Here’s How You Can Taste the Wines You’ll Want to Pour for the Holidays

As the Halloween décor comes down, our palates turn from which wine complements Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to Thanksgiving fetes and feast pairings. Over the coming weeks, we see article upon article of the best pinot noir pairings, the best value champagnes, and Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations. But there’s no finer or more sure-fire way to choose your spotlight wines then to taste them first.


These Orange County wine events and classes give you a great opportunity to experience new regions, new producers, and new wines. You’ll have the perfect backstory for each wine you serve at your events this November.

Nov. 6 – Dom Perignon Champagne Dinner at 21 Oceanfront Restaurant

If you’re seeking an extra-special holiday pour or gift, Dom Perignon is the premier luxury selection. This enticing bubbly event is the finale of 21 Oceanfront Restaurant’s annual calendar of wine dinners in Newport Beach. Guests will enjoy five hearty courses with Dom pairings, including the 2000 and 2006 vintages, and the 2005 rose with the night culminating in a Hennessy Brandy Alexander. The cost is $325 person. For reservations, call 949-673-2100.

Nov. 9 – Formaglini Vineyards Pinot Noir Release Party

Santa Ana resident David de Lancellotti owns a vineyard in the heart of pinot noir country in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Each fall, de Lancellotti releases his latest vintage with a party in the back yard of his historic Floral Park home. On Nov. 9, Formaglini Vineyards is releasing the 2016 vintage estate pinot noir and treasured 2016 Insieme red blend. To attend or inquire, email

Nov. 10 – Hi-Time Wine Bar New Holiday Champagnes Releases

You’ll taste a panel of new bubbly choices for the holiday season as curated by Jim Duane, dubbed Mr. Bubblehead. With Hi-Time’s decades of experience buying for Orange County wine lovers, their sparkling recommends for the 2018 holidays are coveted. $35. 800-331-3005. I’d ink in the Nov. 15 vintage port tasting, too!

Nov. 15 and 17 – OC Wine Mart Duckhorn and Calera Wine Tasting

Duckhorn is famed for their Napa Valley estate merlot and other varietals, such as chardonnay and red blends. Calera is renowned for Central Coast pinot noir that is refined and highly appreciated among critics. This $25 tasting is a perfect chance to experience these exquisite brands for your Thanksgiving table. Nov. 15 is at OC Wine Mart’s Yorba Linda shop, and Nov. 17 is in Aliso Viejo.

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