Lenz Moser Grüner Veltliner Krems, Austria, 2012 ($10): This white isn't just one of the cheaper selections on our list but one of the biggest—coming in a one-liter bottle. That means more to enjoy, and Kaner says you're certain to do so.
"This wine is imported by the same people who bring us Stiegl Austrian Lager, a mainstay at my bar in Los Angeles," he said. "It came up in conversation with the brand ambassador, we cracked a bottle, and it's been in our fridge since. [It has a] clean, zesty, rindy quality ... (and is) fruity without being cloying."
(Read more: Eight tips to stick to your holiday budget)
Peter Lauer Barrel X Riesling, 2012 ($17): Rieslings are sometimes lumped in with sweet wines, but "fruit-forward" wines—those where the fruitiness jumps out with the first sip—don't have to be cavity-inducing. And the right one can cut through the fare on your holiday plate.
"Holiday food across the board is accented by richness in some form or fashion," said Vann. "A lot of acid and a little bit of sugar goes a long way to cut the fat of much holiday grub. Riesling doesn't just cut the fat of holiday food, it makes for a religious epiphany of flavor in your mouth. This bottling ... has just enough sugar to bring out the fruit of the wine, but not so much that it will freak out the sweet wine haters in your party."