25 Best Wines For The Holidays 2022

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Friends and families gather in seasonal celebrations, enjoying holiday favorites and festivities while creating memories through the flavors of traditional recipes and home-cooked meals surrounded by those you love the most. With all the planning and preparation, the last thing you need to worry about is what to pair with the holiday meals.

And we are here to help. We are removing your wine pairing concerns with this guide to the best wines for the season, including the best aperitif to start your holiday celebrations to a silky, sweet treat to enjoy with dessert as you finish your Christmas meal. From sparkling to still, red to white, low cal, and zero alcohol, we have you covered with a comprehensive list ensuring something everyone joining your table this year will enjoy. Here are the best wines to enjoy around your holiday table.

Best premium sparkling wine

We love raising a glass of sparkling wine on any occasion, especially around the holidays. Toast the significance of the holidays with a premium sparkling wine, Taittinger Brut Millésimé Champagne. Wine Folly explains that the production of vintage Champagne only occurs when the season's pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier fruit are of remarkable quality. The vintage Taittinger Champagne is aged five years in the bottle "en triage" or on the lees/yeast, creating a sparkler layering warm brioche and roasted hazelnut with juicy orchard fruit. Elegant and bursting with effervescence, it is the perfect way to toast every occasion throughout the season.

Best budget sparkling wine

The best bang-for-your-buck traditional method style sparkling wine is cava. It is crafted from native Spanish grapes instead of classic international varieties, each contributing to the wine's character. D.O. Cava defines the Spanish sparkler noting that cava production happens similarly to the making of Champagne, with secondary fermentation to create the bubbles occurring in the bottle.

The best price and quality is Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, with an average of around $11. If you search, you can find it for about $8. The sparkling wine blends predominantly macabeo, lending freshness, with the xarel-lo giving floral and citrus notes and parellada adding layers of tropical fruit. It is an affordable pairing to a tapas menu with friends for the holidays.

Best pétillant naturel

Vinepair defines pétillant naturel, or pét-nat, as a méthode ancestral style producing sparkling wines by bottling the juice before fermentation. The early bottling allows the final fermentation to finish in the bottle. This process naturally creates bubbles without needing additional sugars, also known as dosage, to be added in the final production stage.

Mtsvane Estate saperavi pét-nat is a low-intervention, sparkling rosé wine made in the Georgian region of Kakheti from the red saperavi variety. With a low 11% alcohol by volume (ABV), the $20 wine is bottled unfiltered. Keeping the wine unfiltered allows the strength and purity of the grape's wild red berry flavors to show in the fizzy, frothy wine.

Best Old World

Traditions abound throughout the holidays, so we say sip a glass of wine from the motherland of traditional international varieties with a Bordeaux blend from the region's Right Bank in France, Chateau Lassègue. Today the historic winery is run by seventh-generation vigneron Nicolas Seillan. His father, Pierre Seillan, developed a micro-cru approach to farming, allowing the ultimate expression of the land to show through the wines.

Château Lassègue Saint-Émilion Grand Cru blends over 50% merlot with cabernet franc and a touch of cabernet sauvignon from 50-to-60-year-old vines planted throughout the meticulously farmed estate. The wine is opulent and elegant, with wild berries, black plum, cassis, and a $49 price. Wine Industry Advisor reports that the Chateau was recently appointed to Grand Cru Classé designation by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO). It received this honor due to its superior terroir, estate management, and premium quality wine.

Best splurge

With a focus only on crafting the finest cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from old Napa Valley vines, the Far Niente wines are luxurious and highly elevated. For over 40 years, Far Niente has been crafting its elegant wines delivering authenticity with a refined touch, allowing the region's essence to shine through the selections.

The 2019 vintage Far Niente cabernet sauvignon has a bold structure, with layers of black fruit and gripping tannin, outstanding with a lavish beef Wellington. The selection received 96 points from Wine Enthusiast, landing No. 62 in the magazine's 2022 top 100 cellar selections. If you are going to splurge on a bottle this holiday season, this $146 wine is the one.

Best orange

Wine Folly explains that white wine production occurs by pressing freshly harvested grape juice directly off the skins, delivering a light hay-colored liquid. However, the site adds to produce orange wine, winemakers leave pressed white grape juice with the skins for some time. The interaction allows the liquid to absorb the grape's color, tannin, and texture, producing full-bodied, orangish, amber-hued wine.

Teliani Valley Amber Blend from the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti follows a 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition. A mix of native varieties comes together, macerating the juice on the skins for six months. The resulting $20 wine is well-structured, abundant with apple, peach, and mandarin flavors, and deliciously paired with our sheet tray Thanksgiving dinner.

Best rosé

Dry rosé wine is appropriate for toasting throughout the year, especially those with a deep color and fruity, luscious flavors. Like with orange wine production, the rich color comes from the juice macerating on the skins. This process produced a highly gastronomic rose wine, particularly with crispy roast duck or turkey.

Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan rosé from Bandol, France, melds fruit-forward flavors of blood orange and ruby red grapefruit with earthy herbs de Provence and crushed stone minerality. With its well-rounded, dry palate, deep salmon color, and $40 price, it should be on your holiday table all season.

Best winter red

Bold and powerful Barolo will cut through the richness of any cold weather fare. The Nebbiolo variety wine comes from within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Langhe-Roero in Piedmont, Italy. Enrico Serafino has been farming the Piedmont hills of Barolo for over 140 years producing high-tannin, high-acid, highly delicious nebbiolo wines with character.

Enrico Serafino Monclivio Barolo showcases the diversity of soils of the region, taking its name after the steep hills within the area. The 100% Nebbiolo wine ages 24 months in barrel, creating a full-bodied, highly structured wine. With flavors of black cherry, licorice, dusty leather, and earthy truffle, we suggest pairing the $51 wine with slow-braised lamb shanks on a winter's night.

Best winter white

Just because it is cold outside doesn't mean you must stop drinking chilled wines. Full-bodied white wines are perfect to match the hearty flavors of the season. Ram's Gate El Diablo Vineyard chardonnay is a medium-bodied, well-rounded wine from California's Russian River Valley. The wine has lively tension and acidity, balancing freshness, sharpness, and luscious fruit. The white wine is aged for 11 months in primarily neutral French oak, enhancing its complexity, texture, and weight. The $70 wine reveals white peach, honeyed cream, toasted vanilla, and marzipan. We love it with our roasted butternut squash salad or creamy champagne chicken.

Best Hanukkah

When we think of Hanukkah, we think of classic latkes and brisket perfectly paired with a medium-bodied red wine, like merlot. Napa Valley's Duckhorn Winery embraced merlot as a signature wine from its beginning. Founders Dan and Margaret Duckhorn recognized the quality and approachability of merlot-based wines while traveling through Bordeaux. They were determined to showcase the variety in Napa Valley even though cabernet sauvignon dominates the region.

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot includes fruit from the cool-climate Carneros region of Napa, producing fruit with natural freshness and energy. The resulting $53 wine has bright acidity to cut through the meal's richness, with black plum, red berry, and spice.

Best Kosher

Wine Enthusiast sets the record straight, reporting that a rabbi doesn't necessarily need to bless kosher wine for it to be kosher. Instead, its production must follow the Jewish laws defining the proper methods for all kosher foods and drinks.

Israel is a leading producer of kosher wines, particularly within Galilee. Wine-Searcher shares that the northern region is where Jesus turned water into wine and is considered the best wine-growing region in Israel. From the Golan Heights within Galilee, Yarden Mount Herman Indigo is a $17 Kosher wine blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, with earthy graphite, espresso, and black tea flavors with freshly cracked pepper and black fruit.

Best vegan

Remember your vegan and vegetarian family members this holiday with a wine fitting their meat-free lifestyle. Querciabella Chianti Classico focuses on maintaining balance with nature, using organic and biodynamic sangiovese grapes grown in the rolling hills of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region. The $29 wine proves working in an animal cruelty-free environment is possible. Since the early 2000s, the environmentally focused winery has worked with an entirely plant-based philosophy, creating vegan wines in a healthy ecosystem with harmonious biodiversity. With flavors of red currant, sagebrush, and toasted oak, the wine is ideal for fresh pappardelle with roasted tomato sauce.

Best canned wine

If this year's holiday table is around a campfire while glamping this season or around a picnic table at the park, opt for a few cans of wine for the holidays. With a focus on providing high-quality everyday wines from the production team behind Santa Barbara County's prestigious The Hilt and Jonata wineries, The Paring Wines deliver incredible canned wine quality for $9 for a 250 milliliter can.

The Paring pinot noir is fruit-forward and juicy, with bright acidity and layers of raspberry, blackberry, and red cherry. The finish shows savory herbs and toasted spice, making it perfect with anything you'll be grilling over an open flame this holiday.

Best boxed wine

If you're a fan of sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, give picpoul (or piquepoul) a try. Meaning "stings the lip" in French, picpoul de pinet is a lively, zesty wine from France's southern coast, near the Mediterranean. The variety offers fruit-filled and slightly herbaceous flavors, a light body, and easy drinking approachability.

La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet opens with a burst of acidity, layered with luscious golden fruit, fresh thyme, and a note of salty salinity from the influence of the Mediterranean on the Languedoc-Roussillon vines. The wine is available in 3-liter boxes for around $30.

Best budget

The red blends from Rhone Valley's historic Côtes-du-Rhône region deliver some of the finest values with high-quality character worldwide. Wine Enthusiast reports the area is the largest in France, with some of the oldest vineyards dating back to Greek and Roman times. The ready-to-drink wines come from a blend of up to 21 grape varieties, including syrah, grenache, and mourvedre.

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône is from organically and biodynamically farmed vineyards, allowing the terroir's essence to shine through the wine. The $14 wine blends mainly grenache and syrah, producing a peppery, red-fruit-filled selection with a soft, balanced palate.

Best organic

Whether you practice a natural versus organic lifestyle, the clean wine options for your holiday table are plentiful. We recommend the wines of Languedoc, France. SevenFifty Daily reports Languedoc has historically been known for bulk wine production. However, recently there has been a wave of modernization with new winemakers entering the region, producing high-quality wines. Languedoc has become France's leading producer of organic wines.

We love Domaine Léon Barral Faugères, a $45 blend of old-vine carignan, grenache, and cinsault. The savory wine has an earthy herbaceous rusticity that melds with a potpourri of warm spices and dried red fruits.

Thirteenth-generation vintner/winemaker Didier Barral employs traditional practices, working off the grid following organic and biodynamic practices, creating a biodiversity utopia. His methods show the utmost respect to his over 90-year-old vineyards, crafting wines with concentration and character.

Best low-calorie

Brut nature champagne is the best low-calorie option for those maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays. Comite Champagne defines Brut Nature as the driest sparkling wine with less than 3 grams of residual sugar in the final product. Also known as pas dosé or zero dosage, sparkling wine has zero sugar added during the final step in the traditional winemaking method. Wine Folly adds the style contains around 90 calories per 5-ounce glass.

Domaine Carneros Ultra Brut is bone-dry with racy acidity balancing citrus notes of yuzu, star fruit, and lemon zest. With .5 grams per liter of residual sugar, the lively $34 sparkling wine is perfect with freshly shucked oysters and creamy garlic mussels or on its own to awaken the palate before an evening of celebration.

Best low/no alcohol

Finding a beverage that can deliver the classic flavors of your favorite wine without alcohol can take time and effort. Thankfully, the low alcohol/zero alcohol category continues to become an emerging sector in the wine world. Seven-Fifty Daily reports that the type accounts for retail sales for an over $3.1 billion industry. Today the quality wine options available in the category are plentiful.

One of the leaders is New Zealand's Giesen Winery's zero alcohol sauvignon blanc. The wine's production occurs by making the brand's traditional high-quality, herbaceous, citrusy wine. Then, with the magic of modern technology, the alcohol is removed, delivering a $13 beverage that tastes like sauvignon blanc without the alcohol. With this technology, Giesen allows you to have your wine this season and drink it too!

Best dessert wine

Whether you finish your holiday meal with a slice of pecan pie, candied fruitcake, or a pile of potent cheese, port wine is the go-to sweet accompaniment. Wine Enthusiast shares port is a fortified wine produced from a field blend of native varieties grown along the Douro River inland from the seaside city of Oporto, Portugal.

Graham's Six Grapes is the signature reserve wine of the historic Graham's winery, with origins dating back over two hundred years. The two-year barrel-aged $25 ruby port wine has layers of black fruit, toasted nutmeg, allspice, and dark chocolate.

Today the port house is owned by the Symington Family, who acquired the winery in 1970. The Symington's are environmental leaders among family-owned wineries worldwide, focusing on working sustainably to counteract the effects of climate change. A delicious environmentally-focused selection makes this dessert wine much sweeter.

Best mulled wine

The cold weather drink chef Marcus Samuelsson swears by is glogg, a Swedish-style mulled wine. Samuelsson adds nuts, raisins, vodka, and port to his. We take the easier route by warming a mug of Stonewall Glogg from Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall, Texas.

Coming from the Swedish word "glödga," or "to heat up," Pedernales infuses Texas wine with a mix of organic spices and aged brandy. The result is a spicy, aromatic wine best enjoyed warmed at the end of a meal. With a $25 price and 19% ABV, the wine is what Samuelsson says is the season's festivity.

Best after seeing holiday lights

A favorite holiday activity is bundling up on a cold winter's night and taking a stroll to see the sparkling holiday light shows that fill town squares and neighborhoods. When you return home, you need a wine that will warm you from the inside out. With black fruit and warm spice flavors, Bodegas Tripache Broquel malbec is our go-to option.

From high-elevation vineyards in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina, the $14 wine is an approachable option to enjoy any night of the week. With ripe morello cherry, earthy truffle, and black licorice, the easy-drinking wine is delicious with a bowl of hearty turkey chili.

Best to enjoy after trimming the tree

You have likely worked up an appetite while decorating the house and stringing the lights, so reward yourself with a well-rounded tempranillo-based red wine from Rioja, Spain. Conde Valdemar Reserva Rioja is produced from vineyards throughout Rioja using sustainable farming methods. The bodega recently received the "Wineries for Climate Protection" certification. In 2015 the Spanish Wine Federation (Federación Española del Vino) developed the certification system to establish environmental sustainability in wineries within the country. The wine has a rich, ruby color with toasted spice, savory balsamic, and red fruit-filled flavors. The $15 wine easily matches your favorite DoorDash options, from burgers to barbecues.

Best for a tropical holiday

If your holiday dinner is al fresco while vacationing in a sun-drenched tropical paradise this year, make sure your wines match the fare. The menu will likely include ahi tuna poke bowls and classic ceviche. We recommend a zippy, lively white wine to pair with these tropical flavors. We love Tiefenbrunner Merus Pinot Grigio from Trentino–Alto Adige/Südtirol.

The smallest wine region in Italy, Alto Adige produces aromatic wines from high-elevation vineyards near the Dolomite Mountains in Northeastern Italy. Tiefenbrunner showcases the location and high elevations with a fragrant, energetic wine with well-rounded flavors of golden citrus, ripe melon, and stone fruit. The bright, balanced $15 wine showcases the quality of the Südtirolean hills.

Best for watching holiday movies

If Christmas dinner happens on T.V. trays with a bit of nostalgia watching films like "It's a Wonderful Life," enjoy a selection from a winery living its most wonderful life. We recommend Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon from Wine Enthusiast's "American Winery of the Year," Hope Family Wines.

The winery began as vintners in the emerging region of Paso Robles in the 1970s. Today Paso Robles is one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country. Hope Family Wines is one of its leading producers, crafting high-quality, accessible selections. Hope Family Austin Hope cabernet sauvignon is a classic California cabernet with structured richness, blue and black fruit, balanced tannin with a robust 15% ABV, and a $56 price.

Best to enjoy on Boxing Day

Out-of-town guests have departed, and you can relax and enjoy the holiday remnants with a large glass of wine. As you may have a little of this and a little of that, you can turn leftovers into a savory cake and pair it with a food-friendly New World pinot noir. Pinot noir is a versatile red wine pairing with anything you may have remaining. Benovia Russian River pinot noir has a medium body, great acidity, balanced tannin, and a fruit-forward palate of ripe blueberry, black cherry, black tea, and toasted baking spice. It is a $48 pinot noir that will pair with anything, even those lingering family members staying on after the holidays.