Wine Writing Team on November 23, 2020 0 Comments Part of the beauty of wine is that there are so many growers and brands out there making all of the major types of wine in different ways. No matter what the meal, the occasion, or your personal taste, there is sure to be a type and brand of wine that will be perfect. Now that the holiday season is coming, we have the perfect wine pairings for all the various holiday foods to make your holiday events as savory and memorable as they should be! Before we get into our pairing recommendations, there is one thing to keep in mind – always choose a wine that can complement the food, enhance its flavor, or both. As long as your wine does one of these two things, you’re in great shape. The good news about holidays is there’s a lot of food to choose from, which means as long as you have two or three different wines to work with, you’ll have the perfect wine for your holiday party. We recommend a number of different wines for each of the major food types at each holiday. Beef Whether it’s steaks sauteing on the stove or burgers on the BBQ, the wines that go best with beef are: Cabernet Sauvignon The boldest choice for any pairing, Cabernet is always a good choice for beef, especially when it’s served rare. With its prominent fruity flavors and cedar intonations, Cabernet will not disappoint. Syrah Another popular red selection, Syrah is always a time-tested and tastier approved pairing for beef. With its standard smoky overtones, Syrah has a natural affinity with anything and everything used to smoke, flavor, seer, or otherwise enhance a nice juicy steak. Sangiovese Also known as Brunello, Sangiovese hails from Italy. This magnificent choice for just about any hearty family meal offers noticeable notes of red fruit with satisfying hints of tobacco and leather. It also contains tannins which will help cut through the fattiness of beef, clearing your palette for dessert. Turkey The biggest meal of the year needs an equally big wine. Naturally, turkey is going to be the entrée of choice for Thanksgiving. For this, and the foods that go with our turkey roast, we choose: Zinfandel Very fruity, and ever a crowd-pleaser, Zin is a bit heavy, which might hold some folks back at the Thanksgiving table, but for others, it’s the perfect finale. Pinot Noir A light and airy selection, Pinot is great to help us feel a bit less overstuffed at the end of the evening. This silky and graceful wine will make the flavor stand out most if sipped after each bite. Beaujolais Rounding out the Thanksgiving beverage list is Beaujolais. A southern Burgundy, it is a perennially popular pick for any meal featuring turkey. With high acidity, it helps clear your palate between dishes and is light for a less punishing Thanksgiving feast. It’s also a perfect choice for making sangria. Ham Ham may not be as popular as it once was, but since we’ve covered the other major roasts, we feel ham deserves some attention. Here are our top picks for a meal based around a ham entree: Chardonnay With just a touch of oak or none at all, Chardonnay will be the perfect pairing for a ham roast. It is a well-rounded and full-bodied wine that will not be overpowered by the rich, salty flavor of your roast. Keep in mind that California Chardonnays tend to be very oak rich, and quite well-ripened. Choose a French or another less stout source if that sounds like too much. Riesling Riesling just might be the best possible wine for ham. It is bright and mineral-rich, which allows it to stand out well against the backdrop of a thoroughly marinated ham. It is rather sweet, which may disqualify it as a match if the ham is glazed, so that’s something to keep in mind. Zinfandel This pure Americana red is always a welcome presence at the holiday table. It makes its second appearance in our list of pairings because it remains one of the most versatile wines on the market. Always fruit-strong, it’s a great wine for the uninitiated and it can be counted on to help counterbalance the saltiness of the ham. There’s a lot on your plate if you’re responsible for the holiday meals. We hope these suggestions help. If in doubt, remember that Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are unlikely to disappoint under any circumstances. Final tip: make sure to store your wine in a wine refrigerator so that you serve it at it’s best quality and flavor!