WHAT The Wolftrap White 2011
WHERE Franschhoek, South Africa
WHY Evoking the aromatic style of France's Rhone Valley, this weighty, floral-scented white stands up to lots of rich, holiday season offerings. One question: since when does South Africa have wolves?
PRICE 750 ml/$13.95
AVAILABILITY At select liquor stores (product #292532)
WHAT Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2008 (red)
WHERE Almansa, Spain
WHY An all-time easy-to-find, easy-to-drink, easy-to-afford red. With healthy dollops of Cherry Blasters, vanilla and bitter almond, this always looks good in the holiday party bag next to the chips and your indoor shoes.
PRICE 750 ml/$11.95
AVAILABILITY At most liquor stores (product #270363)
WHAT Carmen Reserva Carmenère 2011 (red)
WHERE Colchagua Valley, Chile
WHY Spice and mocha sensations bolster your festive glow, and palate-refreshing acidity supports multiple sorties over the pâtè tray. With a marked vegetal quality, some Carmenères can be tough going but this is an affordable, sustainable, full-flavoured winner.
PRICE 750 ml/$10.95
AVAILABILITY At most liquor stores (product #169052)