Holiday Wine Guide
Holiday Wine Guide

A Guide To Holiday Wine: Part 1

December 7, 2015 -

The holidays are here, and it’s time to spread the cheer. Searching for the perfect wine as a gift for your boss, or what to serve for this year’s dinner? We tapped into industry experts and sommeliers to help guide you in all of your wine situations for December in this two-part series.

All of the featured wines below can be enjoyed at your local Carrabba’s Italian Grill but there are thousands of wines that can fit into your holiday plans. Don’t forget the number one rule, enjoy what you like and don’t give anything that you wouldn’t drink yourself!


  • Situation: You are hosting family dinner and everyone has different taste.
    • Solution: Choose a full- bodied red like a Cabernet Sauvignon and a medium-bodied white like a Chardonnay to satisfy even the pickiest mother in-law.

Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Notes from the experts: This Cabernet is full-bodied and dry. Louis Martini has flavors of ripe black plum jam and black currant with hints of oak and a touch of baking spices and mocha. If you are serving beef, veal, sausage, pork, tomato-based dishes or chocolate desserts at your dinner, this wine is the perfect complement.

Notes from the experts: This Cabernet is full-bodied and dry. Louis Martini has flavors of ripe black plum jam and black currant with hints of oak and a touch of baking spices and mocha. If you are serving beef, veal, sausage, pork, tomato-based dishes or chocolate desserts at your dinner, this wine is the perfect complement.

Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay

Notes from the experts: Unoaked Chardonnays are gaining popularity in America and worth a try if you haven’t had one before. Joel Gott is medium-bodied and dry with layered aromas of ripe pear, honeydew melon and citrus. It’s perfectly balanced acidity and brightness makes it a great addition to shellfish or poultry dishes, green salads and sautéed vegetables.


  • Situation: You are invited to a holiday party and not sure what kind of wine to give to the host/hostess.
    • Solution: Ask what foods they are serving ahead of time. Be prepared with a wine that pairs well with what they are serving so the bottle can be enjoyed that evening.
    • Bonus Solution: Are they serving red meats or stews? Bring a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Are they are serving light cheeses or pastas with cream sauce? Bring a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Notes from the experts: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc offers the tried and true citrus explosion the New Zealand wine region is known for. You’ll find this to be medium-bodied and dry Sauvignon Blanc that is full of juicy acidity and fruit sweetness. The finish is fresh, zesty and lingering. Pairs brilliantly with goat cheese, shellfish and seafood.

Notes from the experts: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc offers the tried and true citrus explosion the New Zealand wine region is known for. You’ll find this to be medium-bodied and dry Sauvignon Blanc that is full of juicy acidity and fruit sweetness. The finish is fresh, zesty and lingering. Pairs brilliantly with goat cheese, shellfish and seafood.


  • Situation: It’s chilly outside and you want to curl up by the fire with the perfect glass of vino.
    • Solution: Warm up with a red blend or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Apothic Red Blend

Notes from the experts: Apothic Red Blend is a medium-bodied and dry red that is crafted from a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grape varietals come together seamlessly to deliver a well-rounded and balanced, pleasing red wine.  The Zinfandel offers bold, dark fruit flavors (think rhubarb and black cherry) with undertones of mocha and vanilla, complemented by the velvety mouthfeel of Merlot. The Syrah adds layers of smooth blueberry while the Cabernet Sauvignon delivers black plum and cola notes as well as a firm structure. Pairs well with red meat and light cheeses .Are you warming up just by thinking about this wine right now?

Notes from the experts: Apothic Red Blend is a medium-bodied and dry red that is crafted from a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grape varietals come together seamlessly to deliver a well-rounded and balanced, pleasing red wine. The Zinfandel offers bold, dark fruit flavors (think rhubarb and black cherry) with undertones of mocha and vanilla, complemented by the velvety mouthfeel of Merlot. The Syrah adds layers of smooth blueberry while the Cabernet Sauvignon delivers black plum and cola notes as well as a firm structure. Pairs well with red meat and light cheeses .Are you warming up just by thinking about this wine right now?


  • Situation: You need the perfect gift for a coworker.
    • Solution: Try pairing a box of caramels with a Chardonnay or a Carrabba’s gift card and a Pinot Grigio.

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

Notes from the experts: This wine is a light- to medium-bodied Pinot Grigio that is sophisticated, crisp and fruit-forward with lively acidity through hints of lemon and kumquat. Santa Margarita is considered the benchmark for Pinot Grigio, always made with 100% hand-picked grapes -- a true classic to please any white wine drinker. Pairs well with flatbreads, pizzas and fish entrees.

Notes from the experts: This wine is a light- to medium-bodied Pinot Grigio that is sophisticated, crisp and fruit-forward with lively acidity through hints of lemon and kumquat. Santa Margarita is considered the benchmark for Pinot Grigio, always made with 100% hand-picked grapes — a true classic to please any white wine drinker. Pairs well with flatbreads, pizzas and fish entrees.


  • Situation: You want the perfect glass (or bottle) for a Wednesday night.
    • Solution: Choose something appropriate for the season by adding a little sparkle with a Prosecco or sparkling wine.

Rosa Regale Sparkling Red

Notes from the experts: Rosa Regale is perfect for the holiday season! This is a light-bodied, semi-sweet, red sparkling wine. Rosa Regale has a delicate bouquet of rose petals and offers sensuous flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries. Enjoy this sparkling red chilled. It serves as the perfect complement to the entire meal, beginning as an elegant aperitif, moving to a savory appetizer, into a spicy entrée and ending with a sweet dessert.

Notes from the experts: Rosa Regale is perfect for the holiday season! This is a light-bodied, semi-sweet, red sparkling wine. Rosa Regale has a delicate bouquet of rose petals and offers sensuous flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries. Enjoy this sparkling red chilled. It serves as the perfect complement to the entire meal, beginning as an elegant aperitif, moving to a savory appetizer, into a spicy entrée and ending with a sweet dessert.

Wine brings people together and makes for the perfect gift. Don’t forget, we celebrate our love for vino every Wine Wednesday with $10 off any bottle all day long.

Do you have any questions for our wine experts? Comment below!

-Staff