10 wines for under $16 that will impress at Christmas dinner

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Don't embarrass yourself and The Sweet Baby Jesus by showing up at Christmas dinner with a cheap varietal of hooch you bought at CVS. These well-priced bottles--almost all of which are less than $15--will impress your family and not leave you with a nasty hangover for Boxing Day. Reds Stay away from French reds--like the French army, they're weak and retreating. The Iberian Peninsula and South America don't just supply the world with many of its most beautiful women, but they also provide some delicious and well-priced red wines:
  • Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon--$16
  • Terra Rosa Malbec--$12
  • Bodegas Luzon Jumilla (2008)--$9
Whites Not being a white wine drinker, I turned to Kenny Andreozzi, manager at The Wine Market (1200 Bardstown Road, 502-451-7446), for recommendations:
  • Louis Jadot Macon-Villages white burgundy--$14
  • Alma Rosa pinot gris--$10
  • Any of a number of wines from Côtes de Gascogne region in Southwest France--$10
Sparkling Only fools reserve sparkling wines for New Year's Eve. Drink it often.
  • Gruet Brut--$16. You'll impress everyone by bringing a delicious bottle of sparkling from New Mexico of all places.
  • Marques de Gelida Cava Brut--$16. My personal favorite sparkling, my wife and I served it at our wedding and over ordered by a few cases because, you know, a couple dozen bottles of cava are a good thing to have lying around the apartment.
  • Cristalino Brut Cava--$9. Start a new holiday tradition by breaking out the alcohol before Christmas; this cava goes great in mimosas.
Non-alcoholic If you must, check out Spruce Goose Pinot Noir Semi-Sparkling Juice – $9. To me, it semi-sucks, but my 9.5-month pregnant wife swears by it. Of course, let's see if she's still drinking it when she's able to disembark from the wagon. The Wine Market sells it. Stay away from Fre by Sutter Home or any other non-alcoholic wine made by a vineyard you wouldn’t buy regular wine from (like Sutter Home). For more information: Have any suggestions for where great Christmas lights are around town? (Photo: Flickr/gutter)
About Zach Everson
Travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Eater, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveller, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper, Deadspin, and Fox News. I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville and the director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.
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