The holiday season is here and you have spent countless hours contemplating your festive dinner menu. With a focus on the meal, we tend to overlook the most important part till the last minute – the wine. Then we panic!! Leave your worries behind as this guide will solve all your pairing questions with select hand-picked wines to pair with your holiday dinner.
Holiday meals are tricky as there is a wide range of flavors and textures, with appetizers, pasta, veggies, turkey, prime rib, lamb, and desserts. It is important to keep in mind, the holidays are not just about the meal as the wines are equally important. This is a handy guide to specific wines to pair with classic holiday dishes. Choosing the right wines will make all the difference, one that your friends and family will appreciate.
Wines To Pair With Your Holiday Dinner
There is nothing more special than spending the holidays with your friends and family. To brighten and make your celebrations sparkling, begin your holiday dinner with bubbles. Don’t begin with just any bubbles, begin with Josh Prosecco DOC. This bottle of Prosecco is sure to get everyone in a bubbly mood. Bubbles will make your holiday bash festive, fun and full of sparkles. Josh Prosecco was crafted for everyday celebrations.
Cheeseboards are easy, simple, fun and impressive. Cheese and wine bring out the best in the other. Create an epic cheese board with a variety of cheeses, preserves, and fresh fruits. Marius by Michel Chapoutier Vermentino, from the South of France, will pair perfectly with fresh cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta and chèvre. Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau from Beaujolais, France is a fun festive wine for the holidays. It will be best complemented with comté, brie or any other semi-soft cheese.
A Charcuterie board can be a simple yet hearty snack for your guests. The Piper Sonoma Brut is great with Charcuterie. The crispness and acidity in this bubbly pair wonderfully with spicy cured meats like soppressata and chorizo. Crisp acidic whites like Sea Sun California Chardonnay, whose character speaks to the unique coastal regions of California, pairs well with salty and fatty Charcuterie like prosciutto or speck. Paté is a great addition to any charcuterie platter and paired with Alma Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir Vin Gris is a match made in heaven. The stone fruit flavors and minerality in the Pinot Noir Vin Gris marries well with the richness of the paté.
A luxurious creamy mushroom risotto is a decadent dish that will appeal to all your guests, including vegetarians. It is an elegant dish that pairs perfectly with Tuscan wines. Go with one of the most renowned names in Chianti and choose Cecchi Chianti Classico from central Tuscany. Cecchi Chianti Classico is an elegant fruit-driven wine that complements an earthy risotto. While ColleMassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva’s tannic structure pairs well with the richness and creaminess of the mushroom risotto. Colle Massari Montecucco is one of the most important and largest estates in Montecucco.
Artichokes and asparagus are staples at a holiday dinner, but they can be tricky vegetables for wine pairings. Look to Cliff Lede Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc to be a good match. The mouth-watering acidity and minerality in Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc are the perfect complement to the herbaceousness of asparagus and artichokes. Furthermore, the citrus notes of lime and grapefruit in the wine brighten up the flavors of the Asparagus, providing a refreshing contrast. Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc is a premier choice for this pairing.
Crispy Herb Crusted Grilled Salmon
Grilled salmon is a festive addition to your holiday table. A whole salmon makes a beautiful presentation and is an impressive main course. Salmon pairs wonderfully with sparkling wine and Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava is a perfect choice. Segura Viudas’s distinct tropical notes entertain the palate, while the wine’s bright acidity elegantly cuts through a rich and fatty salmon. This Cava helps emphasize the flavors and intensity of the salmon, making for an ideal pairing. Pinot Noir is also an exceptional pairing with salmon. The medium body of Cuvaison Pinot Noir from Los Carneros works well with a rich, oily grilled salmon. The fruity notes of Cuvaison Pinot Noir enhance the buttery texture and flavor of a juicy grilled salmon.
A traditional holiday dinner typically features a turkey as it serves a large crowd. Pinots pair well with turkey whether it is a white like Pinot Gris or a red wine like Pinot Noir. FEL Pinot Gris from Anderson Valley pairs beautifully with turkey. The FEL Pinot Gris is a lively white wine that refreshes the palate. FEL Pinot Gris is a lovely expression of Anderson Valley’s cool-climate terroir, simultaneously rich and unctuous but with tremendous brightness and refreshing acidity. Pinot Noir and turkey are a no-brainer. Sea Sun California Pinot Noir is an ideal pairing with a holiday roast turkey. This Pinot Noir’s bright acidity complements the turkey and doesn’t overwhelm the subtle flavors of the meat.
Prime Rib/Beef Tenderloin
Prime rib or beef tenderloin is perfect for a holiday feast. Nothing pairs better with beef than Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are looking for an intense and expressive style of Cabernet, Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is the ideal choice. If you are a Merlot fan, the Markham Napa Valley Merlot is the choice for you. It has ripe fruits and firm tannins that work well to break down the fattiness of prime rib.
Everyone loves lamb chops. They are fun finger foods. Nothing pairs better with lamb chops than Syrah/Shiraz. The fattiness of lamb chops softens the Syrah/Shiraz tannins. While the fruit in the Syrah curbs the lamb’s earthy flavors. Jackson Estate Santa Barbara Syrah and Yalumba Samuel’s Collection Shiraz are both beautiful expressions of Syrah. that pair well with lamb chops. If you are looking for another variety, Tempranillo plays well with lamb chops. Bodegas Monteabellon 14 Meses from Ribera Del Duero is 100% Tempranillo. The firm tannins of the Monteabellon pairs well with the fattiness of the lamb chops.
Strawberries & Cream
Strawberries & Cream are simple and easy to prepare and the festive colors of this dessert make it great for the holidays. The trick to pairing wine and desserts is to match the sweetness. Perfectly ripe berries are delicious with a late-harvest wine like the Merry Edwards Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2018. The citrus and honey notes of Merry Edwards Late Harvest wine highlight the strawberry flavors without overpowering the rich cream. The combination pairing is divine and so addictive.