Friday, November 23, 2012

Inexpensive Holiday Wines

This is the time of year when people who aren't regular wine drinkers start thinking about how on earth they're going to pick the right wine for the holiday festivities. It's overwhelming to face racks and racks of bottles with no clue about how to get started. So here's my list of inexpensive wines, just in time for your next hostess gift or holiday meal!


Goats Do Roam Red - 2011 - A nice, mellow blend of reds. Some tannins, but not overwhelming. Not as fruity as some reds, with a good balance of flavors and a nice smooth finish. Under $10 a bottle in our area.

House Red Wine - Another blended red, a little bigger in flavor than the Goats Do Roam recommendation above. Some fruit, with more tannins but a good, smooth finish without the dry, bitter mouth feel of a tannin-heavy red. Under $12 a bottle in our area.

Menage a Trois - I hate this name, but since this is a blend of three red varietals, I finally got past my personal issues and gave this wine a try. It's a terrific, easy-drinking wine with a lot of fruit (but not sweet) and very little tannins. A good all-around choice for people who are nervous around red wine. Under $10 a bottle in our area.

Sparkling Wines

Cristalino Brut - Very inexpensive, light and flavorful sparkling wine. If I was giving out stars, this one would get five. Excellent for toasting or in mimosas, and at about $8 a bottle, it's a great choice for big parties.

Rosa Regale - OK, before you tell me you don't like dessert wines, give me a minute to tell you why you need to try this one. It's faintly sweet without being cloying, has the most gorgeous rose color and aroma, and is filled with super-fine bubbles that fizz on your tongue. You will not be sorry - pair it up with a light, fruit-based dessert like a pavlova to knock everyone's socks off. (And their website is fun, too.) Less than $15 a bottle in our area.

I don't drink a lot of white wines, so I'm sorry to say that I have no recommendations for those. Give one of these a try and let me know what you think - and please drink responsibly!! (If you over-indulge,   AJE team member Lesley Watt has thoughtfully compiled some "cures" - but use them at your own risk!)

Happy holidays!


This post is part of the Art Jewelry Elements 2012 Holiday Open House.

Art Jewelry Elements team members are offering special deals in their online shops to AJE readers starting today and going through Cyber Monday (November 26). You can see the complete list of participating members and details about the discounts here.

Please help support the artist community by buying handmade for your gift-giving this year.


  1. We usually drink reds as well. We will have to try these because $20/bottle gets really expensive...

  2. The Rosa Regale is awesome...I had a line on wholesale one year from a client and we splurged on a good with chocolate.

  3. I was just talking to my in-laws about this. They are so much better at picking out wines than I am (I will have to see if we have these around and grab some). Thanks!


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