6 California Wines Perfect for Your Holiday Table

The holiday rush is on. Hanukkah begins tomorrow. Christmas is just two days away. Have you bought all your gifts? Batteries? Wrapping paper? It’s time to turn your focus to the big holiday meal. Have you planned the meal? Bought the needed ingredients? What about the wine? What? You forgot the wine? Don’t worry, I have six delicious wine recommendations, all perfect for your holiday meal, all from California and easy to find near you.


If you want to bring a couple of iconic California wineries to your holiday table then Chateau Montelena and Gundlach Bundschu are perfect selections. Chateau Montelena changed the wine world by winning the 1976 Judgment of Paris with their iconic Chardonnay. Gundlach Bundschu (gun-lock, bun-shoe) has been producing wine and cultivating the same Sonoma vineyards since 1858! Today the 6th generation is still focused on crafting the high quality wines using sustainable practices. Terlato Wines know wine! They produce wine all over the world. Their Markham Merlot is a lovely wine at a value price and pairs elegantly with a variety of foods on your holiday table. Finally, no holiday table is complete with California Chardonnay. Rombauer Chardonnay has a loyal following and perfect for rich holiday meals. Broadside is an up and coming Chardonnay challenging the idea that great California Chardonnays can cost less than $20. For added holiday fun, gather your Chardonnay loving guests and do a side-by-side blind tasting of these two Chardonnays. Does price and name really matter? Each of these wines are nationally distributed and perfect to share with those you love.

2015 Broadside Wild Ferment Chardonnay Edna Valley USA ($16.99): 100% Chardonnay; clear pale lemon; clean nose with slightly pronounced intensity; aromas of green orchard fruit, delicate tropical fruit notes of pineapple and papaya, soft fresh herbs, nutmeg, saw dust, and bed of minerality; dry wine with medium to low acidity and medium to light body, creamy texture but not buttery, touch of oakiness but takes a back seat to fresh fruit notes; medium finish.

2013 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA ($50): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc; clear deep ruby; clean pronounced aromas of black cherries, blackberries, black plums, warm baking spices, licorice, smoke, dark chocolate, fresh tobacco leaves, savory herbal notes, minerality, and lingering vanilla; dry, full-body red wine, beautifully structured and balanced medium acidity and medium tannins, with a long, mouth-coating finish.

2015 Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewürztraminer Sonoma Coast USA ($20): 100% Gewürztraminer; clear, pale gold; clean medium intensity aromas of white flowers, lemon, stone fruit, pineapple, white pepper, lingering almond; dry on the palate with medium acidity and medium body; creamy texture, elegant with pronounced tart citrus; well-balanced, lingering finish.

2013 Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Mountain Cuvee Sonoma Valley USA ($20): 80% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Malbec; clean medium garnet; clean medium intensity aromas of black berries, cherries, plums, and red and black raspberries, rich baking spices, black tea, black pepper, dusty cocoa, and passing notes of vanilla; dry, medium body wine with balanced medium acidity and tannins; nice texture, easy drinking with medium finish.

2014 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley USA ($26): 86% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petite Sirah; clear medium ruby; clean medium aromas of cherries, red raspberries, plums, touch of spice, savory herbal notes, milk chocolate, and vanilla; dry medium body wine with balanced medium acidity and tannins, silky on the palate, medium finish.

2015 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros USA ($36): 100% Chardonnay; clear, pale intensity lemon; clean nose with medium+ intensity; aromas of baked apple pie (baked apples, cinnamon, buttery crust) meets creme brulee, and a touch of citrus with tropical fruit; dry medium body wine with medium- acidity, coats the mouth in a rich, buttery feel, toasted hazelnuts and vanilla linger on the palate in a medium finish.

The gifts are bought and wrapped. The meal is planned, the shopping is done. The wine has now been bought. Why don’t you go ahead and open one of these bottles now, relax, and enjoy a glass. Take a deep breath, and remember the holidays are about connecting with those we love and sharing the joy of the season. What better way to share joy than with a wonderful bottle of California wine?!


My Song Selection:

Get your own bottle of any of these delicious California wines for your holiday table and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!

3 responses to “6 California Wines Perfect for Your Holiday Table”

    • Thanks Kathryn. I am making your cheesy beef hatch chili enchiladas for the family on Christmas Day! I also made the delicious mushroom sauce you shared from another blogger with a beef tenderloin I served for some dinner guests the other night, and some smashed potatoes. They loved it! I have been channeling you all week! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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