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
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Feb 18, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Cauliflower Crust Pizza at Wildfire
Feb 16, 2019

What if we told you the new cauliflower crust pizza is not only gluten-free but also a delicious…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Wildfire’s Top 5 Winter Wine Picks to Stay Warm
Feb 14, 2019

Whether you’re bundled up on the couch for a Netflix and Chill kind of night or heading out to…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Feb 13, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Feb 10, 2019

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
Best Spots for Group Dining
Feb 9, 2019

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
These Dishes & Drinks are Perfect to Share
Feb 8, 2019

The way to one's heart is through the stomach, so how about sharing one of our favorite dishes or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Jan 25, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Jan 24, 2019

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
Your Guide to Our Favorite Salads
Jan 14, 2019

A salad a day keeps the doctor away. Well, maybe not. But we know it can be tough keeping your New…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Healthier Menu Alternatives to Help You Keep Your Resolutions
Jan 8, 2019

January is here, which means it's time for New Year's resolutions. It's not our fault that the cold…

read more >
In The Restaurants
#LettuceLookBack: 18 of our Favorite Moments of 2018
Dec 31, 2018

It’s been 47 years since we opened the doors of our first restaurant, but 2018 was a year of…

read more >
How To
A Few Of Our Favorite Game Day Recipes
Dec 31, 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
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 30, 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
How To Make the Perfect Game Day Dip
Dec 20, 2018

A staple for your Big Game Sunday spread is a delicious dip! In case you need some inspiration, we…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Nov 17, 2018

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

read more >
How To
Recipe: Classic Turkey Stuffing from Wildfire
Nov 17, 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 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 >
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
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
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 >
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 >

Recent Posts

How To
VIDEO: 5 Ways to Use the LettuceEats App
Feb 19, 2019

We like to think of the LettuceEats app as your own personal restaurant concierge complete with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Weekly Bub City Calendar! Spoiler Alert: There’s A $5 Deal Every Night
Feb 19, 2019

We're here to make sure you never miss a beat and also help you plan your social calendar around…

read more >
How To
Treat Yourself! Here’s 7 Ways to Use Your Holiday Bonus
Feb 18, 2019

Wondering what to do with your $25 Holiday Bonus from the Holiday Gift Card Promotion? Now through…

read more >
How To
Chef Tim Hockett’s Guide to Meal Prepping
Feb 18, 2019

Meal prepping is daunting for many reasons. It’s time consuming, it takes a lot of planning and if…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Have You Tried the Impossible Burger at M Burger Yet?
Feb 18, 2019

Did you hear about this magical plant-based burger dubbed the Impossible Burger that’s been…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Feb 18, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Better Together with Chef Partners Raul Gutierrez & Osvaldo Ocegueda
Feb 18, 2019

You've got to start somewhere and with hard work, a lot of hustle and a hunger to learn, working…

read more >
How To
Cooking with Wine: Top 5 White Wine Picks From RPM’s Richard Hanauer
Feb 17, 2019

Cooking with wine may seem straightforward. Deglaze here, add in a splash there (take a sip,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
You Can Now Enjoy Aba’s Patio All Year Long
Feb 17, 2019

Introducing the new rooftop igloos at Aba! Why are we so excited for these? Well, it means you can…

read more >
How To
Recipe: RPM Italian’s Short Rib Bolognese with Hand-Cut Pappardelle
Feb 16, 2019

Looking for a hearty recipe to tackle over a cold winter weekend? Try RPM Italian’s Short Rib…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Cauliflower Crust Pizza at Wildfire
Feb 16, 2019

What if we told you the new cauliflower crust pizza is not only gluten-free but also a delicious…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The New Nacional 27: New Chef, New Menu, New Look!
Feb 16, 2019

Nacional 27 is an iconic Latin American spot in River North that recently celebrated its 20th…

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!