Holiday Wine Pairing Guide

Wine Pairings To Serve With Holiday Dinner

With the holiday season upon us, one of the most common questions we get asked is, ‘What kind of wine should I buy?’ With so many options to choose from (Red, White, Sparkling, oaked, unoaked, etc.), it can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a simple holiday wine pairing guide to help you out. We hope you enjoy!

Sauvignon Blanc 

If you are hosting any white wine drinkers, a favorite white varietal is the classic Sauvignon Blanc. Always dry and never oaky, a California Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with most holiday foods. Full of stone fruit and bright citrus notes of lime, grapefruit, and blood orange, this wine carries less acidity than a bottle from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. This makes it a great partner for citrus rubbed turkey breasts and roasted vegetables. A bright and zesty Sauvignon Blanc would go well with seafood dishes enjoyed during the Feast of Seven Fishes celebration. For a sweeter ending, a California varietal’s smooth, acidic finish would pair perfectly with a sweet potato pie.

 

Pairs well with:

·         Citrus rubbed turkey

·         Roasted vegetables

·         Seafood

·         Sweet Potato Pie

 

Our top picks:

·         William Knuttel Sauvignon Blanc

·         Silver Puffs Sauvignon Blanc

·         River Rock Sauvignon Blanc

 

Chardonnay

Another favorite white varietal is Chardonnay. The Russian River Valley, a medium bodied, oak filled wine, best accompanies buttery yams and salty gravy. This wine lends a subtle warm spice with a bit of tart acidity. Unoaked Chardonnay sits on the other end of the flavor spectrum. It tends to be minerally, steely, and has a citric finish that cuts through rich foods like deep fried turkey, roasted brussels sprouts, or a classic green bean casserole. When pairing a wine with dessert, an unoaked Chardonnay’s lemon undertones will bring out the tart notes of classic lemon bars.

Pairs well with:

·         Deep fried turkey or chicken

·         Green bean casserole

·         Lemon bars

Our top picks:

·         Ricochet Russian River Valley Chardonnay

·         Sheer Unoaked Chardonnay

·         Barrel Notes Reserve Chardonnay

 

Pinot Noir

If you’re looking for a red wine to serve this holiday season, our go-to wine recommendation is a medium bodied Pinot Noir. Whether it’s an Old-World French oak aged Pinot or a fruit forward bottle from the foothills of Napa, this silky varietal is sure to please everyone’s palate. Pinot Noir’s have a long and balanced body, with high acidity and low tannins, making it perfect to pair with a spice rubbed turkey breast. The high levels of acidity make this wine pair nicely alongside traditional Thanksgiving side dishes: mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce. The dark berry flavors (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries) shine through when accompanied by baked fruit desserts such as mixed berry cobbler or apple pie.

Pairs well with:

·         Spice rubbed turkey breast

·         Mashed potatoes

·         Cranberry sauce

·         Apple pie

 

Our top picks:

·         Pescadero Rock Pinot Noir

·         Fetters Springs Pinot Noir

·         William Knuttel Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

 

Zinfandel

Another bold flavored red that is ideal to drink during the holiday season is Zinfandel. Whether it’s a smooth and smoky Old Vine Zinfandel or a lighter, fruit forward New Vine Zinfandel, it will be the perfect pour for your roasted turkey or spiral ham. ‘Old Vine’ means the grapes are older vines (the grapes grow in smaller clusters and have a more condensed, heavier tannin packed flavor). Still smooth and containing notes of pepper, dark fruits, smoke, and deep baked berries, Zinfandels are great to pair with a pepper roasted turkey and herb filled stuffing. The rich spicy undertones of the Zinfandel will complement the flavors perfectly. To bring out the bold notes in your wine, try pairing it with a decadent Red Velvet Cheesecake for dessert and notice the cocoa undertones shine through.

Pairs well with:

·         Roasted turkey

·         Spiral ham

·         Herbed stuffing

·         Red Velvet Cheesecake

Our top picks:

·         GFF Lodi Zinfandel

·         Pedroncelli Special Selection Zinfandel

·         Buena Vista Angel Z Zinfandel

 

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is always a crowd-pleasing favorite and is surprisingly hefty enough to stand up to a meal. A Sparkling Cava is crisp and light, with notes of cherries, almonds, and slight hint of floral. With higher notes of acidity, Cava, especially Rosado, pairs nicely with dinner sides that boast multiple layers of flavor, such as maple glazed brussels sprouts, lemon baked asparagus, and rich dishes like sweet potato casserole. For dessert, try a glass of this sparkling with a pecan pie or streusel topped berry buckle!

Pairs well with:

·         Brussels sprouts

·         Asparagus

·         Sweet potato casserole

·         Pecan pie

Our top picks:

·         Ramiro Cava Rosado

·         Ramiro Cava Brut

·         Spumante Rose Evento

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