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Holiday Wine Made Simple

Image: holiday wines (ARA) - You have the turkey or ham. You have the yams and the stuffing. You've compiled all the ingredients you need for Grandma's special bean casserole. The pies are picked out. There's only one key ingredient missing from your recipe for the perfect holiday feast -- wine. But, when it comes to purchasing wine for a celebration, what grape goes best with your gobbler?

Wine paring is not an exact science. While some wines go better with certain foods, it ultimately comes down to each person's individual tastes. When buying hoiday wine, an excellent way to ensure each guest's preferences are satisfied is to cover your bases and purchase a red and a white wine. While the usual train of thought is to simply purchase a Chardonnay and a Merlot, there are several other wines that will make your holiday feast more memorable.

If you have decided to serve veggies, cheeses, bread or shrimp cocktail as munchies to keep curious guests out of the kitchen, partner these appetizers with a crisp white wine. Luna di Luna's Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio, a delicate, unique sparkling 60/40 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, is made from select grapes that receive extra fermentation to ensure that the wine will keep its bubbles and not go flat in the glass. It is an effervescent bright straw yellow color, with aromas of peach and melon and a hint of oak making it perfect for shellfish, salads and light fare.

Should the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving dinner happen to be a succulent smoked ham or juicy prime rib, a gorgeous and delicious red wine to consider is Piccini Chianti Superiore, DOCG ($9.99) the world's highest-rated Superiore from Italy's foremost producer of Chianti. This dry red wine is made from the finest, specially selected Sangiovese grapes, and has a huge concentration of ripe, red fruit in the nose, spicy textures and a generous lingering finish that will mix beautifully with the scents of holiday cooking emanating from the kitchen.

Possibly the most appropriate accompaniment for that most traditional of holiday foods, oven-roasted turkey, is a delicately dry, full-bodied white wine that not only goes well with the bird itself, but also with potatoes, mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Pinot Grigio has become very popular during the last few years for its refreshing taste and ability to pair well with most foods. Ca' Montini L'Aristocratico Pinot Grigio ($15.99) splashed onto the wine scene only two years ago and has since received rave reviews from the Beverage Tasting Institute, the Wine Taster's Guild and "The Wall Street Journal" for its quality and exquisite flavor. Presented in a statuesque, tapered pyramid bottle and individually wrapped in tissue, Ca' Montini uses only the best grapes from its Trentino, Italy, vineyards for its Pinot Grigio. The resulting wine has crisp, complex flavors of apples and peaches with a rich body and persistent aftertaste sure to make it a holiday favorite.

Hopefully, these wine recommendations will help to make choosing the right wine for your holiday feast a bit easier. Whichever foods you decide to put on your menu, keep in mind that there is no absolute right or wrong when it comes to pairing wines and foods, only personal preference. However, some common rules of thumb when buying wine are: red wines typically go with red meat, white wines usually go with white meat and a 750-ml bottle produces approximately five glasses of wine, so be sure to buy enough for everyone.

Courtesy of ARA Content.

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