Food & Drink

Three Bottles to Have on Your Bar Cart During the Holiday Season

Beverage recs that you can give as a last-minute gift, throw on the table for a holiday dinner, or open all by yourself for a little “me” time.
—Courtesy of Stolpman Vineyards via Facebook

The 2023 holiday season is in full swing. It’s time to celebrate all the December things, from Hanukkah to Christmas to New Year’s Eve—and everything in between. We know it’s a challenging time to savor the meaningful moments, so we’ve come up with three beverages you can have on hand to do many things at once—grab as a last-minute gift, throw on the table for a holiday dinner, or open all by yourself for a little “me” time.

Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Orange 2022
($23, Winebow)
This exotic white wine blend—with an orange hue—comes to us from Pete Stolpman of Santa Barbara County, CA. The mix of Pinot Gris, Tokai Friulano, Gewurztraminer, and orange Muscat comes together seamlessly in this lively offering. There are stone fruit tones, orange notes, and floral aromas, all supported by the supplest hint of structure. It’s a perfect aperitif, but that structure suggests it plays great with food, too. Think medium soft cheeses, winter salads or a plate of leftovers.

Maison Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
($23, Free Run Wine Merchant)
Located in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France, the burg of Limoux is famous for sparkling wines. Here, in the mid- 1500s, sparkling wine was likely first invented, although the monk Dom Perignon often gets the credit in pop culture. Limoux is made from the Mauzac grape, and offers a crisp, refreshing alternative to Champagne. This example is electric on the finish. It’s a sophisticated bubbly to take to holiday gatherings without breaking your budget.

Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero 2020
($55, Kysela Pere et Pils)
This one is just for you, or maybe to share with a special someone on a cold winter’s night. Ribera del Duero is located on the plateau that defines Spain’s northern geography. A winemaking tradition stretches back over 2,000 years in Ribera del Duero, but things really got going in the ’80s when it became famous for age-worthy reds made mostly from the Tempranillo grape. This example exudes notes of cherry, herbs, and traces of Asian spice. It’s drinking very well now but will certainly reward patience in the cellar.