Friday, December 21, 2012

Choosing Your Christmas Dinner Wine

 Christmas Dinner Is The Time For That Perfect Wine!

Well it’s almost Christmas and for those of us hosting Christmas dinner for our friends and family it’s time to start considering what wine should be served to help make our Christmas dinner perfect.

The answer is not all that easy. Many of our “go to wines” like bold Cabs, Chardonnays or a Sauvignon Blanc won’t go well with all the different flavors, smells, textures, spices, sweets, light foods and heavy ones that come with our Christmas meals.

The wine you serve must go well with turkey and ham as well as dressing, and what ever else finds its way on your Christmas table.

So when picking a Christmas wine the question is do you serve red, white or sparkling wine? Is it better to have one wine for the whole dinner or choose different ones for the different courses and tastes?

Here are some easy guidelines for choosing your perfect Christmas wine!

Medium bodied wines that are well balanced with low acidity and or low in tannins go well with Christmas dinner. You’re looking for wines that won’t be overpowered by the heavy foods and won’t overpower the lighter foods.

Fruitier wines with lower alcohol will go well with the turkey and everything else, so don’t bring out that bottle of French Bordeaux you’ve been saving for a special occasion.  

Champagnes and Sparkling Wines are a great Christmas Choice!

I personally like champagnes and sparkling wines at Christmas, especially those made from red grapes like Pinot Noirs. They go well with both the heavier foods and the lighter ones on your table. Also pick extra dry over Brut because they're actually not as dry as Brut and are softer with more fruit flavors. So try a little bubbly for your special Christmas cheer!  

A Nice Rosé will really work well with all your foods!!

Rosés are great, especially if you only want to serve one wine. They are an excellent bridge between white and red wines making them the perfect choice to please the different tastes of your guests.  

They are light, crisp and flavorful with lower alcohol.  A dry Rosé made from Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir or Zinfandel grapes will go well with all your dishes. 

A sparkling Rosé is the best of both worlds, especially the Italian ones!

White wines will make your dinner stand out!

The white wines that will go well with all your Christmas dishes need to be well balanced wines that are both refreshing and fruity. So serve the following whites to make your dinner a hit that pleases you and your guests.

Riesling: Sweet or dry, they are spicy and fruity with hints of apricot and peach with floral fragrances.

Gewurztaminer: The name means spiced and they do have notes of nutmeg and clove. They can be sweet or dry; I like the dry ones best. They also have very aromatic hints of floral.

Pinot Grigio: Dry wines with fruit flavors of pear and apple with hints of lemon and mineral. They can be light or medium bodied.  

Viognier: fruity and floral with apricot, pear and peach with a nuttiness and undertone of spice. Viognier is very low in acidity which is great for Christmas.  

Red wines are perfect for Christmas dinner!  

Choosing a red wine is harder because they are usually dryer and higher in alcohol. However the right ones can really add to your Christmas dinner. You want to find one that is medium bodied, fruity and well balanced. Again not that special bold wine you’ve tucked away. So pick one of the following, they’ll work well with all the flavors on your table:

Pinot Noir: fruity with cherries, plums, raspberries and strawberries.  

Syrah: Spicy with black pepper. Some are fruity and some smoky; go with fruity.

Beaujolais Nouveau: dry wines that are light, fresh and fruity.

Zinfandel: Intense wines having flavors of plums and jam with hints of pepper and spice. For Christmas choose one with low alcohol.

Grenache: Light to medium body wines that have abundant red-fruit flavors of currant, cherry and raspberry.    

And now for dessert!!

All of the wines I’ve mentioned will go well with desserts, especially the champagnes and the sparkling wines. However if you want to serve a dessert wine, try a Port. They're fortified wines that are sweet with a fruity raisin taste. They’ll be great with all the sweets, and they really go well with ice cream as well as pecan, chocolate and apple pies.  

Have A Very Merry Christmas!!! 



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