Holiday Wine Guide
The holiday season is here and that means lots of parties and gatherings with family, friends, and co-workers. You never want to show up at a party empty handed, or host a party without the proper beverages, especially with Christmas and New Years Eve dangling in front of us.
I drink whatever my heart desires (Riesling!) while out, and although I definitely try to follow the red with heavy-white with light food/wine jargon, it’s never always about what you particularly like at a party.
Wine can elevate a meal immensely when paired correctly, but where do you start, when you need to bring a holiday gift to the party? How do you distinguish one red from the other? How do you even pronounce Cotes de Rhone? What should you bring to the party to match the holiday turkey and stuffing? Don’t let the panic of the holidays make you pick up any old wine! The best glass of wine is when it’s thought out, and paired with food and friends. Here is a quick and easy wine guide for everyone.
WINE GLASSES: The appropriate drinking glasses for specific wines:
- Champagne flute-made to keep bubbles, keeping flavor clean with limited oxidation. No swirling needed.
- White wine glass- Glasses, shape, and size varies; allows more oxidation
- Red Wine glass- larger and rounder than all the others, created to swirl the wine more; made to be able to sip and smell the wine simultaneously
- Swirling- Moving wine around in the glass using small circular motions. This aerates the wine, bringing out volatile elements.
- Smell- Wine should be smelled before and after swiriling, to distinguish characteristics and flavor notes in the wine.
- Taste- When tasting wine, move the wine around in your mouth; this warms the wine and causes it to hit more taste buds.
- Appearance- Hold wine against a white background at a 45 degree angle to determine the wines true color.
WINE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD: Wine is produced and enjoyed from a variety of locations in the world including:
- North America: California, Washington State, New York, Oregon, and Canada
- Europe: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany
- Hong Kong, China
FOOD AND WINE:
- Light-medium bodied dry white wines (i.e. Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc) -> Salmon/Tuna; Poultry; Light pasta dishes
- Light-medium bodies off-dry white wines (i.e. Riesling, Gewurztramiener) -> Salmon/Tuna; Poultry; Game birds; Light pasta; Beef/Barbeques; Duck/Goose
- Medium-full bodied dry white wine (i.e. Pinot Gris; Chardonnay) -> Seafood w/ a heavy sauce; salmon/tuna; poultry; game birds; light pasta; hearty pasta; beef/barbeques; duck/goose
- Light-medium bodied dry red wines (i.e. Cotes du Rhone) -> Mild cheeses; light appetizers; pates/dips; hearty pastas; Asian foods; pork; veal; lamb;
- Medium-full bodied dry red wines (i.e Pinot Noir, Merlot) -> Mild cheeses; strong cheeses; hearty pasta; beef/barbeques; game; lamb
- Light-medium bodied Rose wines (i.e White Zinfandel) -> mild cheeses; light appetizers; shrimp; crab/lobster; fruits/desserts
- Champagne and Sparkling Wine -> Asian foods; mild cheeses; light appetizer
“Exploring Wine-The Culinary Institute of America’s Complete Guide to Wines of the World” (Amazon.com)
Photo via www.blog.allentate.com