The holidays usher in the most festive time of the year, bringing an abundance of parties, concerts, and special events — and countless opportunities to offer wine and food pairings with your own personal touch.
Whether you favor a white chardonnay or a deep red cabernet, a small sit-down dinner or a large-scale affair, there will be choices to make. Here’s a look at how to pick the perfect wine for your holiday party.
FOR THE WHITE WINE DRINKER
If you’re not a red meat eater, you may prefer something white. Or maybe you just prefer the taste? Regardless of your reason, if you favor white wine varieties over red here are a few we suggest you serve.
J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay 2015
This beautiful Chardonnay is medium straw yellow in color and exhibits intriguing aromas of wet stone, white peach, lemon cream, creme brulee, and vanilla. Its rich texture is derived from the use of classic Burgundian techniques, such as primary and malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels and weekly stirring of the lees during aging. The texture is balanced by fresh flavors of stone and citrus fruits, with a long, sweet oak finish. Delicious with chicken, turkey or seafood entrees and quite nice with baked brie and fresh bread and fruit.
King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2016
King Estate’s flagship wine reflects an excellence recognized worldwide. This wine has a glistening straw yellow color. The nose bursts with fruit flavors like ripe pear, pineapple and key lime pie with subtle aromas of damp slate and violets. This Pinot Gris pairs well on the holiday table with turkey and dressing, chicken, and fruit and cheese platters.
Domaine Carneros Brut Rosa de la Pompadour
A blend of 58% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay, the Brut Rosé is meant to be enjoyed at a fairly young age when the fruity character is still predominant, yet with enough age to make the wine round and balanced. The wine’s aroma has hints of wild strawberries and roses with notes of peach. Although pale pink in color, Brut Rosé is no sweeter than our other wines. It is a true Brut. It pairs exceedingly well with turkey, duck and Alaskan Sockeye salmon — and also with anything on your dessert table.
FOR THE RED WINE DRINKER
Red wine lovers are passionate in their preference. Reds are known to deliver to the palate a rich flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of different dishes. You’ll never go wrong having a few red wines available at your holiday gathering so here are a few that you might want to try.
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2015
Wonderful, fat strawberry, with coffee and chocolate characters. Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich vintage with great vanilla oak character and a long lingering finish. This luxuriant Zinfandel will complement any pasta or red meat entrees, especially a carved holiday roast beef.
David Bruce Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2015
No holiday table would be complete without a beautiful Pinot Noir. This David Bruce pinot is a red garnet color with aromas of dark cherry, pomegranate, strawberry, dried rose petal, spicy with hints of black pepper and nutmeg. On the palate, dark cherry, blood orange, raspberry, dark mulberry, and plum, toasted walnut, crushed peppercorn, and cardamom. A full-bodied cold-climate Pinot Noir with firm round tannins, it matches perfectly with red meat or pork dishes and also goes along nicely with any pasta and red sauce.
Guenoc Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Fruit forward with dark cherry, spicy white pepper, and oak notes, with hints of lavender and vanilla on the nose, this cab’s fruit flavors continue on the palate with integrated firm tannins and a long supple finish. You can safely go outside the traditional holiday menu lines with this Cabernet Sauvignon on your table, so prepare something new and different for your guests like Port Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs, or Traditional Meatballs, or even a Roasted Duck Breast with Pecan Purée.
The holiday season always puts red and white wine in the high-demand category. There are many other choices for wine lovers looking for something a bit different. For many, a favorite pick is something rosé. Rosé wines lean toward being crispier, fruitier, and festively pink, pairing perfectly with just about anything on your holiday table, from turkey to a crisp green leafy salad with walnuts, apples, grapes, and pears. The rosé’s versatility, combined with its festive appearance, makes it an excellent choice for any gathering, whether a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve celebration.
Selecting the perfect wines can make or break your holiday get- together, but that does not mean you have to go broke at the wine store. The majority of the varieties covered here are available at very reasonable prices. So rest easy, knowing that you’ll have something left over for gift-giving when the holiday party has ended. Time to relax with friends and family and savor your favorite wines this holiday season! l