A Wine Pro Shares Her Favorite Bottles for Holiday Gifting

Champagne André Héritage Assemblage

I tend to like Champagnes that lean towards the ‘cupcake’ end of the spectrum versus the ‘breadier’ end — by that, I mean a little crisper, buttery, not too yeasty and with a clean finish

Price: $50

Stekar Oliver Red

This wine only spends two days on the skins, which allows it to be fruit forward and bright instead of intensely tannic. You could almost call it a dark rosé with its ruby hue, and chilling it is always an option.

Price: $10

Kabaj Rebula

The orange wine style actually originated in Eastern Europe, so if you’re going to start somewhere, Slovenia is a good place. Kabaj has somewhat of a cult following because the people who love his wines really love his wines. This wine tastes like buttery tangerine with bright acid and a silky body. If wine can be sexy, this wine is the sexiest.

Price: $27

Smallfry 2022 Starry  Starry Night Cinsault

While you might know about Aussie shiraz or riesling, there’s so much more worth trying. My current favorite is the Smallfry Starry Starry Night Cinsault, an easy drinking red with a hint of spice and balanced fruit. The wines on this list tend to be low in tannins but high in flavor, and this one is no different — it’s a light bodied red that holds its own in the colder months.

Price: $30

“You can’t talk about holiday wines without including at least one Champagne,” Bruce says. “And while you don’t necessarily NEED an excuse to pop a bottle, it always punctuates a special occasion with a little extra oomf. Because Champagne is something you can definitely break the bank on if you’re not careful, a little planning and research goes a long way."

- Kate Bruce, owner of  The Buttery Bar in Brooklyn

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