Industry Experts’ Top Wine Picks for the Holidays

Impress guests and hosts this season by offering up these pro-selected bottles

Impress guests and hosts this season by offering up these pro-selected bottles

Katie O’Kell, winemaker at Serendipity Winery (Naramata) Recommends…

Holiday pick: Black Widow Gewürztraminer (B.C.)

Why: This B.C. wine has been a favourite in my house for a long time. I love dry wines, and my boyfriend prefers something a bit sweeter. It’s a great compromise for us—it is dry for me, but still quite fruity so my partner loves it as well. It’s a great hostess gift because it’s so versatile. It’s great for appetizers or just on its own.

Availability and price: The suggested retail price is $22, available at the winery and most BC Liquor Stores

Corey Bauldrey, sommelier, store supervisor and cellar master at Legacy Liquor Store (Vancouver) recommends…

Holiday pick: Garzon Albariño (Uruguay)

Why: I like this versatile gem for its crisp acidity as a great aperitif wine that pairs well with cheeses and crudités before the main feast. However, it has a silken texture reminiscent of a waxy Semillon that makes it show a full-bodied mouth feel that will match perfectly with roasted turkey with creamy mashed potatoes ‘n’ gravy. Its length of palate is phenomenal and is quite the sipper all on its own.

Availability and price: $29, available at Legacy Liquor Store and other private liquor retailers

Doug Reimer, proprietor of soon-to-launch Mirabel Vineyards (Kelowna) recommends…

Holiday pick: Santa MargheritaValdobbiadene Prosecco Brut (Italy)

Why: It’s a chic bottle and based on the affordability, the palate-cleansing bubbles and its range of sweetness, I can drink this Prosecco all day long. What’s not to love about a bottle you can enjoy from breakfast until after dinner?

Availability and price: The suggested retail price is $21, available in most BC Liquor Stores (and from December 4 to 31, it is $2 off)

Steve Edwards, director of operations at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (Vancouver) recommends…

Holiday pick: Laughing Stock Syrah 2014 – Laughing Stock Vineyards (B.C.)

Why: This one’s a top pick because of its lush texture with herbal earthiness. The overall spiciness and full-bodied texture makes it great for pairing with many holiday dishes, especially grilled meats. I love a good Syrah and this one really adds to the most wonderful time of the year!

Availability and price: $34, available at private liquor retailers or online

David Stansfield, wine director at Vancouver Urban Winery (Vancouver) recommends…

Holiday pick: Nk’Mip Cellars ‘Qwam Qwmt’ Riesling Icewine 2014

Why: Poor icewine. What used to be B.C.’s great wine and international claim to fame is now just a novelty for tourists and dupes. Don’t write off all icewine just yet. Yes, it’s sweet. But the best ones balance their sugar with an equal hit of sour. Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s Christmas. Give it another chance. Stuff the stocking of someone you love with the exquisite Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine from Nk’Mip Cellars.

Availability and price: $67, available at BC Liquor Stores

Graham Peirce, winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery (Oliver) recommends…

Holiday pick: Summerhill Cipes Brut (B.C.)

Why: During the holidays (or any time of year), sparkling wine is always a great idea. It’s hard to beat Summerhill Cipes Brut. This is a true Okanagan classic for delicious organic, traditional-method sparkling wineor if you can find it, the Summerhill Cipes Blanc de Blanc. Sparkling wine makes a great gift, pairs well with food and I can’t imagine a Christmas morning without it.

Availability and price: the suggested retail price is $29, available at any BC VQA stores or BC Liquor Stores

Harry McWatters, president & CEO of TIME Winery (Penticton) recommends…

Holiday pick: St. Hubertus Dry Riesling (B.C.)

Why: Traditions hold strong at Christmas and a classic white to bring out on the big day is a dry to off-dry Riesling. The St. Hubertus is a perfect example of a crisp, classic B.C. Riesling and it’s enjoyable on its own too.

Availability and price: The suggested retail price is $18, and available at the winery or private stores

Andrew Etsel, winemaker at Singletree Winery (Abbotsford) recommends…

Holiday pick: Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Chateau de Santenay Vieilles Vignes (France)

Why: Pinot Noir is a very versatile wine. It goes with many types of food and can be appreciated by all wine consumers. This particular Pinot Noir is from the Côte De Beaune region. It has great complexity with silky tannins and amazing aromas. This one will pair perfectly with turkey dinner.

Availability and price: The suggested retail price is $33 and it is available at BC Liquor Stores