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Reds I Want for Christmas (and a White and a Bubbly, Too)

Christmas is the time for holiday dining to get a little daring. Rib roasts, grilled steaks, post-gift-opening brunch foods — the opportunities to break from traditional fare are endless. Read on for some great pairings for your holiday table.

Two really food-friendly, approachable Reds for the season: Bubo Cabernet Sauvignon and Leyenda del Castillo Rioja. Each is fruity, juicy and pleasant. The Bubo shows dark berries for days, with a touch of green pepper in the finish. Tamales and warm chili work well here.. The Leyenda, bright and fresh, shows nice up front minerality. Pair with grilled steaks, pork chops or marinara-topped pasta.

A pair of Reds on the heftier side: Charles and Charles Merlot and H&G Priorat. These robust wines come at you with dark fruits and spice. The merlot starts with baked biscuit aromas and ripe blueberry flavors, finishing elegantly. Pair it withcrusty foods like shepherd’s pies, baked potatoes, rustic breads. The H&G is earthy and herbaceous — trademarks of the wines of Spain’s Priorat region. Rich savory stews, mushroom sauces and even barbecue would be great with this wine.

Gaston Chiquet Champagne  gets me all starry-eyed. A grower Champagne from some of the finest family vineyards in the famed region. “Grower” means one grower, usually a family or a co-op, tends the wine from growing the grapes to bottling. Most Champagne is a blend of grapes from thousands of growers.

This particular Champagne features complexity, chalky minerality, and delicate peach flavors. And the bubbles last forever.

Oysters on the half-shell, brunch foods, crusty breads and fruity spreads — this sparkler is gregariously food-friendly. Really, a special Champagne.

Globerati’s Sauvignon Blanc shows you why Chile is so strong with this varietal. Lemony grapefruit aromas, soft minerality, tart green apple flavors cut through rich dishes. Think creamy chowders, mussels in a savory broth, shrimp cocktail, fresh grapefruit and pear slices.

Should any of these tasty wines show up under your tree, celebrate! You now know how to pair them. And feel free to strike up a conversation with our experts in the wine department — they are pairing wizards who love talking wine.

You’ll find all of our favorite wines of the season in our online holiday guide.

What interesting dishes and wines will be showing up on your holiday table? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section below!