Choosing the perfect wine to serve at Christmas dinner may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There are many beautiful bottles under $25 that would make a great addition to your holiday table.
When pairing wine with a special occasion meal, concentrate on your main dish. Red wines are preferred for beef or pork, while whites pair nicely with poultry, ham, and seafood. Whether you're seeking a wine to pair with your entree or are hunting for dessert or sparkling wines, these selections are certain to please your holiday crowd.
01 of 10
The holidays are an ideal time to enjoy a medium-bodied red wine and few styles are as appropriate and universal to dinner pairings as a good Italian Chianti. The Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva is complex, yet approachable, with seasonally appropriate notes of cherries, plums, and sweet spices. This is a wine that can be served with a roast—both beef and pork—or with any sort of game meat. The more flavorful the dish or the more mature the cheese, the better it will be for this wine.
02 of 10
A classic red, you'll enjoy sharing this Cabernet Sauvignon with family and friends. From Washington, Intrinsic's offering is as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside with an eye-catching label you certainly won't mind setting out on the dinner table.
This is also a good all-around wine for a classic or non-traditional Christmas dinner. It's lovely with lamb, beef, or pork and is an excellent choice to serve alongside any vegetable dishes.
03 of 10
Winter always seems like a great time for a nice Merlot, and a fun find is this bottle from Cannonball. The California winery is well-known for its Cabernets, but this one is especially worth buying for a special occasion.
When your dinner table is adorned with any red meat, particularly prime rib, this red wine is an excellent choice. It has a creamy oakiness and medium tannins with lots of earthy notes. You'll find it also goes well with duck and any rich side dishes.
04 of 10
For a slightly lighter red wine that anyone can enjoy, try the Pinot Noir from Olema. This Sonoma County wine is a blend of grapes from the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast, so it contains the best of both worlds.
A traditional Christmas dinner of turkey or ham is the ideal pairing for this bottling. The wine is bright, fragrant, and filled with red fruits, including cherry and strawberry, ideal for those lighter meats. It's also a fantastic pairing for any vegetarian dishes.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
White wine lovers will be delighted with this intriguing find from Napa Valley. Priest Ranch Sauvignon Blanc is lively and crisp, filled with an array of fruit flavors (think melon and passionfruit) and a little vanilla to make it luscious. That's unique for this style, and why the bottle is perfect for a celebration.
Sauvignon Blanc is the white you want to serve alongside turkey, goose, and other poultry, and this bottle will not disappoint. It also pairs well with appetizers if you're hosting a casual get-together, as well as oysters, pasta, and green vegetables.
06 of 10
A mouthwatering Riesling is what you'll find in a bottle of Poet's Leap. This succulent Washington white is an award-winning wine that offers a lively palate with enticing spices in a pleasant off-dry style.
The melon, apricot, and citrus notes you'll catch in Poet's Leap make it a perfect pairing for turkey, ham, and chicken. It also makes a nice companion for any holiday dessert.
07 of 10
Pinot Grigio is another outstanding white wine when it comes to holiday entertaining because it tends to be light and crisp. A great example of this can be found in Attems Pinot Grigio from the northeastern corner of Italy.
This straw-yellow wine is savory and tangy, with a lovely fruitiness that perfectly represents the grapes of this region. It's the wine you want to serve with roasted poultry or any rabbit or lamb dishes. Also, if you hope to impress with a stuffed meat entree like matambre (stuffed flank steak), this wine will set your dish over the top.
08 of 10
Stella Rosa Imperiale Black Lux
Special occasions deserve something unique. A sparkling wine is a great way to go, and Stella Rosa Imperiale Black Lux is anything but ordinary. This red blend is a wonderful bubbly with semi-sweet fruit notes, and is a great choice for any winter celebration.
While this wine would make a nice dinner companion, it really shines before and after the main meal. Pair it with soft cheese or savory appetizers like bruschetta, as well as berry-filled and ice cream-based desserts. It's also an intriguing partner for chocolate, pear, and pumpkin treats.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Moscato has become one of the favorite dessert wines of the world, and its sweet taste is hard to resist. The California Moscato from Sutter Home will not disappoint, and it should be easy to find at an affordable price.
Juicy and filled with fruit, this Moscato has an inviting palate of lychee, peach, and melon. It tastes like summer, but works surprisingly well in chillier temperatures. Serve this one alongside your favorite holiday desserts, or break it out for light appetizers of fruits and cheese.
10 of 10
A fortified wine, sherry is a popular after-dinner and late-night sipper during the winter months. While it's relatively inexpensive, the holidays are a great excuse for a little upgrade. With a goal of staying within the $25 budget, it's hard to beat Lustau's Don Nuño Oloroso Sherry.
Like most Olorosos, this one is dry and rich, with an enthralling nutty oak taste and hints of bitter chocolate. It's both soothing and intense, a fine example from one of the world's best sherry producers. Serve it slightly chilled and enjoy it with rich meat dishes or save it for a nice digestif.