Holiday Wine Pairings

The holidays are officially upon us, and you might be wondering what sort of wine to get for the big day. This day could be Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Yule, but every celebration worth celebrating comes with a big feast, which of course begs the question – what will you drink with it?


Here are some friendly pairing suggestions from your favourite wino.



Ah turkey, the big gobble-gobbler. My family reserves these birds for two meals a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, so when it shows up on our table it’s a treat. While more flavourful than other birds, turkey is still pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of the qualities that you would look for in matching it with a wine. It’s flavour isn’t very powerful and it has the ability to pick up flavours of the things it’s been cooked with, which open it up to a variety of pairings. My family uses a simple yet delicious recipe for our turkey that allows the turkey’s natural flavour to take the spotlight, which is what guides these two suggestions.


Here are two wines I’ll be considering for my Christmas Day table:


Pinot Noir

Elouan Pinot Noir 2014



Fielding Viognier 2014



Maybe you’re not a turkey fan. Maybe you’re trying to keep your tryptophan intake in check. So maybe you’ll be opting for beef as the main event. In that case I would recommend something that has a bit more oomph to it – more body, definitely, and you can also push things a bit further in terms of tannin and acidity. Since beef is a stronger flavour, you want a wine that will match it.


Here’s what I’d buy:



Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon 2006



Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG



This one is a bit tricky. I mean, really, vegetarian meals can be anything!


Let’s say your main star is something rich, like a risotto or some sort of delicious multi-veg gratin or something. I suggest getting something with body and maybe some good acidity, that will stand up to the richness of a dish like this.



Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2014



Kilkanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz


Or maybe you’re going lighter with some hearty winter salads and roast veg smorgasbord? In that case I would open a lighter wine to match, like a Sauvignon Blanc or, if you want to stay red, a Beaujolais.



Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc



Stephane Aviron Vieilles Vignes Moulin-à-Vent 2011



We can’t forget about dessert, can we? Now, if you’re like me you’d be happy to skip the baked goods and go straight for a nice cheese plate or some sort of fortified wine. Here are two bottles I wouldn’t dismiss if they showed up on my table:



Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Port


Botrytis Semillon

De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2013


And remember: when in doubt, bubbles are always a good idea.  



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