The festive dinner table presents a lot of challenges for the seasonal sommelier. This should cover the holiday menu from soup to nuts. Literally.
Croft Original Cream Sherry 750 ml/ $15.25, LCBO #73452
The perfect palate-refreshing stepping stone between the last sunset 'nog and the carving of the Tofurkey.
Black Velvets A mood-polishing combo of sparkling wine and stout that encourages one to start mixing the pre-dinner drinks about halfway through breakfast.
The Blitzer It's Blitzen meets spritzer. Equal parts Stoney Ridge Cranberry wine ($14.95, LCBO #392191) and soda, garnished with whole frozen cranberries and an orange slice.
Hungaria Grande Cuvée Brut, 750 ml/ $11.10, LCBO #619288, available at most liquor stores.
Some of the best sparkling action for the price. Nice serious-looking bottle, too.
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catherine Brut, 750 ml/$29.95, LCBO #616441, available at selected Vintages as of December 6.
With happy fruit and warm biscuit qualities, Catherine the great is a perennial festive fave.
Drappier Signature Blanc de Blancs Champagne Brut, 750 ml/$50.95, LCBO #599860, available at selected Vintages as of December 6.
Forget gold, frankincense and myrrh. The truly wise will make the scene with this elegant champagne.
Less than $15
White: Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio 2007 750 ml/$11.20, LCBO #68254, available at most liquor stores
Yes, Yellow Tail. Widely available, this will keep lots of non-snobs happy and has just enough zip to deal with the vast hash of the holiday plate.
Red: Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2007 750 ml/ $10.45, LCBO #341602, available at selected liquor stores
Here's a tasty, big-bird-compatible Pinot with a price that allows you to put an extra bottle or two on the table.
$15 to $25
White: Flat Rock Twisted 2007 750 ml/ $16.95 LCBO #1578, available at selected Vintages outlets
Ontario-ho-ho. This potpourri of white grapes should cope with any number of tuber, turkey and gravy mashups.
Rosé: Domaine LaFond Tavel 2007 750ml/$19.95, LCBO #950709, available at selected Vintages outlets
A full rosé like this can be all things to all diners. Chill it like it's a white, drink it like it's a red.
White: Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay 2007 #947937, 750 ml/$27.95, available at selected Vintages outlets
A big chardonnay is just what you need for the deluxe spread. Visions of opulent vanilla and citrus will dance in your head.
Red: Louis Jadot Chateau des Jaques Moulin-a-Vent #700187, 750 ml/ $33.95, available at selected Vintages outlets as of December 6
Performs like a serious French Pinot for less money. Just don't cry when Uncle Stan empties the bottle, happily declaring, "They all taste the same to me."
Grahams Late Bottled Vintage Port 750 ml/$15.95, LCBO #191239, available at most liquor stores
Port doesn't benefit from sitting once opened, so break out the nutcracker and start pouring. Few will refuse this traditional finish.
Fuller's 1845 Ale 500 ml/$3.50, LCBO #504670, available at selected Vintages outlets
Beer lovers can indulge with this sumptuous, fruity, bottle-conditioned ale.
Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire 750 ml/$129.95 LCBO #108704, available at selected Vintages outlets
The sublime qualities of aged cognacs shine through the Caribbean orange. You'll be luminescent with seasonal warmth.