The 10 Wines You Should Be Drinking on New Year’s Eve

Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano/Edits Have Been Made

By Ryan Frankel

At a recent happy hour, a friend informed me that he was ordering white wine instead of his preferred red wine in order to shed a few pounds over the holiday season. Despite his aversion to white wine, he had heard that white wine contains 20 to 30 fewer calories per glass than red wine. My friend is not alone and there’s a trend amongst wine drinkers to focus on the caloric content.


Rather than debate the merits of his belief by pointing out that caloric content of wine (and beer, for that matter) varies by brand, age, percentage alcohol, varietal and so on, I instead made the assumption that he was correct and did some basic math:

• To lose one pound, a person must drop 3,500 calories – either from exercise or from consuming fewer calories
• At a savings of 20 to 30 calories per glass, my friend would need to consume 115 to 175 glasses of white wine instead of red wine to save himself from that pound gained
• Put differently, if my friend wanted to lose just one pound in two weeks and was aiming to do so through drinking white wine over red wine, he would likely end up in the hospital or worse before he even had a chance to reap the results!

Sure, every little bit counts, but at what cost? This holiday season, treat yourself to the wine you love. Here’s our top wine picks (yes, white and red!) to ring in the holidays and the New Year:

1. Justin: Isosceles

Yes, it’s expensive, but if ever there was a bottle worth the splurge, Isosceles is it!

2. Turnbull, Cabernet Sauvignon

Also worth the splurge. I promise.

3. Chateau St. Michelle: Riesling

You wouldn’t believe that a wine this good costs less than $15!

4. 689 Red Blend

I first tried 689’s Red Blend while dining at Ristorante Ragazzi in Grand Cayman. This wine is highly drinkable and pairs wonderfully with Italian cuisine. Bonus: if you find yourself in Grand Cayman and craving a fresh take on old-school Italian, give Ragazzi a shot. Their Frutti di Mare pizza is the best on earth and their pasta dishes and fresh seafood will leave you coming back for more.

5. La Petite Ferme

Verdict: Visit South Africa’s Franschhoek wine region for La Petite Ferme’s “Verdict” or simply buy it online. Sure, at $25 a pop, it’s expensive relative to South Africa’s famed $5 bottles, but this author can assure you that it’s worth every penny.

6. Frog’s Leap: Cabernet Sauvignon

This cab’s got a nice kick with a delicious and lingering aftertaste. It pairs especially well with steak.

7. Oyster Bay: Sauvignon Bay

Smooth, highly drinkable, and won’t break the bank.

8. Duckhorn Merlot

Duckhorn’s Merlot turned me from a Merlot-naysayer to a fan.

9. Pindar – Winter White

Visit this Long Island vineyard for a deliciously crisp bottle that pairs great with shellfish.

10. Duckwalk

Blueberry Port: Fancy a dessert wine? Check out Duckwalk’s blueberry port. Or, if you happen to love sweet tarts, try their Boysenberry flavored dessert wine.

What’s your favorite holiday wine?

Ryan Frankel is CEO of VerbalizeIt. He’s a travel, endurance athletics and food and wine enthusiast. He was recently named a Top 35 Under 35 entrepreneur by Inc. Magazine. He lives in New York City with his beautiful wife and pair of running shoes. Write to the author at

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