Holiday gatherings and Christmas wines bring excitement to entertaining. With all of the planning that goes into holiday dinners and parties, the wine list should be kept to a small, well chosen selection that will satisfy all guests. Choosing the right wines for Christmas can be a daunting task! Here are guidelines to help navigate through the many wine choices:
Wines for Christmas Eve – For many, Christmas Eve is the best part of the holiday. Start the celebration with Champagne or sparkling wine. There are many varieties of bubbly on the market in all price ranges. An alternative to Champagne (which is made in France) is Prosecco which is made in Italy in the Veneto region. There are also many wine varietals that are food-friendly and versatile enough to accompany the variety of foods that will be served.
Reds: Merlot, Zinfandel, Beaujolais Nouveau, Syrah/Shiraz,
Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir,
Reds: Pinot Noir, Tempranillo
Whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Reds: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon
Whites: Dry Riesling
Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz
Sparkling wine: Brut Champagne or sparkling wine
Whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling, Chablis
Champagne or Sparkling wine
Wines for Christmas Dessert – Christmas desserts deserve their own Christmas wines. Save the best for last!
Champagne and sparkling wine can be served with practically any dessert with the exception of desserts that contain dark, bitter chocolate.
Port or sweet sherry both work well with Christmas pumpkin pie.
Port pairs well with dark chocolates and chocolate desserts.
Sauterne pairs well with apple or plum pie.
Christmas wines such as fruity Blackberry wine pairs well with buttery or creamy desserts such as cheesecakes and shortbread.