Domenico Winery + Osteria

The Top Italian Wines for Christmas

The holidays love to just sneak up on us. One way to bear it? With wine of course! And, not just any wine – top-quality Italian wines for Christmas.

It’s hard not to love Italian wine. With so much diversity and versatility, there is so much great wine to choose from – it is hard to go wrong! So, we’re here to make picking out the perfect Italian wine for Christmas easier with a list of delicious wines that shine brightest during the most wonderful time of the year.

Here are the best Italian wines for Christmas!

glasses of franciacorta on christmas


Move over Prosecco, there’s another Italian sparkling to savor in town. Franciacorta is a delicious wine produced in the Lombardy region of Italy, just due west of the Veneto where Prosecco is made. It’s important to note that these wines are quite different. Franciacorta is made quite similarly to Champagne – this sparkling wine is made using Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay grapes, produced with the classic method (or metodo classico in Italian.)

The result? An elegant and refreshing wine that’s the perfect accompaniment to any celebration or creamy, soft cheese. Of course, the personality of Franciacorta varies from producer to producer. Either way, it is worth a try.


Barolo and Barbaresco may be the leading names of Piemonte, but that isn’t what locals drink when they head out for dinner. Barbera is the go-to here – an exceptional wine that offers much versatility at any holiday table.

Barbera is quite the trickster of a grape. In the glass, its dark color often fools many to think it’s this rich monster of a wine. Yet, one sip will tell you that this wine is not a heavy one. Barbera has great acidity and personality, lending a sense of ease and refreshment on the palate.

There are quite a few styles of Barbera in Piemonte (and even beyond this Italian region!) There are two DOCs particularly to know – Barbera d’Asti and Barbera d’Alba. The former is a DOCG that produces very bright and boisterous Barberas that still have structure and body. Barbera d’Alba, on the other hand, is just as delicious. However, it tends to be a more forward wine with more body and often alcohol.

Barbera goes with so many delicious holiday delights. Remember – it is the local’s wine in Piemonte, where the food is not exactly light. We’re talking meat-filled agnolotti, braised or boiled meats, and hefty cheeses. So, it’s safe to say that Barbera has the structure to carry through all the rich, indulgent dishes.

Chianti Classico

A crowd favorite, Chianti has long been one of the beloved Italian wines for Christmas (and all year round, really.) It is a seamless addition to your holiday celebration. So, why not step it up a notch by serving a Chianti Classico?

So, what is Chianti Classico? Well, the Chianti region as a whole is a large wine-producing area, spanning from Florence to Siena. Within this region lays Chianti Classico – the most historic Chianti-producing zone with some of the best vineyards to grow Sangiovese (Chianti’s premiere grape.)

Chianti Classico makes an excellent holiday wine not just because of its nobility, but because of its impressive character. It can showcase just how elegant and finessed Sangiovese can be, at often a much better price point than other more expensive Sangiovese wines (cough cough Brunello di Montalcino.) And, if you’re looking to step it up a notch, you can even opt for a Chianti Classico Riserva, which is often made with grapes from the best vineyard sites and sees longer aging. If you can snag a 2016 Riserva, even better.

Similarly to Barbera, Chianti Classico can keep up with the entire holiday meal. Sangiovese’s gorgeous acidity carries it through bold and fatty dishes, whether it’s a creamy casserole or a perfect roast.

friends drinking red wine on christmas


Returning to Piemonte, we have to give a little spotlight to the little sweet one, or Dolcetto. This Piemontese wine has grown in popularity over the years for its graceful personality and redoubtable versatility.

Now, we must always note that Dolcetto is not a sweet wine (despite its name.) Dolcetto – rather – produces gentle wines that are fruity and earthy. It does bring structure to the table with its surprisingly pronounced tannins, giving it a drier taste (and further proving that Dolcetto is not a sweet wine!)

Adding Dolcetto to your holiday wine lineup is a smart move. This wine can please many red wine drinkers. It is an approachable wine that can sail through appetizers and even main courses. Plus, with its relatively moderate alcohol, it can be a companion throughout the entire celebration, without leaving anyone concerningly jolly.


We had to save the notorious King of Italian grapes for last. Nebbiolo is recognized throughout the world for producing the mighty wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. While cracking open an amazing vintage of these wines is a fabulous holiday idea, you can also step out of the box and try a different Nebbiolo-based wine this season.

Staying in Piemonte, Ghemme, Gattinara, and Boca wines of the Alto Piemonte offer dazzling expressions of Nebbiolo. The cooler climate allows for these wines to develop a beautiful acidity and flavors in Nebbiolo grapes. Moving out of Piemonte, you can also try Nebbiolo from the Lombardy region of Italy. Valtellina wines showcase a different side of Nebbiolo. In fact, in this part of Italy Nebbiolo is called Chiavennasca! These wines bring a more delicate style of Nebbiolo, highlighting the grape’s earthy potential. However, don’t forget – Nebbiolo is an ultra-tannic grape, meaning structure and intensity will always persist.

Nebbiolo shines on the holiday table in its elegance. Its tannic nature can be too intense for some. But, it’s hard for anyone to turn a quality bottle down once it opens up and expresses all its alluring aromas.

Curious to learn more about Italian wines for Christmas or have an amazing wine experience? Never hesitate to chat with our expert team t Domenico Winery, where we carry on the centuries-old winemaking traditions of our Italian ancestors.