Day 5: Christmas Spirits

It’s our fifth day of the 12 Days of Roasty Melty, and I’m feeling festive! Christmas is so close and I’m getting insanely excited, especially as I start planning out the parties, get togethers, and various festivities I’ll be attending. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite wines from the past few months to share with friends, give as hostess gifts, or even keep for yourself 😉

The wines I’m going to talk about aren’t the best, most outstanding wines you’ll ever find, but they are ones I’ve really liked lately. They all ring in at under $15 (Canadian) each, so they certainly won’t break the bank. I tend to prefer reds, but I’ve thrown a white in here too that’s quite delicious.

First up is the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from Peller Estates’ Family Series. Described as having a “clear ruby/purple colour” with a “dry, medium body”, I was told, upon buying this wine, that it would go well with a meal like spaghetti and meatballs. It’s strong enough to stand up to a big meaty, carby dinner, without stealing the show and completely overwhelming the senses. A Cabernet Sauvignon, to me, is like your favourite old pair of blue jeans. They go with just about everything, they’re reliable and comfy, and not likely to offend anyone. This is your crowd pleaser, plain and simple. The only downside is that it won’t surprise anyone. It’s tasty, but it won’t make you stop and go “wow, that’s great.” This will work nicely with just about whatever you have planned for your holiday meals, and I do recommend pairing it with food, which does make the flavour perk up a bit more. Think red meats, stews, or dark chocolate. It would probably also be amazing with spicy food too, just a thought.

Next was a pleasant surprise for me, as I’m not usually a huge fan of white wine unless it’s the middle of summer. The Dry Riesling from Trius is not only smooth, but dry enough to make me stop and notice it. If I’m going to drink white wine, it’s got to be crisp and refreshing, and this riesling delivers on both. I bought this  because it was on sale and I needed a dry white for a recipe, but I was happy to find a new favourite. This riesling is “light-bodied with a crisp acidity and zesty finish”, but I prefer to just call it delicious. This would be amazing with a turkey dinner, as the acidity would cut beautifully through the rich gravy and mashed potatoes. No one would blame you if you had to try the wine while the turkey was roasting though either.

For the last one, here’s a wine for all of you who want to impress others with your wine choice without making your wallet hate you. Les Dauphins is a winery I’ve only very recently discovered after actually having their white recommended to me, but their Cotes du Rhone red blend is fantastic. It’s a spicy red that’s surprisingly soft on the palate. If someone asks you, you can swirl your glass like the classy wine connoisseur that you are and tell them that “ripe fruit fills the aromas, along with spice, earth and a hint of floral” (and yes I’ve been getting all of these quotes from the online descriptions of them, but you can steal them also to impress your friends). I can imagine this wine being ideal for a cocktail party, or just to unwind in front of the fireplace after a long day of frantically running around gathering those last Christmas gifts. Plus, it’s got a super cool label, so at the very least it’s a conversation piece, no?

Even if you’re still entering into the wine world, as I definitely am, don’t be intimidated by what can seem like a never ending selection at the wine store. It can be easy to keep falling back on your favourite, simply because you know it, but it can be equally fun to try something new. You’ll learn more about your own tastes and what you like by trying different wines, maybe even surprising yourself along the way. I hope you enjoy these few choices I’ve shared with you, and I would love to hear if you have any that you’ve been enjoying or discovered lately! Happy Holidays!

It’s a crazy time of year, but please remember to enjoy any “adult beverages” you may partake in responsibly!  

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