Holiday feasting can be expensive, but at least you can enjoy excellent holiday wines at bargain prices. There's a budget wine for every discriminating nostril or finicky taste bud. No matter what you're serving or how you're preparing it, these discount holiday wines are both delicious and cheap. (For more tips, also check out 8 Easy Ways To Slash Your Holiday Budget.)
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If you're planning on having a turkey with stuffing and all the fixings, wash it down with Australian 2008 Yellow Tail Riesling. This fresh fruity wine has a lemon/lime aroma, and with a price of around $7.98, it won't bust your budget. If you're considering a non-traditional feast, how about chili and Shiraz? The rich spicy red wine compliments a hearty bowl of spicy beef and beans. Try the South African 2008 D'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz at approximately $8.99.
Wine for Cooking
For poached fruit, an inexpensive bottle of wine is actually preferred, because it's the alcohol that does the work. Try a bottle of Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, California. It's just the right price at $9.97. To marinate beef, choose a hearty red wine. The 2006 Tintara Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale is only $16. The intense flavor is perfect for any dark meat.
If you're making a wine sauce that incorporates a lot of different spices, a dry white wine fits the bill. The 2009 Terredora Dipaolo Greco di Tufo offers lower alcohol content and a bargain at only $15.99.
Toasting in the New Year
Offer guests a choice of sweet or dry. For those with a preference for an extra sweet sparkling wine, Korbel Brut Champagne is available for only $12. Cristobal Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs is a $9.96 dry sparkling wine. (For more, see A New Year's Resolution: Get Richer.)
To compliment sugary treats, pair desserts with Beaulieu Vineyard Muscat De Beauliu for $6.99. The smooth Napa Valley aroma appeals to most.
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Add some fun to the party with a bottle of Fu Ki Plum wine from Japan. Its origins are an instant conversation starter sure to peak the interests of connoisseurs and novice wine drinkers alike. This sweet table wine has a sweet price of only $10.59.
Bonny Doon Vineyard 2007 Vin Gris De Cigare earned a 3.5 out of 4 star rating from buyers on snooth.com. This rosé would make an excellent hostess gift because its versatile flavor can be paired with just about any meal. The affordable $14 price will make you smile.
Under the Tree
If you're buying a gift for someone who has everything, select a bottle of the very unique Axum Tej Ethiopian Honey Wine. That's right, honey wine. This wine's origins can be traced back over 2,000 years and it's all yours for only $13.59.
Whether you're counting calories or carbohydrates, alcohol will definitely increase the count. According to the USDA, white table wines have the fewest calories and the least carbohydrates. Sweet dessert wines have the most calories and carbs. Either way it's less than your typical distilled beverage. A bottle of Turning Leaf White Zinfandel from California is only $8.99 for a waist-friendly addition to a meal.
The Bottom Line
The wine industry responded to the slower economy by focusing on high value, less expensive bottles available at retail outlets as opposed to expensive restaurants. The result is a smorgasbord of lower-priced domestic and imported wines. Frugal wine lovers can swirl, sniff, sip and swallow throughout the holidays and still maintain a tight budget. (For related reading, also check out Top Recession Wines For The Holiday.)
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