'Tis the season... of Hallmark everything, that is. The beloved network kicked off its annual Countdown to Christmas programming on Oct. 20, with all-new original holiday movies premiering on Hallmark Channel every weekend until Dec. 21. Alongside the usual Hallmark Christmas trappings—the Very Merry Giveaway and branded gift sets for movie fans—the romance-minded network is relaunching its Hallmark Channel Wine Club on Nov. 16. It's the most wonderful time of the year, but especially for Hallmark fans.
Hallmark-branded wines debuted in 2020, and the collection has since grown to include 19 varietals — all available for purchase on the Hallmark Channel Wines website either individually or with a Wine Club subscription. The lineup features red, white, rosé and sparkling wines named after the seasons (Holly, Jolly, Autumn Dreams), Hallmark programming events (Loveuary, Christmas in July) and hit movies (Christmas at Graceland, The Perfect Pairing). Every bottle is a customized blend crafted by Hallmark's partner winemaker Andrew Nelson, named one of Wine Enthusiast's 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2020.
"We're not just slapping a label on a pre-existing juice. Every single wine we put out is custom-blended for our viewers and our fans," Natalie Vandergast, Hallmark Media's Vice President of Consumer Products, tells Wide Open Country. "Whether it's our apparel, wine, tea or chocolate — whatever we create, we're always looking at, 'How does this enhance the network or movie-watching experience?'"
And watching a Hallmark movie has never been more of an experience: The network launches its inaugural Christmas cruise in 2024, which will allow fans to take to the seas with Hallmark stars also on board. But if you can't make the maiden voyage to the Bahamas, the new-and-improved Hallmark Channel Wine Club is another way to immerse yourself in the network's feel-good ethos. Wine Club now offers four different subscription tiers, as well as increased customization and flexibility. You can choose from all 19 varietals for each shipment, and you can pick your own shipping frequency. Wine Club members will also receive exclusive sneak peeks of new Hallmark Channel movies.
Whether you plan on becoming a card-carrying member of the Hallmark Channel Wine Club or buying a bottle every now and then for you and your bestie to pop open on movie night, we've rounded up eight Hallmark wines to get you in the holiday spirit. Below, we spotlight each bottle's tasting notes and preferred dessert pairings. We also provide Hallmark's official 2023 movie pairings for each Christmas varietal, as well as a few viewing recommendations of our own so that you can pour one out for a time-tested Hallmark classic or an all-new flick. Whatever your style, the following libations will help you make the most of those precious Hallmark Christmas movie binge sessions. Cheers!
Jingle - Cabernet Sauvignon
Jingle is an OG Hallmark Channel wine, having debuted in July 2020. "Jingle and Joy were the first wines that we launched with during Christmas in July," says Vandergast. "They were seasonal Christmas varietals, and that was really fun and exciting."
Tasting Notes: This 2018 California Cab is ruby red with notes of chocolate, dark fruit and rich holiday spices for a full-bodied and festive taste.
Goes Well With: Gingerbread, dark chocolate, copycat Cracker Barrel cherry chocolate cobbler
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Warm and full-bodied, Jingle was tailor-made for Hallmark Christmas favorites like "Let It Snow," "November Christmas" and "The Christmas Cottage."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "A Merry Sottish Christmas" (Hallmark's pick), "Everything Christmas," "Where Are You, Christmas?"
Jolly - White Wine Blend
Tasting Notes: Nothing like a California white to lighten up those dreary winter evenings. Jolly is a limited release with notes of peach and pineapple for a crisp, refreshing sip.
Goes Well With: Tangy desserts like lemon bars and fruit tarts
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Jolly is more Christmas in July than Countdown to Christmas, so opt for destination holiday flicks like "Campfire Christmas."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "A Heidelberg Holiday" (Hallmark's pick), "Flipping for Christmas"
Sparkle - Sparkling Wine
Tasting Notes: This elevated French Sparkling Wine is bursting with notes of fresh white florals and tangy green apple for a bubbly good time.
Goes Well With: Strawberry shortcake or, for a lovely contrast, milk chocolate
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: This bubbly is basically effervescent Hallmark It-girl Lacey Chabert in a bottle. Pair it with any one of her 14 Christmas hits like "A Royal Christmas" and "Haul Out the Holly." Or pour yourself a glass for one of Chabert's non-holiday flicks like "Love, Romance & Chocolate" and the toast-worthy "Wedding Veil" series.
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "A Not So Royal Christmas" (Hallmark's pick), "Joyeux Noel"
Holly - Red Wine Blend
"We name our wines Jingle, Joy, Holly, Jolly, Love and Blush because they're whimsical. And we want people to smile. We want to inspire that joy of the season when they touch any of our products, and when they engage with any piece of content or any element of our brands," says Vandergast.
Tasting Notes: A California red blend with a long finish, Holly will remind you of deeper holiday fruits like blackberries and juicy plums.
Goes Well With: A classic Christmas plum pudding or nutty treats like roasted chestnuts and pecan pie
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Deep with a smooth finish, Holly is your go-to for Christmas tear-jerkers like the "Five More Minutes" film series or "The Christmas Secret."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up" (Hallmark's pick), "A World Record Christmas"
Christmas at Graceland - Zinfandel
For Vandergast, partnering with Elvis' estate to craft a wine inspired by the 2018 Kellie Pickler flick "Christmas at Graceland" was a no-brainer: "That movie still airs on our network, and we know that our fans love it. It made a lot of sense for us to go ahead and make a wine based on that movie in collaboration with them."
Tasting Notes: Christmas at Graceland is full of vintage dessert flavors, like blueberry, spice and sweet plum jam.
Goes Well With: The richest of the rich, like caramel fudge, cheesecakes and red velvet
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Obviously, "Christmas at Graceland" and its sequel "Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "A Biltmore Christmas," "Magic in Mistletoe"
Joy - Sauvignon Blanc
Tasting Notes: Joy is a 2019 Sauvignon Blanc packed with lively citrus flavors for a sip that will put a smile on your face.
Goes Well With: Macarons or pineapple upside down cake complement this classic dry finish
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: This fruity swig is perfect for Hallmark Christmas comedies like "A Very Merry Mix-Up" or "Three Wise Men and a Baby." In fact, any flick starring Tyler Hynes will do.
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "Sealed with a List" (Hallmark's pick), "Never Been Chris'd"
Winter Wonderland - Grenache Rosé
Tasting Notes: This dry rosé has a unique pale-peach hue. It's crisp like fresh fallen snow, but with notes of wild strawberries and mellow raspberries for a slightly sweet, elegant finish.
Goes Well With: Vanilla cake, meringue, strawberry cheesecake
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Winter Wonderland is a more sophisticated rosé, so we'd pair it with Hallmark's royal Christmas movies like "Crown for Christmas," "A Winter Princess" or "A Royal Christmas Crush."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "Christmas on Cherry Lane" (Hallmark's pick), "Christmas in Notting Hill"
Autumn Dreams - Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Autumn Dreams is a Reserve Pinot Noir with notes of boysenberry pie and ripe cherries.
Goes Well With: Chocolate ganache, Carrie Underwood's pumpkin caramel french toast
Classic Hallmark Movie Pairings: Enjoy with Fall Into Love programming like "Falling for Vermont" or "Love Under the Olive Tree," or pair with a European holiday romp like "Christmas in Vienna."
2023 Hallmark Movie Pairings: "My Norwegian Holiday," "Navigating Christmas"
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