8 Robust Wines Perfect for the Holidays

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flickr: Hamish Irvine
Fall wines should never lack flavor.
Free Fall for Flavor
Late fall’s robust fare, such as root vegetables and cream-based dishes, are a nice pairing with sparkling wines, whether that’s a Champagne from France, a Prosecco from Italy, or a California sparkling wine. Whites such as Rieslings, Sauvignon Blanc, and buttery Chardonnays are a refreshing alternative to full-bodied reds, giving space for the food to shine on the palate, spices and all.
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Taittinger Estate
2012 Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Estate Brut Cuvee, Napa Valley, California
Off-dry and featuring a full body, this sparkler’s white peach notes have a round mouthfeel. Aged for three years, this vintage release—only the third vintage of this wine—is crafted from estate-grown Chardonnay (58%) and Pinot Noir (42%).
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Dopff & Irion
Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut, Alsace, France
Crisp and refreshing, this Crémant (100% Pinot Noir) results in a clean finish. Soft berry notes and nice astringency—and a dry, not sweet, profile—make this a solid match with savory foods.
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N/V Masottina Extra Dry Prosecco, Veneto, Treviso, Italy
This non-vintage Prosecco, with all Glera grapes, is flush with grapefruit and lemon notes, crisp throughout, and eases effortlessly into a slightly tart finish. Consider serving with starters to open up the palate.
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Ruffino Extra Dry Prosecco, Treviso, Italy
Quick to the finish, with grapefruit notes and a profile that’s not sweet at all, this Prosecco (100% Glera grapes) is a definite table-pleaser, appealing to different preferences concerning wine.
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E. Guigal
2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône White Wine, Côtes du Rhône, France
Floral notes—from the 65% Viognier grapes—and a chalky finish make this an ideal white to sip in winter. It’s only slightly sweet, with orange blossom notes providing a nice backbone. Other varietals in the wine are 15% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 2% Bourboulenc, and 2% white Grenache.
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2016 St.-Urbans Hof Nik Weis Selection Riesling, Mosel, Germany
From this storied Riesling region comes a very approachable selection: delightfully off-dry with notes of tangerine and mango. Don’t hesitate to pair this with smoky meats, ethnic spices and flavors, or intense sauces—it will work well.
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Cameron Hughes
2015 Cameron Hughes Lot 549 Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Crisp, bright, and in your face. This Chardonnay’s buttery profile winds into a mineral-rich finish. Easy to market as an alternative for Pinot Noirs from Oregon as well as for California Chardonnays.
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2016 Matua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
From the first Sauvignon Blanc producer in Marlborough, New Zealand, this crisp and highly acidic wine features gooseberry notes and a clean profile. Great for either opening up the palate or sipping with white meats or vegetables.

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