12 Wines of Christmas

In our family, there’s about 8 recipes that you don’t change, but there’s also appreciation for creativity and new dishes

You can’t go wrong when you go long...on tradition! Family members don’t tinker much with time-honored holiday recipes. Do you really want to be the one that tells Aunt Tilly to try some bourbon in her Pecan Pie? (Maybe next year).

In our family, there’s about 8 recipes that you don’t change, but there’s a great appreciation for creativity and new dishes. 

And then we play with the wines on these holiday tables. No doubt, there will be Champagne, Riesling, Rosé, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and dessert wine surrounding our Thanksgiving table. Here’s our top 12 list of holiday favorites. Maybe you have these same wines on your table, maybe there will be some fun new ones to try. 

Marie-Pierre Manciat Cremant De Bourgogne $31. 

French Cremant delivers the Champagne experience at a fraction of the cost. This is so good we drink it year-round. Crowd Pleaser #1, raise a glass. Live long and prosper. 

Then, we offer a smorgasbord of white and rosé wines. This is one of those rare moments when a lot of different wines can all share the same counter space and offer something for everyone. 

San Marzano, TraMaRi, Rosé of Primitivo (Zinfandel), Italy $18. Torii Mor, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon $21, Cinder Winery, Albarino, Boise, Idaho. 

Why does this work? It does seem overwhelming, but there’s not just 3 things on your plate to pair with wine. On average you might fill 2 plates of food with about 10 different dishes. This calls for a sophisticated shotgun approach to the wines, so smother your guests with wine choices. With this lineup of wines, there’s a strong chance that one will be quite good with the green bean casserole. All of them are good with Turkey. 

We’re all in the same gravy boat. Here’s a selection of red wine that is well-suited for flavors like cranberry sauces, roasted vegetables and umami-rich gravy. 

Granger “Aux Pierres” Chenas Beaujolais , France. $25. Deep Blue, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon $32. Petalos del Bierzo, Spain, $24

Lower tannin wines don’t fight most of the food on the table and crisp acidity is a good pair in cutting through fattier foods. Plus, these are good wines to pair with game, ham and poultry. The Beaujolais works well with roasted vegetables, sauces and gravies. The Spanish Mencia pairs nicely with glazed ham and bread dressings. And Pinot Noirs' food versatility is exceptional. 

Got Prime Rib on the menu? 

Eric Chevalier Cardinal, Cabernet Franc, France, $24. Dude DeWalt Sheepdog, Bordeaux Blend, Idaho. $44. Achaval Ferrer Quimera, Malbec $42 

Beef and Cabernet...truly one of the great matchups in culinary history. 

Dessert is a formidable assignment for wine. It’s an easier assignment for a decaf cappuccino. But, Ruby and Tawny Ports seems to fair well. 

Quinta De La Rosa 20 Year Tawny Port. $49 

Finnriver Pear or Black Currant Apple Cider, $10 Washington.

Great for all the non-wine drinkers. And try this with Pumpkin Pie too! 

Happy Holidays

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