10 Great Wines for Holiday Giving (Even as Low as $5!) — Wine 101
That holiday list you’re making may seem really long about now. But there’s one thing that a lot of people would love to find in their stocking — and that’s wine!
Of course, we can’t go around getting really expensive wines for everyone in our life. That’s why we’ve pulled together 10 wines under $15 that are delicious and would make for perfectly lovely gifts this holiday season.
While some may think that $15 is a lot to spend on a bottle of gifting wine, others might think $5 is way too low. The truth is that all of these wines are great values, representing the best of their varieties, regions, and price points, and thus are worthy of consideration as a gift — or for keeping!
Around $5: Red
While you’ll likely find this selection on the bottom shelf at the liquor store, we can assure you that it’s a solid wine in the tradition of classic European table wines. Hailing from Portugal, this lighter-bodied, fruity wine is simple but enjoyable for any wine lover.
Around $5: White
For value it’s tough to beat the Vina Carta Vieja Sauvignon Blanc. This is a fresh and easy-drinking white wine from Chile that features flavors of citrusy fruit. It’s also lightweight, which might make it even more attractive to some wine drinkers.
Around $5: Sparkling
The Cristalino Brut from Jaume Serra continues a streak of delivering exceptional value. This is a fine Cava. It’s not what some wine drinkers would call complex, but for this price you get a decent and well-balanced, fresh and fruity bottle of easy-to-drink sparkling wine.
Around $10: Red
If you’re looking for a lot of wine for the money, and like bold fruit and a little complexity, it’s worth trying Masciarelli’s Montepulciano. Ripe red fruits and earthy flavors are the features of this Italian wine. It’s a full but very fresh wine.
Around $10: White
Chardonnay is probably the most popular white wine in America. And, year in and year out, this affordable selection never fails to surprise. It’s a lovely, rich but balanced style of Chardonnay that features flavors of fresh fruit with a touch of oakiness.
Around $10: Sparkling
Gruet is a sparkling wine from New Mexico, of all places. The Gruets, a family from Champagne, France, traveled around the country and were struck by the potential of the hills of Southwest. For more than 20 years, Gruet has produced brilliant sparkling wines at very friendly prices.
Around $15: Red
It’s tough to find fault with Joel Gott’s Zinfandel. Consistently a top contender in tastings, the wine delivers a rich mouthful of pure Zinfandel fruit that is never over the top. Neither too oaky nor too sweet, this is one Zin that’s just right.
Around $15: White
It might surprise some folks to find that this Riesling was grown in Australia, and it’s exceptional: dry, brisk, refreshing and complex. The Lodge Hill Riesling is consistently one of Australia’s finest. Perfect for almost every wine drinker, it’s about as food-friendly and flexible as a white wine can be!
Around $15: Sparkling
What can be more festive than a fine sparkling rose? This one comes from France’s Alsace region and is light and creamy with wonderful red berry fruit flavors in an easy-to-drink style. Perfect for spreading the holiday cheer!
Around $15: Dessert Wine
What’s an ice wine? It’s a sweet dessert wine that is produced from grapes that have frozen while still on the vine. It’s gotten very expensive to produce these wines because getting folks to pick grapes in sub-freezing temps is no easy — or cheap — feat! Selaks freezes its grapes after the harvest, and the effect is to concentrate all the fruit, sugar and spice in their grapes and get fresh fruit with richness and zesty acidity in every bottle. Now this is only a half-bottle for about $15, but it is the holiday season, so treat your friends and yourself!
– Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth.com
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