How To

8 Wines For Your Next Holiday Party

8 Wines For Your Next Holiday Party

Dec 9, 2017

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it are parties with family and friends. Instead of arriving with the same bottle of Merlot that everyone else brought, think outside the box with 8  favorite bottles from Wildfire‘s Wine & Spirits Director, Brad Wermager. So grab your favorite gang and open a bottle to celebrate the cheery season.

Wine glasses lined up on a table

For Wines Under $20

1. For wines under $20.00, the Gruet Brut Rosé for $13.99 would work well with a variety of different appetizers. This sparkling Rosé is delicate and lively, with floral cherry and vanilla aromas and nicely layered, crisp citrus, cinnamon and cream flavors.

2. Another one of my under $20 favorites and that is sure to be a crowd pleaser, is the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017 for $9.99. This Marlborough, New Zealand wine is zesty and aromatic with lots of lively fruit characters with a concentration of assertive passionfruit and tropical fruit flavors.

Perfect Wines for Starting a Meal

3. The first sparkling wine that I recommend is the Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvee, Carneros, California ($29.00 to $35.00). This sparkling wine has aromas of meadow flowers, pears and citrus peel enhanced with hints of toasted nuts, vanilla and spice. The wine is elegantly structured, round and flavorful with the long, creamy finish that is the hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines.  Enjoy this brut with double or triple cream cheeses on your cheese and meat board.

4. A real California crowd pleaser is the J Vineyards & Winery Cuvee 20 Brut NV ($25.00- $30.00). This Cuvee gracefully opens up crisp lemon peel and huckleberry aromas. Flavors of Fuji apple, grapefruit, toast, caramel, almond and a sweet hint of angel food cake. The acidity adds just enough liveliness and the citrus zest leads to a lingering, warm pear and lush finish. Try pairing this sparkling wine with any shellfish or chicken appetizer.

Champagne Tower with champagne being poured into the top glass

Best Paired with an Entree

5. Spanish Cavas are known for being affordable and versatile. The Codorniu Reserva Raventos Brut Cava ($21.00-$26.00) has intense aromas of pineapple, stone fruit, citrus and apple. There are predominant notes of dried fruits, nuts, honey and toasted bread. This Cava has a creamy texture, refreshing mouthfeel and lingering finish. Pair this Cava with ceviche, chicken or pork dishes.

6. For an excellent value red wine option, I recommend the 2015 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine offers strong oak and smoke aromas, plus ripe black cherry, chocolate and plum flavors. A great pairing for red meats and pasta.

Sweet with Dessert

5. To experience a different and delicious sparkling wine from another country, I recommend the Santa Margherita Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene from Alto Adige, Italy ($22.00-$27.00). This prosecco has aromas and flavors of peach and apple. The texture of this wine deftly balances the richness of ripe stone fruit with the grip of fruit skins, like apple and apricot. A hint of white pepper adds subtle complexity, while the finish feels fresh and elegant.  Enjoy this as an aperitif or after dinner with light desserts such as a peach or pear tart.

Bottles to Splurge For

8. Now, when you really want to show off and make sure you’ll be invited back to next year’s holiday party, I would strongly recommend bringing either a bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Champagne for $49.99 a bottle or the Orin Swift Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon for $39.99 a bottle. The Bollinger is aromatic with accents of bread dough, smoked almond and crème de cassis. This creamy Champagne is lightly chalky in texture and is framed by firm acidity along with flavors of glazed apricot, orange blossom and rich hints of clover honey. The Orin Swift Palermo offers deep and luring aromas of raspberry and ripe cherry that are intermingled with accents of star anise, five spice and freshly steeped black tea. This wine is ultra round and soft and has flavors of cassis and blackberry.



You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and everyone in-between. To celebrate this special…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Nov 15, 2018

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Thanksgiving Recipe Guide
Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is the time to gather 'round the table and gobble up some scrumptious food. If you love…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Nov 12, 2018

Wildfire's classic roasted Brussels sprouts is the perfect dish for any dinner table this fall.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: How Phil Stubstad Paved a Career Path Out of His Passion to Brew
Nov 11, 2018

Lettuce Entertain You's founder Rich Melman built Lettuce to be a school for entrepreneurs.  It’s…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Nov 10, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
How To
A Few Of Our Favorite Game Day Recipes
Nov 5, 2018

When you are in the mood to get your hands dirty in the kitchen for hosting your crew or solo…

read more >
How To
Wildfire’s Gluten-free Kale & Apple Stuffing
Nov 4, 2018

Gluten-free stuffing is here! Wildfire's Kale & Apple version highlights fall ingredients and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Nov 1, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Classic Turkey Stuffing from Wildfire
Oct 19, 2018

Stuffing, the most ideal starch for Thanksgiving dinner, is always a high point of the meal. Great…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Oct 19, 2018

Embrace all of the fall flavors in Wildfire's Sweet Potato Casserole. Ginger and cinnamon warm up…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Oct 19, 2018

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Apple Season: Where To Eat ‘Em
Oct 16, 2018

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Culinary Care Delivers Comfort to Cancer Patients, One Meal at a Time
Oct 11, 2018

Introducing our friends at Culinary Care, a Chicago non-profit organization that helps cancer…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Sep 18, 2018

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Sep 12, 2018

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to get stir crazy. We've got…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Sep 12, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Food For Thought: What Our Chefs Cook Their Kids
Sep 12, 2018

School is back in session and our chefs are cookin' up a storm...but this time for the kiddos. We…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Foliage on the Horizon: Five Ways to Enjoy the Season
Aug 28, 2018

As summer dwindles down, our days are getting chillier and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Aug 10, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
One of Our Favorite Things About Summer: Heirloom Tomatoes
Aug 1, 2018

As we savor the last months of the summer season, our chefs are just getting ready to add heirloom…

read more >
How To
This Summer, Grill Like A Chef. Here’s How
Jul 19, 2018

Executive Chef Justin Diglia of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago and his…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Classic Blueberry Pie Recipe
Jul 19, 2018

Wildfire is known for their seasonal pies so of course, we want to learn from the best. The perfect…

read more >
In The Restaurants
All The Reasons Why We Love Fried Chicken
Jul 4, 2018

Fact: there's never a bad time for fried chicken. Grab it on your way to the beach, order it up for…

read more >
How To
Perfect Pair: Champagne & Fried Chicken
Jul 3, 2018

Fried chicken and Champagne? Really? Yep, you read that right. Kevin Bratt, Wine Director of Joe's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
4th of July 2018
Jul 3, 2018

It's that time of year to don your red, white and blue, fire up the grill and, of course, celebrate…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Be Your Summer Cookout’s Hero
Jul 2, 2018

It's 4th of July weekend and we know you don't want to show up empty-handed to your BBQ. We're here…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
How To
How To: Make a Restaurant-Quality Dinner at Home
May 11, 2018

Our friends at Peapod are making it easier for you to enjoy your favorite dishes from Wildfire and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to the 26 Best Burgers to Try During National Burger Month
Apr 30, 2018

Burgers deserve a full month of celebrations which is why May has been declared National Burger…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Kale & Artichoke Fondue
Apr 13, 2018

Wildfire's Kale & Artichoke Fondue is a delicious option for game day! With a mixture of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dishes and Drinks with the Color of the Year: Ultra Violet
Mar 30, 2018

Every year, Pantone, the creator of colors, announces their choice in what the Color of the Year is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Get a Slice for Pi Day
Mar 13, 2018

We all love a good pun, especially when it has to do with food! Mathematicians and foodies rejoice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
St Paddy’s Day 2018
Mar 1, 2018

St. Patrick's Day calls for corned beef, cabbage and all of the beer! Lucky for you, our restaurants…

read more >
In The Restaurants
This One’s For Our Indecisive Diners
Feb 26, 2018

For all of you indecisive order-ers out there - the "I want to order one of everything on the menu"…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Nov 18, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and everyone in-between. To celebrate this special…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Nov 15, 2018

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 15, 2018

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Thanksgiving Recipe Guide
Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is the time to gather 'round the table and gobble up some scrumptious food. If you love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
$12 Burgers and Brews Wednesdays at Tokio Pub
Nov 14, 2018

Wednesdays just got a whole lot tastier with Tokio Pub's new Burgers & Brews! For just $12,…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
Openings
The Newest Wow Bao Location at 46 E. Chicago
Nov 14, 2018

Getting tired of your same old carry-out order? You're in luck! Wow Bao's newest, fully-automated…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday Specials 2018
Nov 13, 2018

Do you have friends and family in town for the Thanksgiving weekend? Beyond Turkey Day, our…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Ema’s Pumpkin Hummus
Nov 12, 2018

Enjoy your favorite fall ingredient the Mediterranean way and make Ema's Pumpkin Hummus by Chef CJ…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Nov 12, 2018

Wildfire's classic roasted Brussels sprouts is the perfect dish for any dinner table this fall.…

read more >
How To
8 Ways to Use Your Lettuce Gift Card This Holiday Season
Nov 11, 2018

Racking your brain for the perfect holiday gift? Here's an idea, how about a Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!