Your Holiday Feast Wine Pairing Guide
The holidays are here, and that means it’s time to feast! And what goes better with a family feast but a great bottle of wine.
We’re here to provide the guide to all things wine when it comes to the holidays.
Prime Rib: This isn’t your standard pot roast and it deserves a higher class of wine. Naturally, you’ll want to choose a red, particularly one with plenty of tannins and a touch of acidity to get through the delicious fatty nature of the prime rib. Look for an Australian Shiraz or a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to perfectly compliment the peppery, herbed seasoning on your holiday roast.
Ham: Mmm, salty pork. A holiday ham generally has a sweet glaze so you’ll want something that pairs well with the sweetness. Avoid the ones that are overly sweet like a dessert wine and instead look for a dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc which has a gentle acidity that will complement your ham. If you’re feeling bold, you could go for a slightly sweet rosé, but you want to avoid anything that is overly sweet or acidic.
Roasted Root Vegetables: Vegetables can go with white or red but if you’re roasting root vegetables (potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc), try a lighter red. A well-balanced Pinot Noir or Merlot has the right amount of earthy taste plus a higher level of tannins that will pair nicely with the starchy, herbaceous nature of your vegetables.
Chocolate Desserts: Chocolate is simultaneously the easiest and hardest of the desserts to pair, simply because there is such a wide range of flavors that are complementary. If you want to just bring a straightforward dessert wine, look to a Port-style wine like a late-harvest Syrah or Petite Syrah. Many people think a traditional Cabernet Sauvignon is the right choice but actually, the tannic quality and high acidity of a Cabernet is going to make your lovely dark chocolate taste like cough medicine so try a Pinot Noir or a late harvest Zinfandel to bring out the sweetness.
Pie: Apple, pecan, sweet potato, oh my! Pie is the most common holiday dessert and for that, you want a true dessert wine. Something sparkly is great to end a rich, heavy meal like a holiday feast, so you could do a traditional Moscato d’Asti. A sweet Pinot Gris (particularly an Alsatian-style) is great for that sweet potato pie, and then there’s a German Eiswein (or Ice Wine) which is basically sugar fruit in a glass. It’s great with a cheesecake or just on its own, straight out of the freezer.
Whatever you’re drinking, we wish you the happiest of holidays!