Top 5 Holiday Wines under $30

Holidays are meant for splurging, and what better way to splurge than with holiday wine? Normally, we drink $10 to $15 wine, but for the holidays, we treat ourselves to a little luxury. When we are feeling nice, we give these wines as gifts or enjoy them with family and friends. When we are feeling naughty, we keep the wine for our own celebratory holidays-are-over recovery days.

1. 2008 Bodegas Botani Moscatel Seco Sierras de Malaga - "A dry Muscat," we asked Kia at Spec's. "Are you sure?" Malaga in Southern Spain is known for its sweet wines, so we were skeptical about a dry Muscat. But Kia assured us that this Muscat was worth every penny. She was right! This citrusy, crisp wine is deliciously dry with hints of green apple and white peach. It's rich and silky without the heaviness of a buttery white.

2. 2004 Chateau Pibran Pauillac - 2004 is often overlooked as an off vintage for Bordeaux due mostly to the weather patterns that year. Jeremy at Spec's explained that this also was due to the fact that the 2003 and 2005 vintages were so good. But this 2004 Bordeaux was one of his favorites. Way to root for the underdog! The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It won't blow your mind, but it has a soft, nice style.

3. 2007 Luca Chardonnay Altos de Mendoza - We are used to drinking Argentinean reds, so when this white was recommended to us, we were shocked. An Argentinean Chardonnay? Why not! Supposedly, the Luca Chardonnay is one of the best ones produced in Argentina. The light gold-colored wine has multiple layers of flavor including spiced apple and pear. If you like medium- to full-bodied white wines, this is your go-to white for the holidays.

4. 2004 Domaine de La Garenne Bandol - We are always looking for good deals, and wine is no different. So when this French red was described to us as tasting like a $50-$55 wine with an under-$30 price tag, we were sold. This red is an intense, full-bodied wine with a mixture of berry and spice flavors. We did do some research and found many recommendations for decanting the wine for an hour or so before serving.

5. 2006 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Particulière - In keeping with the holiday spirit, we gave this French red wine to some friends for a holiday dinner. The dark, smoky wine tastes of ripe blackberries and has a strong finish. This is not a red for the faint of heart.


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