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The 7 Best Red Wines to Gift This Holiday (2023)

Gifting red wine can be tough. There are so many different expressions on the market that it’s easy to default to an overpriced (and sometimes underwhelming) big-name bottle. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why we’ve broken some of our favorite reds down into several categories for every gifting scenario to help you navigate the wine shop this holiday season.

Whether you’re buying for a loved one who enjoys sipping a bold Cab with a book during a snowstorm, a buddy who got into chilled porch-pounders this year, or a bestie who loves to nurse a glass while they cook ornate dinners, there’s a perfect bottle out there. Better yet, it doesn’t even have to be expensive. There are great value options that can seriously impress on a budget — but if you are looking to splurge, we have the scoop on which bottles are really worth it.

Read on to discover the seven best red wines to gift this year.

Best Budget Red: Bodega Aleanna ‘El Enemigo’ Malbec 2019
Best Splurge Red: Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Best Red Wine For Beginners: Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel 2022
Best Red Wine for Geeks: Early Mountain Vineyards Young Wine Red 2022
Best Red Wine for Dinner Pairings: Argiolas Turriga 2019
Best Red Wine to Impress: Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Best Bang For Your Buck Red: Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet Hervé Souhaut Syrah 2022

Best Budget Red

Bodega Aleanna ‘El Enemigo’ Malbec 2019

This Argentinian Malbec punches well above its price point. It delivers the bold fruit flavors that one would expect from this grape, but with an impressive structure and elegance. The nose offers aromas of brambly blackberries, earth, and smoke and the palate packs in ripe black cherries, plums, and baking spices. It also has well-integrated aromas from oak aging and grippy tannins, making it ideal for that friend who always orders the steak.

Average price: $26
Rating: 92

Best Splurge Red

Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

If you’re shelling out a pretty penny on a bottle you’re slapping a bow on and giving away, you want to make sure the liquid inside it is as impressive as its price tag suggests. And let us tell you, this bottle from Mayacamas is more than worth the splurge. It’s expertly balanced with concentrated yet restrained fruit notes of red plums and blackberries, and just a hint of savory pepper. It has a wonderful, silky texture and a seamlessly woven tannin structure. Top-tier Napa Cabs are definitely a popular choice this time of year, but there’s no doubt this is one of the best that money can buy.

Average price: $195
Rating: 99

Best Red Wine For Beginners

Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel 2022

Bedrock Wine Co. makes wine across California with a focus on reviving old and abandoned vineyard sites, some of which are over 100 years old. Despite its century-old influences, the winery produces innovative, modern wines like single-vineyard Sémillon and heritage blends. One of those expressions is Bedrock’s delicious and approachable Old Vine Zinfandel, perfect for that friend who’s just embarking on their red wine journey. It offers a bold, fruit-forward flavor profile without tasting overwhelming or overly tannic. More standout notes include jammy blackberries, cranberries, and orange peel with flecks of black pepper. The mouthfeel is deep, but its natural acidity keeps it refreshing.

Average price: $30
Rating: 94

Best Red Wine for Geeks

Early Mountain Vineyards Young Wine Red 2022

Have a buddy who loves to go on (and on, and on) about their latest glass of booze? This bottle will hit many a wine geek’s favorite talking points. It’s a co-ferment of two hybrid grape varieties, Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc, from Early Mountain Vineyards in Virginia. The result is a delightful chillable red with juicy berry notes and a slight hint of pepper. And if you’re confused about any of the terms used above, we’re sure your enthusiastic friend would love to explain them to you over a glass.

Average price: $25
Rating: 91

Best Red Wine for Dinner Pairings

Argiolas Turriga 2019

This intense red blend from the island of Sardinia is practically begging to be paired with a rich, fatty meal. It’s jam-packed with notes of ripe dark fruits and Mediterranean herbs framed by grippy tannins and mouthwatering acidity. If your holiday host is laboring over a hearty dish like a roast or lasagna, this bottle will be the perfect contribution to the table.

Average price: $85
Rating: 96

Best Red Wine to Impress

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Whether you like it or not, Napa Cab continues to carry a certain caché in the wine world. So if you’re looking to impress this holiday season, odds are that person will appreciate a regional classic like this. Heitz Cellar is a renowned producer with a history going back to the 1960s, and this wine certainly lives up to its sterling reputation. It exudes Napa-style elegance, with soft, savory fruit notes and well-balanced tannins. In a sea of overpriced and often underwhelming Cabernet out there, this high-quality expression will convince anyone you’ve got good taste.

Average price: $85
Rating: 96

Best Bang For Your Buck Red

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet Hervé Souhaut Syrah 2022

The Northern Rhône is a world-renowned yet relatively small region in southern France known for its outstanding Syrah expressions. Due to high demand and limited supply, bottles from this area can easily exceed the $100 price point, especially in its more prestigious appellations of Côte Rôtie and Hermitage. This bottle comes from a small town just outside Côte Rôtie and delivers all of our favorite characteristics of Syrah for just $38. It has wildly expressive notes of blackberries and raspberries, and it offers savory notes like black pepper and cured meats in spades. All of these flavors are lifted by a bright acidity and silky tannins. It’s a gorgeous wine, and an absolute steal for devout Syrah drinkers.

Average price: $38
Rating: 97

The article The 7 Best Red Wines to Gift This Holiday (2023) appeared first on VinePair.

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