F ew things are more festive than a bottle of wine – or two. The holidays are a time for celebration, but when people come together it can be hard to find something that meets everyone‘s tastes. No matter the occasion, Sotheby’s is here to help. Whether you’re looking for a bottle for a family meal, holiday party or New Year’s Eve, Vanessa Conlin has curated her picks. A Master of Wine with years of experience in Napa Valley and Manhattan, here Conlin offers her tips on finding the perfect bottle for every holiday occasion.
Wines for Holiday Meals
“Thanksgiving is the hardest meal to pair because there are so many different flavors and textures, so choosing something versatile is key. If you have a cellar, it’s the perfect occasion to bring out a mature wine, which can also serve as an excellent conversation starter. And if you’re looking for a showstopper, serve something from a large format. A magnum in the center of the table turns any occasion into a celebration.”
Wines for Holiday Parties
“Holiday parties often have lots of different small bites, so pick something with versatility. For white, I’d recommend something crisp, refreshing and high in acidity like Sancerre, Bordeaux Blanc or Grüner Veltliner. These wines cleanse the palate and encourage you to take another bite. For red, you want enough personality to stand up to the meal but nothing too tannic. Traditionally that would mean a Beaujolais, but I think a pinot noir from Burgundy or the Sonoma Coast would be a real crowd pleaser.”
“Hanukkah is a wonderful time to serve a wine from one of the world’s great vineyards, especially if you have a mix of guests who do and don’t keep kosher. Château du Tertre in Margaux makes an excellent kosher version of their wine, as does Moulin Riche in Saint-Julien.”
Champagnes for New Year’s Eve
“I love Dom Perignon or Krug for these occasions, but there’s been a lot of interest recently in smaller champagne producers. Multi-vintage champagnes express themselves right away, so you can serve them well at a big party. Vintage champagnes need a little time in the glass – and they can even be decanted! That makes them perfect for more intimate, seated gatherings.”