Wine Recommendations from Total Wine Professionals

Our Best Wines for the Holiday Season

Need wine recommendations for gifts or the best wines to serve with holiday dinners? The latest wine recommendations from our Total Wine Professionals come just in time to guide you through the season, whether you’re shopping for a unique gift for a wine lover, or a special wine to pour at your holiday gathering.

Total Wine Professionals are our most knowledgeable team members on the subject of wine, and they’ve put in the work. Candidates for the title devote months of intensive study to the subject of the best wines, winemakers and winegrowing areas throughout the world. Once they’ve passed seven written exams with a score of 90 or above, they’re presented with TWP pins and black aprons. Look for them in your local Total Wine & More store, where you can ask for personalized wine recommendations. And check online regularly for new picks from our Total Wine Professionals.

Theo Snyder Arden, CA

Lloyd Chardonnay Carneros

Creamy and elegant with perfect French oak integration, this beauty is overflowing with tropical fruit flavors and offers a long lingering buttery finish. Rob Lloyd, Napa's Chardonnay rock star winemaker, has once again knocked it out of the park with his current release. This superb wine is a perfect gift for the Chardonnay lover in your life and is a perfect wine to accompany a sumptuous and rich holiday meal. It is well worth the splurge!
Under $50
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Will Templin Thousand Oaks, CA

California Square Cabernet Paso

It's hip to be square with this new Cabernet Sauvignon from Truett-Hurst Winery and winemaker Ginnie Lambrix. Using Paso Robles fruit, this fun and easygoing wine doesn’t cut corners in quality nor elegance. With its new, one-of-a-kind bottle design, you will not only impress your guests with the wine inside, but with the whole package. Dark fruit is complemented with a touch of vanilla and oak to create a mellow flavor and silky smooth finish. This is the perfect Cabernet for holiday parties or as a host/hostess gift.
Under $20
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Lesley Stewart Raleigh, NC

Alouette Pinot Noir Sonoma County

This silky smooth Pinot Noir offers sexy aromas and flavors of red fruits beautifully enhanced with vanilla and cinnamon. Crafted by Belle Glos winemaker and Pinot Noir genius Joey Wagner, Alouette cascades over the palate and offers just a touch of sweetness in its velvety texture. This stunning wine is drinking beautifully now on its own but is also certain to complement whatever cheers, food or meal you serve this holiday season.
Under $25
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Michael Braun Boca Raton, FL

Flichman Dedicado Red

Popping the cork on this bottle is like the opening of a Verdi opera. You’ll know instantly you are in for a dramatic and satisfying experience. However, the only tragic moment will be when there is nothing left in the bottle. High-toned notes of red fruit and toffee harmonize with a subtle barrel spice, forming a memorable trio. There is the bright intensity of the soprano that comes from the high-altitude vineyards and smooth, full tannins underneath from the baritone. Live life with bravado and drink this terrific old vine Malbec blend with any grilled meat dish, just as the Duke of Mantua would have wanted. (Not available in TX.)
Under $30
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Rebecca Davidson Reno, NV

Vasco Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino

94 Wine Advocate

From one of the best Brunello vintages of the last decade, the 2007 is a classic styling from a classic producer. Deeply evocative of its place, this wine will transport you to the hilltop vineyards of Montalcino, where the finest expression of Sangiovese is created. Layers upon layers of dark cherry fruit, exotic spices, earthiness and tobacco offer immense immediate charm; yet this “little dark one” promises even greater things for the person patient enough to wait for it to fully unfold in years to come. It’s a great holiday gift to give—first to yourself and then to those who are worthy enough to be on your list! (Not available in CT.)
Under $50
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Kira Sol Charlotte, NC

Clos St Michel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Speciale

95 Wine Advocate

The Mousset family does it again with this highly rated, small-production Châteauneuf-du-Pape—a wine always made from their estate's oldest Grenache and Syrah vines. The phenomenal 2010 Rhône vintage gives another boost, adding layers of black raspberry, roasted herbs and licorice to this bold, full-bodied beauty. Drinkable now but capable of cellaring 10-plus years, you'll need to buy two this holiday season—one for your Christmas dinner of herbed leg of lamb and a second to offer as a host/hostess gift for any gathering. It's the quickest way to be assured of an immediate invitation to return whenever you can!
Under $50
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Mike Ancuta Plano, TX

Tesoro de Bullas Monastrell Seleccion

91 Wine Advocate

Entertaining is about food and drink. But at the holidays, it is also about setting a mood. This 50-year old vine Spanish red packs a spicy aroma with peppery undertones, which is perfect for your open house appetizer party, buffet or sit-down dinner. This wine with tastes of red berries, a touch of oak and soft tannins will harmoniously pair with simple food, such as nuts and cheese, or the hearty flavor of a holiday roast. At this price point, Tesoro de Bullas is a lush wine that will please all of your guests.
Under $20
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Matt Monroe Spokane, WA

Quinta Do Vale Meao Meandro

90 Wine Spectator

The estate was established during eight years ending in 1895 and is now solely owned by the Olazabal family with Francisco Javier Olazabal overseeing the estate and his son Francisco making the wine. The younger Francisco was recently named “winemaker of the year” and is one of the young stars in the modern movement of red wines in Portugal. This beautifully balanced wine is full-bodied and concentrated. The aromas and flavors are filled with dark fruits enhanced by nuances of mocha and vanilla. If you are a Cabernet drinker and have never tried a Douro wine, give this one a try.
Under $25
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Susan Anderson Atlanta, GA

Rock View Pinot Noir Reserve Monterey County

The grapes come from Monterey, which is known for creating Pinot Noir with depth and complexity. Winemaker Alison Crowe, previously with Chalone Vineyard and Bonny Doon, believes in letting the grapes speak their own particular truths through the medium of the winemaker. I found this wine to have elegant aromas and flavors of black cherry, cocoa and violet. It is very smooth, silky and perfectly balanced, and makes the perfect match for roasted chicken or turkey with rosemary or sage.
Under $20
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