Posted January 10, 2011 in Wine, Wine Everywhere
The holidays are almost here and it is time to pick out your wines for the festivities. But what do you do? Everyone has their own preferences in wine, so picking a wine that is everyone’s favorite is almost impossible. The best way to choose wine is to start with the food and work backwards. At the very least, you will have a perfect match that pleases everyone.
Beaujolais is always a great holiday wine. Relatively inexpensive when compared to other French wines, and often more approachable. Cru Beaujolais with a year or two of age is a great idea for the holidays. Morgon is a cru I always recommend. It usually has a little more structure tha others so it can hold it’s own with a variety of foods.
Bubbles are a perenial favorite at the holidays. Turn to off-the-beaten path regions for more bang for your buck. There is nothing like the bruised apple nose of true Champagne, but it does come with a price tag. Great alternatives can be found in Alsace and, even better, in the Loire. A Loire sparkling from Chenin Blanc may be the perfect match to turkey. Dry or slightly off dry are often the best pairings from the toast all the way to dessert.
When asked “What do you like?”; most people respond with the typical, “A big Cab or a big Pinot.” The reason for this answer is that is what they have always been given to drink. Pinot shouldn’t be a big, bruising wine. If it is, you shouldn’t open a second bottle. Keep it for a few more years until the subtleness starts to show. Big Cabernet Sauvignon are the most common buisinessman’s dinner wine. It is natural to continue to drink it because it is what you know best. The only problem is Cabernet is often way too big for some foods. The the holidays, reign in the big wines and go for something memorable with the food. Try looking at the sauce with your entree when matching the wine. And don’t fall in the “I only drink red” category. White wines are delicious and are often a better paring . Try a dry Riesling from Australia or The Clendenen Family Riesling from California. You won’t regret it and you’ll save a few $$ along the way.