As we look forward to gathering with friends and family this holiday season, settling on which wines to serve shouldn’t be a source of stress. Texas winemakers have given us citrusy whites, rustic reds, and perky sparklers, all reflective of our state’s unique terroir.
The key to choosing one of these beauties is to find wines that will accent your holiday menu—and we’ve done that work for you. Below, find crowd-pleasing selections to add some brightness (and a buzz) to your holiday season.
Tannat is a tenacious grape with a luscious, bold character. These wines are big on structure and complexity with notes of black cherry, aniseed, clove, cocoa powder, and espresso. With this Hill Country–produced wine, you’ll even taste a hint of barbecue smoke, making it an ideal pairing for a Christmas brisket or heavier holiday fare such as roasted lamb shank or braised short rib.
From Austin-based producer C.L. Butaud, this wine is the Texas answer to beaujolais. Light and approachable in style, it’s made using carbonic maceration, a method in which whole grape clusters are fermented in a sealed tank filled with carbon dioxide. The resulting wines are typically light and fruit-forward, and this bottle is no exception. It’s bright and fruity with notes of strawberry, cranberry, and baking spice. This wine is primed for the holiday table but would also be perfect with a juicy grilled burger.
Roussanne is one of the go-to white blending grapes in France’s Rhône Valley, but it’s also emerged as a star variety in Texas. Known for offering a balance of vibrance and body, this bottle is a bright and fruity complement to the table. The complex balance of ripe fruit, crisp acidity, and a round mouthfeel with a long finish make this wine an excellent complement to a full holiday dinner spread.
One of the five classic bordeaux varieties, petit verdot is prized as a blending grape for its deep color, robust tannins, and violet floral aromas. With notes of juicy plum, lilac, cassis, dried sage, and lavender, this wine is rich and full-bodied with softened tannins aged for years in French oak barrels. Pick up a bottle to serve alongside comforting dishes such as smoked prime rib or lamb stew.
Semillon is known in Bordeaux for its lush, full body and aromas of ripe pear, apple, and papaya, and this Texas offering hits the mark. Beautiful notes of ripe peach and tropical pineapple overlay a waxy honeycomb texture accented by toasty notes of oak. The broad palate and racy finish of this wine make it a perfect fit for the Christmas table.
Just in time for the Christmas season, the 2019 Llano Estacado Syrah was grown in far West Texas, just beneath the Guadalupe Mountains. With a balance of black cherry, blueberry, and peppery spice, this elegant wine offers an earthy finish that plays well with grilled pork tenderloin with a fruity fig glaze.
This lovely, blush-hued rosé checks all the boxes for the quintessential Provençal style. Counoise is a Rhône Valley red blending grape that has a cult following among winemakers in the state. As of now, only one grower has the goods: Farmhouse Vineyards in the High Plains near Lubbock. The resulting wine has bright notes of stone fruit, strawberry, raspberry, and pomegranate, and fragrant floral aromas that create a crisp, luscious palate. Serve it as an aperitif at your holiday party.
From celebrated High Plains producer McPherson Cellars, this bottle is one of a series of wines in which winemaker Kim McPherson showcases specific grape varieties that thrive in North Texas. Carignan makes for a medium-bodied red wine with bright cranberry and strawberry notes, balanced by subtle baking spices and meaty undertones. It’s elegant and approachable, which makes it a strong complement to turkey or goose at the holiday table.
Made in various styles from rich and full-bodied to fruity and spicy with earthy undertones, tempranillo is a go-to match for grilled steaks and pasta with rich tomato sauces. This beautifully complex wine offers notes of baked clay, aromatic herb aromas, and red and black fruit. Expect a long finish with a touch of earthiness.
Every celebration should begin with a little bubbly, and this sparkling semillon will certainly do the trick. This wine is made in the French methôde ancestrale (“ancestral method”), allowing carbonation to build up naturally as the wine (a pét-nat, as the cool kids call it) ferments in the bottle. Note the 2015 vintage, which means the aging in the bottle has added a notable sense of texture and creaminess. Vibrant and fresh, this wine will start off your 2022 with rejuvenating notes of peach and lemon.