Christmas is in 10 days people!!!! In 10 days we will be gathered with our families and loved ones, celebrating the day that we’ve been looking forward to for weeks now.
Well, at least some of us have. The rest of us are wishing for a time machine so we can go back to the beginning of November (when we were laughing at all those people who were bragging they were done with their shopping) and kick ourselves in the butt. Christmas is fast approaching and by the time the day arrives, most of us are going to need some serious Mommy juice aka, wine. But who has time to pick out wine right while we’re going crazy preparing for Christmas? No one, that’s why I’ve taken the liberty of trying 12 wines for you to enjoy for Christmas. I call it, The 12 Days of Wine-mas. You’re welcome.
The 12 Days of Wine-mas
The 12 Days of Wine-mas is not for the feint of heart. This is for wine drinkers who are tired of ordering white zin at restaurants and having waiters roll their eyes at them. Follow my 12 Days of Wine-mas only if you like to try new wines and don’t think that going out of your comfort zone is drinking Merlot with ice cubes in it.
Be forewarned—I am not good at describing wines. I tend to shy away from dry wines and go for sweeter wines, so most of these wines are on the sweet side. But they are all, with the exception of the last wine, under $15. It can’t hurt to give them a try, right?
Day 1—Sweet Bitch Chardonnay
I’ll start off slow. Sweet Bitch Chardonnay is perfect for those who like the sweetness of blush wines, but don’t like the dryness of most chardonnays. Sweet Bitch Chardonnay has a tropical taste to it…pears and pineapple…but not too sweet. It also has an awesome label that I love. If you like this one, try the Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. They also make a Moscato rose and a Moscato bubbly.
(When I first discovered this wine, there was only one place I could buy it—this shady little liquor store on the corner that was always dark and creepy. Now Sweet Bitch wines are more readily available, thank goodness.)
Day 2—Chestnut Run Asian Pear Wine
This is one of Hubby’s favorites. We’ve gone to several wine festivals over the years and we always stop at the Chestnut Run booth. They do a wine flight (from their driest wine to their sweetest) and the Asian Spice Pear is always a lovely finish. We usually get a few of these bottles when we go to a festival.
(My sister LOVES plum wine. I am not the hugest fan…I think it’s too sweet. This pear wine is NOT too sweet.)
Day 3—Sweet Jane
Coda Rossa is a New Jersey winery that makes quite a few delicious wines. My hubby’s favorites are Blue Moon and Blackbird, while I prefer the sweet white wine, Sweet Jane. It’s actually not too sweet and reminds me a little of Sweet Bitch Chardonnay, in fact. Coda Rossa wines are available throughout New Jersey if you’d like to give them a try.
(How many times can you write sweet in a sentence without getting a toothache???)
Day 4—Chaddsford Winery Niagara
We love to go to Peddler’s Village in PA at least once or twice a year with the kids. We make a day of it and always stop at the same stores—the Italian cheese store, the Christmas store, the candy store, and of course, the Chaddsford Winery store. They have tastings there and we discovered we like quite a few of the wines, but mostly, the Niagara. This a great summer wine to sip on the back porch after dinner. It’s crisp with Concord grape undertones.
(The children do not partake in the wine tasting, in case you were wondering.)
Day 5—Santa’s Little Helper
This is a gift I’d love to find under my tree anytime. I love to give Santa’s Little Helper as a gift during the holidays. It’s the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and tart…it’s like Christmas in your mouth. Valenzano Winery is an amazing winery in Shamong, New Jersey and we’ve had the pleasure of actually visiting the winery on a couple of occasions. Their wines are all phenomenal, but Santa’s Little Helper has always been my favorite.
(FYI, their Red, White, and Blue Sangria is the SAME wine…just different label and available in the months when Santa’s Little Helper is not.)
Day 6—Hazlitt Vineyards Red Cat
I discovered this wine on a recent trip to Ocean City, Maryland, believe it or not. Red Cat is from the Finger Lakes region of New York, but I ironically have not found it it in our New Jersey wine store, unfortunately. It reminds me a lot of Santa’s Little Helper. If you are in the Finger Lakes area (or OCMD), pick this one up.
(I love my crab wine glass. It’s one of my favorite things in our condo in OC.)
Day 7—Jam Jar Shiraz
My friend Marty the Moose loves jam jar Shiraz. I discovered this wine at Seasons 52, of all places. I immediately went out to buy this wine after tasting it at dinner one night. Then I was thrilled to discover that our local Joe Canal’s carried it. It’s sweet with a berry flavor, but retains the acidic undertones of Shiraz at the same time. They also make a jam jar white wine which is great with seafood dishes.
Day 8—Menage Trois Red
This is probably the driest of the wines on this list. The wine blend makes for a very interesting flavor, though and it pairs well with a nice steak. In fact one year for my birthday I asked for Hubby to make me a filet mignon and share a bottle of Menage a Trios.
(This is the only menage a trios he will be getting in this lifetime…)
Day 9—Four Sisters Winery Beaver Creek Red
The label isn’t as exciting as many of the others, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Beaver Creek Red by the Four Sisters Winery is another New Jersey Wine we discovered at our wine festivals. It’s delightful and reminds me of the Sweet Bitch Merlot that I love so much. The Holiday Seasoned wine is another favorite…and the good news is…they’re both available at Joe Canal’s in New Jersey.
Day 10—Old Vine Zinfandel 7 Deadly Zins
Even our scout Elf Sprocket loves the 7 Deadly Zins…when he’s feeling a little naughty, that is.
The first time I realized that there was actually Zinfandel wine was when I was in my mid thirties and found the 7 Deadly Zins. White zinfandel is the white version of regular zinfandel wine. Don’t roll your eyes at me if you already knew this before you were 35. This wine is not sweet, but it’s not as dry as many other red wines which makes it a favorite for me.
Day 11—Apothic Inferno
It’s the aging in whiskey barrels that makes this wine amazing. It warms your whole body as it makes its way down. I do love all the Apothic wines (including their coffee infused wines—2 of my vices in one bottle—who could ask for more???) but the Apothic Inferno is just breathtaking. It’s a limited release wine, so whenever I see it in the stores, I stock up.
Day 12—21 (Blueberry Port)
This is one of my absolute favorite wines. I’m actually drinking it right now while I write this blog post. Now it’s weird that I love this wine so much. First off, I don’t usually drink port wine. They tend to be too thick and cough syrup-y tasting. Plus, I’m not a huge blueberry fan, either.
Yet this wine is the perfect combo—it’s not too heavy and the blueberry taste is only a hint. This wine, has a little spice to it, and like Apothic Inferno, it will warm your insides as it goes down…delightfully. This wine is best after dessert…when you just want a little something to round out your day. It’s also 21% alcohol, so a glass or two goes a long way.
I hope you enjoyed my 12 Days of Wine-mas and perhaps found a new wine to try for the holidays. I wish you a Very Merry Everything!