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Celebrations Big or Small

Dec 15, 2014 04:07AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Lifestyle

Life is full of celebrations, especially during the festive holiday season. From small gatherings with co-workers to large family parties, having the right wine to give or to serve is the best way to make every occasion merry.

To make your next event special, make sure to select a quality, award-winning wine. Created to guide wine enthusiasts towards the very best, the 100-point scale recognizes wines with 90 points or more as excellent selections. Each of the following wines has earned this distinction, and is paired with a well-suited celebration or special occasion. Use this guide to help make your holiday season even more festive and flavorful.

Gift-giving occasions. Whether offered as a holiday present for a friend or a thoughtful hostess gift, little shows your appreciation – and your good taste – quite like a great bottle of wine.

  • White wine selection. For white wine lovers, William Hill Estate’s 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay offers smooth, rich character perfectly suited to winter months. This 91-point selection is a sought-after bottle that white wine enthusiasts will love.
  • Red wine selection. For those favoring bold reds, Louis M. Martini’s 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is another 91-point winner. Crafted from superb Napa soil to showcase the depth and complexity of this classic varietal, it’s an expressive red wine with sophisticated depth of flavor.

Formal holiday settings. Many holiday occasions call for an elegant touch. When dining with the boss or colleagues, set the tone by serving a distinctive wine like the 2012 MacMurray Estate Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. From an award-winning collection, this nuanced red wine offers layered, elegant flavors of red fruit and spice.

Holiday brunches. For daytime holiday festivities, opt for a classic white wine that pairs well with lighter midday fare. The 2011 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay delivers delicious flavors of baked apple and lemon zest and is made with fruit from a celebrated, cool-climate winegrowing region near the Pacific Ocean.

Festive feasts. Relax with family and friends this holiday over a delicious dinner paired with the 2012 Bridlewood Estate Winery Central Coast Blend 175. Inspired by the relaxed lifestyle of California’s Central Coast, this rich, full-bodied red is crafted from Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Viognier grapes and wraps up with a lingering finish. Cap off a great holiday with this 90-point winner.  

With a holiday schedule brimming with social engagements and gatherings, be sure you’re prepared for the season with wonderful wines to accompany every occasion. After all, nothing complements a great celebration like a well-selected glass of wine. For these and more wines that will make your holiday a hit, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (people at table)

91 points,  EDITORS' CHOICE (April 2014)

91 points, Wine Review Online (August 2013)

90 points, The Tasting Panel (March 2014)

90 points, The Tasting Panel (June 2014)

90 points BEST BUY, Wine Enthusiast (August 2014)

Sponsored by E. & J. Gallo Winery

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