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5 smart tips for holiday wine buying


Holiday shopping can be stressful enough, so here are simple and smart tips to help you pick your wines.

  1. Buy by the Case


Finding good wine and then socking away a case of it (typically 12 bottles) saves money, as many wine shops offer case discounts of around 10 to 15 percent. It also saves trips to the store»

  1. Look for Wine Screw Caps


More and more excellent wines are being sealed with screw caps to prevent corkiness (a problem with natural corks that produces a wet cardboard–like smell in a small percentage of wines). Screw-capped wines are especially handy for large parties, because they’re easy to open quickly. »

  1. Select Food-Friendly Wines


Big holiday meals tend to involve multiple side dishes, which puts a lot of competing flavors on the table. Well-balanced wines that aren’t too extreme (not wildly sweet, not wildly tannic, etc.) are the most versatile when it comes to pairing. Good choices include Pinot Noir, American Rhône-style blends, Austrian Grüner Veltliner and dry Rieslings from Germany. »

  1. Pick Affordable Sparkling Wines


Celebratory alternatives to pricey Champagne include cava from Spain and Prosecco from Italy, among others. »

  1. Use Terrific $12-and-Under Wines for Punch


Seek out inexpensive wines that would be equally delicious in a bowl of punch or on their own. There are wonderful $12-and-under bottles available these days, particularly from Spain and South America. »


By Ray Isle