Pairing Wine with Holiday Meals
When you're entertaining family and friends for the holidays, you may clean the house to pretend that “this is how I live all year”. You also may contemplate the perfect meal for your guests, taking into consideration your past years' hits (and misses), as well as the palette of your guests.
But what about the wine? What wine pairs with your holiday meal?
Beyond what wine pairs with your specific dishes, you also must consider the preferences of your guests. Why? Because of me.
I'm a perfect example of someone who doesn't necessarily pair my wine with a particular dish, unless you're talking about red meat and red wine. I am not a big fan of white wine, and I strongly (STRONGLY) prefer red wine. Yes, I'll prefer red wine with my Turkey over a perfectly-paired chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. That's just me. (Do you have others like me coming to dinner?)
So… What do you pair with your holiday meal? I'll try to make this simple.
If you're making Turkey and the traditional “Thanksgiving Meal”, then a nice white wine will be in order. A buttery, silky Chardonnay would be perfect. For red wine lovers, I'd go with a yummy Pinot Noir.
If you're baking a Ham, for Thanksgiving or Christmas, then you can go with the same Chardonnay as you would for a Turkey Dinner, or consider a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. For red wine lovers, I'd suggest a nice Merlot.
And for desert? Of course, I always offer up a coffee. But, if you've run out of espresso and you forgot to buy K-cups for your Keurig, I've got a great idea, particularly if you're feeling a little indulgent (and your family hasn't already started fighting). I'd serve up a delicious Tawny Port. (But remember, port goes in a much smaller glass than a wine glass, and your servings are correspondingly smaller. I learned the hard way.)
But remember, if I come to your holiday meal, I'll skip the Chardonnay and the Sauvignon Blanc if I can just get a glass (or 3) of Cabernet Sauvignon from California!
If you're looking for a great supplier of these wines, I'd strongly suggest a great wine of the month club. Why? Because you don't have to do any thinking. They're the experts. They send you their expertly-selected wines, at the right time of the year (along with tasting notes, pairing recipes and more).
I love my subscription to The Original Wine of the Month Club's “California Red Series” (where I get two bottles of Red Wine from California). I also love my monthly deliveries of Gold Medal Wine Club's “Gold Series”, where I get one red and one white. (I love the red wine, and my guests get the white wines!)
I also get wine each month from my local wine store, Simply Wine, where I'm a member of their wine club.
As you can imagine, I have no shortage of wine in my house. Over these last few years, I've learned a lot about wine and wine pairings — all from these clubs who send me excellent information along with their delicious wine selections.
If you don't have time to join a wine of the month club before your next meal, check out your local wine merchant for their selections, like I do at Simply Wine. But, if you find a moment, I'd suggest you consider joining one of our favorite wine of the month clubs.
You can serve up a winning wine at your next holiday meal!
(Thanks to Brian Solis for use of his excellent image for our post.)