Wine is key to assuredly winning your holiday dinner. Simple navigation of the wine pairing begins by assessing the preferences of your guests, balanced by your own tastes, as well as the format and style of your holiday dinner. Evaluate the menu and consider wines that are food friendly and mellow dinner companions, highlighting the food and the company, rather than commanding attention on the table. We highly recommend purchasing a mashed up array of wines, placing them on the table, and encouraging guests to sip and share tastes of many different bottles without having to commit to just one wine. Utilize a trusty wine shop to make of the moment recommendations, or stick to your favorites, play it safe or be adventurous. Festive bottles need not be expensive bottles!
Our suggestions include wines that are high in acid and lower in alcohol, with only a small influence from oak. Sparkling wine is nearly always an amazing option for the holiday table! Not only are the bubbles spirited, but the high acid and prickly mouthfeel are a lovely pairing with nearly any dish. An off-dry Riesling is also an excellent choice, as the slight sweetness juxtaposed next to the high acidity create a mouthwatering balanced that yearns for food. Gamay is a ringer, with similar characteristics to Pinot Noir, but not so serious a hit to the wallet, and an aptitude for pairing. For those that prefer more hefty wine options, snagging a lighter bodied Zinfandel can be a wonderful, very American food and wine pairing experience. And, to wrap up the meal and the wine pairing, pop open a dessert wine with bright fruit, honeycomb and an unctuous texture, or fortified wine with notes of dried fruit, nuttiness, and chocolate. For certain, you will be the researched, poised, and elegant host!
1. Gruet Sauvage, New Mexico, United States – Chardonnay
2. 2009 Max Frederick Richter Kabinett Braunberger Juffer, Mosel, Germany, France – Riesling
3. 2010 Guy Breton Vielles Vignes, Morgon, Beaujolais, France – Gamay
4. 2010 Storybook Mayacamas, Napa Valley, California – Zinfandel
5. 1985 Bodegas Toro Albala ‘Solera Dox PX’, Jerez, Spain – Pedro Ximinez