Happy Thanksgiving! And Happy Almost Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year! As we get ready for all of these delicious holidays, it’s fun to think about the best holiday wine pairings. Happily, I’m going to keep my recommendations very simple this year. But I’ll start with a few serving tips to help make sure your holiday meals are happy – and easy.
Holiday Wine-serving Tips
- Serve Family Style. Put all the wines out that you decide you want to include in your festivities, and leave it up to each person to choose what they want.
- Feature Sparkling Wine. As a great palate cleanser, Sparkling Wine allows you to eat a HEAVY holiday meal without it ever feeling too heavy. Sparkling Wine holds up nicely to even the most serious parts of a holiday meal, without ever being too wimpy or too strong.
- Serve Low Tanning Reds and Acidic Whites. The low tannin reds will be best for supporting the flavors of the food without overwhelming them. The acidic whites will stand up nicely to all the dishes you’re serving. And of course, don’t forget to include a dry Rosé.
- Make Sure Your Dessert Wine Is Sweeter than the Dessert. Per my recent article entitled “Pairing Wine with Dessert”, if you do the opposite, you end up with an unpleasant, bitter tasting experience.
My Recommended Holiday Wine Pairings
This year, I’m recommending two specific wines for holiday wine pairings: Cabernet Franc and Sparkling Wine. Be my guest to add many more wines to your gatherings. But I think if you include these two wines, you and your guests will be incredibly happy. Let me explain why.
Why Cabernet Franc for Holiday Wine Pairings
Ashlee McRae does a good job of characterizing Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon. She says, “Cabernet Franc is the lighter, laid-back, hippy father of the yuppie Cabernet Sauvignon. Its bright in personality, and soft in its embrace.” That description alone is enough to motivate me to have Cabernet Franc on my holiday dining tables. In addition to this wonderful description, the wine’s aromas and flavors of black currant, raspberry, plum, violet, licorice, tobacco and bell pepper make it excellent for food and wine pairings.
Why Sparkling Wine
As I mentioned earlier, Sparkling Wine’s palate-cleansing ability is greatly needed and much appreciated during HEAVY meals. A heavier wine, while it might pair more perfectly with a particular dish, will just be heavy on top of heavy, which isn’t any fun.
Sparkling Wine also works well with all parts of the meal. It’s great with appetizers such as crackers topped with brie and pear, stuffed mushrooms and olives. It pairs beautifully with the main courses, including turkey or ham, and the serious side dishes like stuffing and mashed potatoes.
WineShop At Home’s Cabernet Franc and Sparkling Wines
Here are the links to our Cabernet Franc and Sparkling Wines. Please feel free to visit my site and place an order or call me at 650-714-7009, if you’d like me to place an order for you.
- Fact 2017 Lodi Cabernet Franc
- le Cadeau California Brut Sparkling Wine
- le Cadeau California Semi-Seco Sparkling Wine
- le Cadeau California Rosé Sparkling Wine
Cheers to a safe, happy, healthy and tasty Thanksgiving!
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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