or even popcorn.   

Rosé: With its pale pink to strawberry red color, Rosé looks perfect on a holiday dinner table. It’s a winning complement to traditional fare like turkey, baked ham, and duck, or comfort food like gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. 

White: Like your outgoing Uncle Joe, white wine is great at parties. Pour a medium-bodied fruity Sauvignon Blanc to accompany goat cheese, oysters, crab cakes, or Caesar salad. A crisp Chenin Blanc pairs well with pork roast, delicate fish, pad Thai and other Asian fare, or vegetarian dishes like squash, yams, cauliflower, and carrots. Try a subtle Chardonnay with silky risotto, shrimp or scallops, roasted sweet potatoes, or crispy chicken.  

Red: Much like puffer jackets, red wines were made for chilly weather. Light a fire and serve a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with steaks or chops. Keep things casual and let your guests top their own burgers and pour themselves a glass of Malbec. Go old school with spaghetti and meatballs and a bottle of Chianti. 

Dessert: The holidays are no time to skip dessert or dessert wine. Pair Port with creamy cheese, a rich chocolate mousse, red velvet cake, or a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate.  

Where To Buy Your Wine at a Great Price
Now that you know what wines to buy, the next question to ponder is how much to spend on those bottles. 

Here’s a tip that’s worthy of a toast or two. Get the best value when you purchase wines directly from independent winemakers at Naked Wines. They’re passionate about introducing you to exclusive, limited-production wines packed with personality and an artisan touch. By supporting winemakers directly, you remove the hurdles (and price markups!) that usually get between consumers and the world of great wine. When it comes to paying the right prices for the right wines, the choice is simple.  

AARP members can now save $110.00 on their first order of $139.99 or more with Naked Wines. Get your first six bottles for just $29.99! Plus, become a Naked Wines Angel and receive a monthly wine credit – your thanks for supporting the independent winemakers in their community.

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