Best Wines For The Holidays 2017

A wine expert shares his top picks on what to drink this season

Picking out your holiday wine? Unless you just re-watched Somm for the umpteenth time, sometimes it feels easier to just close your eyes and point to a random bottle. That's why we're asking Jesse Warner-Levine, owner of Convive Wine in NYC, to do all the hard work for you. Here are his top picks for Christmas dinner, no matter your budget—because money shouldn't be a barrier to feeling the holiday spirit.

Under $15

2015 Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 

"It's the best inexpensive wine in my store," Warner-Levine says of the approachable, medium-bodied red. "It's an easy, affordable, crowd-pleaser to kick off the festivities."

Under $25

2015 Jean-Louis Chave "Mon Coeur"

With a sweet and spicy profile, he describes this blend from France's Côtes du Rhône region as a "lush, weighty wine to pair with dinner or to sip by the fire."

Under $40

2016 Partida Creus Garrut "GT" Ancestral

For something more adventurous, this unfiltered, bubbly red from Spain is what Warner-Levine calls "festively funky." 

Under $60

2014 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Classic

Don't worry about trying to pronounce its intimidating name: This rich, fruit-forward blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is "sweater weather meets classic French winemaking." 

Under $100

2015 Bouchard Roses de Jeanne NV Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs

Holiday recipes tend to not shy away from butter and cream, so having something sparkling on hand is useful for bringing a lively, refreshing balance to the table. The red-fruited flavor from this wine is "the perfect accompaniment to make flavorful and rich foods more festive," Warner-Levine adds.

Bonus: When Money Just Isn't an Object

2015 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru ($230)

This French bottle comes from what many consider one of the preeminent makers of white Burgundy. "The wine is rich, textured and voluminous. Bound to be the star of the show."