Cheat Sheet: Choosing Wine for Holiday Gatherings

winebottlesEntertaining season is fast approaching, and besides the decorating, cooking, baking, and coordinating that goes on, there may be one little task that gets left till the last minute that many of us find rather daunting… choosing wine. ¬†Whether it’s selecting a wine for a gift, or choosing an assortment for your own dinner party, there’s a lot to choose from in the way of varietals, and who has time to do research on wine when you’ve got recipes to prep for!

Well, I happened to come across a handy little tool via and I must say, it put wines in much easier focus for this girl. The Wine Bar’s so called Wine Varietal Cheat Sheet gives you 4 distinct characteristics to consider – how fruity, earthy, bold or light you want your wine to be – and puts each varietal on the spectrum so you can make your decision from there. Seriously, all this talk about legs, and perfume, and body, and structure… Can’t we just keep it simple?

Well this little cheat sheet is your answer. Think you might prefer something light, but not overly fruity? Consider Prosecco. Want to try something bold and slightly earthy for a change? Maybe a Cabernet Franc is for you. Other than having to choose red or white (gasp), the wine varietal cheat sheet couldn’t be easier. Check it out:

choosing wine varietal cheat sheet

I love how it’s color coded and with a little help from your elementary graphing lesson, you’re on your way to choosing wine with confidence.

Now, if you REALLY want to get technical, and would like a crash course in all those WINE DESCRIPTORS the big leagues use, then check out Wine Folly’s Wine Description infographic… but you may need a glass of wine to kick back and study with. It has everything from what flower you are smelling, to how “jammy” the wine is… and yes that is a professional term.

Remember during the holidays, and always, just drink responsibly. Over indulging is always out of style.


*infographic via

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