Wine Pairing Made Simple

There’s so much to holiday meal planning, and choosing the right wine is key! I spent some time talking to the owner of Vineyard Vines (the upscale liquor store next to Moe’s). Randy gave me some great tips about how to pair wines with different dishes.

If you’re serving a traditional turkey, “whites” are in order. A nice chardonnay is recommended as a “safe standard” but try something different with an unoaked chardonnay. Mer Soleil ages their “Silver” in steel and concrete tanks imported from Burgundy, France rather than in traditional oak barrels. It is equally distinct in flavor as is its bottle style with a matte steel gray finish. If you want something other than Chardonnay, try the Gruner Veltliner or Oregon Pinot Gris.

Serving beef such as a roast? Reds are your ticket. If you’re not sure what type of red to choose, test it out with the Village Vineyards wine tasting enomatic machine, which loads up to 16 reds for you to try! Randy’s top picks – Paxis red blend – it was given 90 points for a “best buy” as rated by “Wine Enthusiast”.

What if you have both beef and turkey on your table? Don’t underestimate the Rose any time of year. Rose features a natural strawberry flavor and hit of spritz. Ponte is a great choice at a value price.

Ham for Christmas? Try a Pinot Gris, a chardonnay or a white blend such as St. Hallett’s Poacher’s.

A friendly tip: Twist-off is becoming the “in thing” even for expensive bottles of wine! In most cases it’s considered even better than corked for quality because wine can be compromised when the cork goes bad.

So now you have your wine…here’s how to serve it:

Reds need 45 minutes to “breathe” before serving. Plan ahead! Use a beautiful wine decanter from Bed, Bath and Beyond. And whites and rose’s need to be chilled but don’t overdo it! Only chill 30-45 minutes before serving.

While you’re at Village Vineyards, pick up a fun holiday party idea…the wine tasting kit. Pick 6 of your favorite bottles, “Blindfold” the bottles with the kit covers and have your guests pick their favorite bottle with no pre-conceived ideas as to what they are tasting.


Top off the night with some chocolate and Reisling such as Nik Weis and your guests will be THANKFUL that you were the host!

For helpful hints about types of glasses to use, see our story on “Creating a Harvest Holiday Look for Your Table”.


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