holiday wines

The holidays are stressful enough! Here are my five holiday wine buying tips to get you through buying wine for parties, gifts, hostess gifts and so much more.

1. More is ALWAYS Better.

Wine, not unlike most things, can be a commodity. Silence the pretentious wine gasps now. If you are buying wine as gifts or for a party, don’t overthink it. Buy it in bulk – this isn’t rocket science. Buy it by the case and try to negotiate a discount, most places will offer a 10 – 15% discount on bulk orders.

2. Select Food (and People!) Friendly Wine.

Most often, my clients will hear me refer to this type of wine as “non-offensive,” because, let’s face it, despite what you may prefer on your world-class palate, not everyone has the same tastes. So, whether buying wine as gifts or for a party setting, buy wines that are food-friendly and those that are not overly acidic, overly tannic, etc. For these wines, I suggest steering away from Chardonnays and Cabernets and looking more toward Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Merlots. These varietals of wine are not only crowd-friendly, but food-friendly, as well.

3. Don’t Break the Bank!

It’s easy to spend money on wine, just ask my husband…. BUT, keep in mind if you are using wine to add to a punch, seasonal or sparkling cocktail, there are wonderful values to be had from Spain, South America and even California in the $12 and under range. When mixing wines with fruit and other accoutrements, no need to splurge to impress the label snobs – save that wine for you and your honey after all the guests have left!

4. Gifting the Hostess with the Mostess.

Is there a holiday gathering right around the corner? Looking for a recommendation for a hostess gift? You guessed it – WINE! Pinot Noir is, and continues to be, one of the most food-friendly and popular wines on the market. Pinot Noirs from California’s Sonoma County and Oregon’s Willamette Valley are ideal gifts for every occasion. Unsure of what your hosts may prefer? Bring a sparkling wine, everyone needs at least one bottle for New Year’s Eve! Dress it up in a festive wine bag and you are poised to be the favored guest of the evening.

5. Be Selective.

Sharing wine, for most Wine Lovers, is a BIG experience – it’s about the story, both of the wine, why you love the wine and why you want to share the wine with your guests, friends, or family. But, believe you me, I have learned this lesson the hard way: Not every person appreciates wine as do I. Watching someone unwittingly gulp down a glass of wine as though it is a shot of Fireball from a bottle I’ve been saving for years is deflating. While the holidays bring out the most generous nature in all of us, be wary not to set yourself up for disappointment. Save your treasures for those guests, family and friends who will appreciate the experience with you.


About Charlotte-Based Uncorked Wine Consulting, Inc. / ShopUncorked.com

CMF Wine Picture

Courtney Franco is the owner of Uncorked Wine Consulting, Inc. and ShopUncorked.com. She prides herself on making wine an “approachable” topic for her clients.

ShopUncorked.com is a Charlotte-based, on-line wine retail business shipping direct-to-consumers in 39 States. Locally, in Charlotte, Courtney works with clients to evaluate their cellars, consults on and facilitates in-home wine tastings and works with clients on large events and corporate gifts.