If there is something that most of us enjoy at the end of the year, it is the long-awaited reunions with family and friends. Whether are some nibbles, an aperitif or a proper dinner, there is nothing like gathering around a table to eat, drink and chat for hours.
In Latin America, particularly, Christmas and New Year celebrations are usually held at home. So why not take advantage of it and make the evening more memorable thanks to those special wines that we don’t drink every day? Wines to toast on the terrace, at the table, with or without food. Here are some wines that can make a difference according to each occasion:
To toast with or without food
When we want to give a sophisticated character to the celebration, the undeniable protagonist is Champagne. But in the world of bubbles there are many options and at different prices as well. For example, (Italian) Prosecco and (Spanish) Cava are extremely popular alternatives. Although the New World producers have created an infinite range of sparkling wines for all types of palates. Made with Chadonnay and Pinot Noir from Limarí Valley, Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut offers citrus aromas, while its rich acidity, freshness and creamy bubbles make it the ideal drink to toast and share with some nibbles. As it is light and easy to drink, make sure you have another bottle if you are sharing with a large group of guests.
Another wine style that quickly adds a different touch to celebrations is rosé. At first glance, it is striking for its attractive colour, but today there are also super fresh and lighter versions that are perfect to enjoy the first bites of the night. Marques de Casa Concha Rosé 2019, for example, made with Cinsault, has a pale pink colour and is extremely juicy in the mouth, with notes of strawberries and herbs. Also it is especially refreshing for celebrations in hot climates, and great to pair with fresh and light meals such as sushi, fish or salads.
With informal aperitif
If the occasion includes an informal aperitif where everyone eats everything, it is a good idea to change the wines… and of course a fresh white wine will be excellent to refresh the palate. It can be a fresh wine, with sharp acidity, but also with a bigger body, because as the night and the bites progress, the palate also needs a drink with greater structure. Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc 2018, from Casablanca Valley, offers an exciting mix of freshness and volume on the palate, along with a saline minerality typical of its origin. Undoubtedly a wine.
Following the line of light, easy-drinking wines and that do not tire or call out for a hearty food, when it comes to reds it is better to choose young wines from varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cinsault or País. Or you can also go for Pinot Noir. Amelia Pinot Noir, made with grapes from the Limarí Valley, is a wine that is even better enjoyed when served cold (so don’t forget to put it in the fridge). Vibrant, fruity and refreshing, it has an excellent combination of structure and minerality, that could also keep working if you switch to main dishes.
For special occasions
Sometimes we have one of those unique and special wines, such as Gravas Cabernet Sauvignon, and we feel like we want to open it, but… there is only one bottle and too many guests. If that is the case, I recommend that you better keep it saved.
But if your celebration does not exceed four guests, it would be enough for four good-sized glasses. If so, serve your wine in a decanter at the start of the night. With this, the wine will be more oxygenated when you serve it, ideally, together with a plate of food that pairs well with this strain (based on red meat or if you are a vegetarian, something like a mushroom risotto) so that there is a balance between both. And so your wine will probably become the star of the night.