We all know the holidays are the time to eat and drink like kings and queens.
Though of course we love our cocktails, around mealtime nothing gives your guests the royal treatment like pairing some delicious wines with a big turkey, ham, beef, or even vegetarian dinner.
Read on for some inventive pairings for this holiday season that will be sure to leave your guests wanting more!
Turkey Dinner Wine Pairings
If you want to serve red, try the American favorite Pinot Noir (we are partial to those from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, but for something a little less expensive--and just as tasty--go for Pinots from the Sonoma Coast. The Pinot's lack of tannins perfectly accents turkey's qualities and will make everyone happy.
For white lovers, introduce a Sauvignon Blanc. Its balanced acidity--and the touch of herbs found in its palette--offer some needed complexity for your turkey dinner.
Ham Dinner Wine Pairings
For a nice red, serve a George DuBeouf Beaujolais: it will be a young and fruity (and inexpensive!) complement to the ham dish.
You can also augment the sweetness that usually accompanies ham (pineapples and other fruits) with white wine: a dry Riesling is typically fruity with crisp acidity, and will be a good balance to the sweet and salty ham dinner.
Beef Rib Roast Dinner Wine Pairings
Normally Cabernet Sauvignon is beef's partner-in-crime at mealtime, but we prefer Shiraz. It's more versatile, and the traces of licorice and pepper bring out the intense beef taste.
If you'd prefer white, try a hearty Chardonnay. It's fullness and intensity can stand up to beef any day.
Vegetarian Dinner Wine Pairings
Let's not forget our tofurkey lovers; they like wine, too, you know!
Contrary to popular belief, some vegetarian meals can be quite complex and heavy, so pair yours with a delicious Rioja for flavor galore. It's a medium-bodied, and very food-friendly wine, with yummy spices, so it will go well with a vegetarian dish without overwhelming it.
A steel-cask Chardonnay, with its earthy and grassy flavorings is a great pair on the white side with a vegetarian holiday meal.
Dessert Wine Pairings
Dessert wines are always popular for whatever type of food you're serving. In fact, they're typically so sweet that they can even stand alone at dessert time. So head to your local wine shop and ask for a great recommendation for a silky Muscat (a varietal of grape that makes dessert wines liqueurs) or Ice wine (a type of dessert wine made from grapes that have been frozen while on the vine, allowing for a concentration of sweetness).