This Wine Wednesday is all about so-called  “table label” wines for holiday celebrations. For some people, it’s not just about the wine in the bottle but also how it looks on the table. It’s OK to admit. You sometimes buy wines based on the label, you judge the book by the cover. We all do. Winemakers and marketers know it too. The key now becomes finding a wine that both tastes  AND looks good.

Holiday wine

Brut Nature Stars Reserva is Cava from Perelada that not only looks fantastic on your holiday table. It also tastes great.

The task is not impossible at all. Many wineries actually have special bottling specifically for the holidays. One of my favorite yin and yang wine comes from Grovedale Winery in Pennsylvania. They have two labels, one of which, or even both might be appropriate for your holiday gatherings. The first is Gratitude, the second is Sh!tshow. If there ever was a wine brand that encompassed what so many of us have been through this year, it is this one. Best of all, the wine is enjoyable. There is a red blend, a white and rose. All are $20.

Catchy labels are not necessarily an indication that the wine inside is sub par. Then again, fancy, classy labels sometimes hide wine that is just, well, bad. It’s a gamble buying wine based on a label but sometimes it works. All of the ones listed here work

If you care more about food and wine pairing than looks, here are some tips for that. Last week’s Wine Wednesday post was full of off the beaten path ideas. Wines good for both serving and gifting. Especially good for those on you list who like to try and discover new things. Click here to read again.

Check out these “table label” wines for holiday celebrations.

Brilla Prosecco

  • Sparkling

    Holiday wineFirst of all, you almost HAVE to have some kind of sparking wine over the holidays.

    I might be a little hard to see from these pictures but the label on this prosecco  is actually on pink glitter paper. The bottle is also etched and it is just gorgeous. Brilla! Prosecco DOC Rose is refreshing. It is dry but still has nice fruit like peach and citrus. It’s good with salty appetizers or for sipping with a salad course. Brilla means “shine on” in Italian. That it does.  $14

  • Something different from Uruguay

    This is one of the mot interesting new wines I’ve tried. The label looks like one of the main courses you might find on your table. Makes sense because it’s a wine that would  go well with a variety of foul. Castel Pujol Folklore Blanco is from Uruguay, I’m learning more about wines from here and it’s been fun. This one is a blend of trebbiano and Malvasia. It’s full of gardenia, tropical fruits, nectarine and it is really lovely. $22

    Holiday wine Uruguay

  • Priest Ranch

    So this one is a bit of a play on words, taking into account the religious nature of the holidays. However, Priest has nothing to do with the guy who gives communion at Christmas Eve church services. It is the name of a winery in Napa Valley that makes great wines. Pretty much everything they do is golden including the red wines. But there is always a seat the table for good white wines. While the chardonnay is fantastic, I really like this Grenache Blanc. It is also fresh, acidic with citrus and green apple and is good with food; $22. Priest Ranch also has a sparkling rose. So many good wines from them to choose from.
    Holiday wine

  • Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir is another one of those wines that goes with a variety of items and probably should be on your dinner table. These elegant bottles come from Modus Operandi and so far this season, they are some of my favorites. The Gap’s Crown is a fantastic vineyard medium bodied wine with layers of fruit, spice and some tobacco. It’s one of those small production wines that gets  high scores. My only regret is that I didn’t get two bottles. $75

    Holiday wine

  • Meeker Vineyard Wines

    First of all this Handprint Merlot ($52) is a signature of the Sonoma winery. Winery folks literally dip their hands in paint to decorate the bottles. This one looks like fall although when you turn it, there is a lot of color. Each bottles is unique and the merlot is excellent. I love Lucas Meeker, the second generation winemaker here. He makes another near perfect holiday table label wine called Four Kings for those tables looking for a nod the religious side of Christmas. Even though there were only three kings who visited baby Jesus, the wine still works for a tie-in. It’s a Bordeaux blend. ($70) The winery is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary.

    Christmas wine

  • Lets go to Bordeaux

    Speaking of Bordeaux…this Chateau Lassegue is a killer good wine for the price and the label is beautiful. It comes from an estate in Saint-Emilion, France that was just recently promoted to Grand Cru Classe status. It’s an indication of excellence and it’s well deserved in my humble opinion. This is a 2011 vintage I have been saving. However, I’ve tasted multiple vintages of this over the years and have never been disappointed. I believe 2018 is the current vintage and could use decanting before serving. It’s not easy to find a good Bordeaux like this one in the $60 range.

    holiday wine

  • Ehlers Petite Verdot

    First of all, there is nothing petite about a petite verdot wine. This wine checks so many boxes for me. As far as aesthetics go, the scene on the label is of a snowy field and mountains, it fits the vision. The E in the label forms a heart, I love that. They have some great gift sets as well. But back to the petite verdot. It has great dark and red fruit, a toasted nut characteristic, and a little mocha. It needs to open a little to hit that sweet spot, and it is indeed a sweet one, figuratively. Another ideal food wine. $77

    Holiday wine

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