Your Definitive Guide to Holiday Wine Pairings

We all know how hard it can be to pair that one bottle of wine that you were gifted from your boss earlier in the year. It's a nice bottle, so you want to save it for a special occasion, like the holidays, yet you are unsure on how to pair it. Well, we compiled a list of popular holiday menus with which wines we would recommend pairing with what dishes.

Oysters Appetizer Sparkling Pinot Blanc Sparkling white Oysters and bubbles are a match made in holiday heaven. This classic pairing will help to cleanse your palate between bites, making it easier to fully appreciate the subtle flavor of the oysters.Brie Cheese Chardonnay Bright, creamy white Chardonnay’s creaminess is a great pairing for a soft cheese, and stands up to the rich nature of Brie. We would recommend a less oaky, bright, acidic  Chardonnay to keep the cheese from overwhelming the palate.

Brussels Sprouts Side Vegetable Vermentino Bright, crisp white Vermentino’s bright and crisp profile pairs well with the intense and sometimes bitter notes of the brussels sprout. The apple, grapefruit and minerality of Vermentino help subdue those intense flavors. We would recommend a squeeze of lemon on the sprouts for extra flavor.
Potato Gratin Side Dish Chardonnay Oaky, creamy white Due to the heartiness of the potato gratin, we would recommend creamy and oaky Chardonnay. It can stand up to the rich fullness of the dish, and can even transition to a turkey or chicken main course.
Mushroom Risotto Side Dish Pinot Noir Soft, earthy red Mushrooms and Pinot Noir go hand in hand. The earthiness of the mushrooms are a great complement to the soft tannins of the Pinot. The oak in the wine, also pairs nicely with the richness of the risotto.
ROast Turkey Main Dish Pinot Noir Light-bodied red Pinot Noir and turkey are a classic pairing due to the brightness and high acidity of the wine, pairing well with the light, and succulent flavors of the turkey. While turkey can pair with Chardonnay as well, we prefer it with a light Pinot Noir.
Prime Rib Main Dish Cabernet Sauvignon Dark fruited red Full bodied and tannic, Cabernet Sauvignon can stand the rich fattiness of prime rib. While Cabernet is full and rich, it also had great fruit and acidity to stand up to this prime cut.
Glazed Ham Main Dish Petite Sirah Full-bodied red For something a little different, we would recommend Petite Sirah for a glazed ham. The salty, sweet, richness of the dish complements the dark fruit and oak flavors of a smooth Petite Sirah.
Try one or all of these today with your meal, and let us know what your favorite pairing is.

Happy Holidays from Carneros Wine Company!

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