What to drink from Chile & Argentina this holiday season

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What to drink from Chile & Argentina this holiday season

As Christmas and New Year parties are firmly upon us, you might be wondering what wines you should be uncorking from South America this festive season. Here’s a quick guide to some wines from Chile and Argentina to impress and enjoy over this holiday season.

A show stopping white for a classy party…

That delicious moment waiting to drink your wine...If you are having a classy affair for Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, you might want to look at one of the very classy Chardonnays coming from both countries. While Chardonnay was in recent memory a variety that people turned their nose up to (thanks to a popular uprising of ABC: ‘anything but chardonnay’), it is now back in fashion and Chile and Argentina are making some seriously stylish Chardonnays. You’ll need to spend over $30USD on a good bottle, but you won’t be disappointed: from the steely and mineral Chardonnays from Limari on the Chilean coast (try Talinay by Tabali, and Quebrada Seca by Maycas de Limari and De Martino), to the handsome old world elegance of Aconcagua Costa (try Las Pizarras by Errazuriz), and over to the rich yet savory Chardonnay of the Uco Valley (try Catena Zapata White Bones/Stones, El Enemigo, and Lindaflor by Monteviejo). These Chardonnays aren’t just for ladies though – they can all stand their own, and even follow a red on the dinner table.

Party bubbles…

If you are looking for more of a party pop (that you can afford to pop more than once!) then pick up a sparkling pink Pais from Maule (Santa Digna Estelado by Miguel Torres), or one of the many charmat method bubblies from either side of the Andes (from Mendoza try Cruzat or Reginato, and from Chile try Undurraga‘s Brut Nature from Limari).

If you are planning to make New Year’s Eve a night to remember, and want to impress someone special, then go for one of the more complex champenoise method sparkling wines that have a more structured and rich mouth feel from years of aging on the lees (from Chile try Morande‘s Brut Nature, and from Argentina Cruzat‘s Cuvee Nature or Rose or their newly released 5 year old cuvee). For something a bit more unusual, try Bodegas RE‘s sublime Virgin.

Christmas Day reds…

Christmas present wineAlthough you might be eating Turkey, something calls for a big, dramatic red on the table for Christmas Day. South America might be a long haul flight from Bordeaux, but it doesn’t stop them making some darn fine Bordeaux blends. Malbec is the dominating component in Argentina, and Cabernet Sauvignon is in Chile. Some top pours include Matervini from Salta, Ultima Hoja from Bressia in Mendoza, Domus Aurelia from Maipo Chile, and Sena from Aconcagua.

A wine for Boxing Day leftovers…

When you have had a little too much to eat, and probably too much to drink, from the celebratory Christmas binges the day before, you need something a bit lighter and refreshing to accompany your hangover and table of leftovers. Try chilling a Chilean Pais (try Pais Salvaje), a light Argentine Bonarda (try Bonarda Pura by Passionate Wines), or a fruity Cinsault from Itata (try Don Cande by Koyle).

If you are by the beach…

Beach life in Chilean summer, photo by Amanda Barnes for The SqueezeYou lucky thing! Spending Christmas and New Year in the sunny Southern Hemisphere is a very sunny affair. You’ll need refreshing whites to cool you down, and you need not look any further than Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc. Torrontes from Argentina has a flirty, floral quality that is perfect pool-side (try Colome and Dominio del Plata), and Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from the coastal regions of Casablanca and San Antonio has those tropical and herbal notes accompanied by a good bite of acidity that make them ideal for washing down fresh seafood and ceviche by the seaside.

Whatever the weather, and whatever your mood – here are a few suggestions from South America to get your New Year off to a good start. Salud!


Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes is a British journalist who has been living in the Southern Hemisphere for the last six years, has tried over 500 Malbecs, eaten over 600 Chilean oysters and still has a functioning liver and kidneys (as far as she knows).

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