Fort Mill Times

Wine time: Here are some tips on holiday time wine pairings

The Associated Press file

What wine is best to compliment your holiday dinner? There’s no one answer to that question.

I definitely recommend having more than one varietal with holiday dinner. There are so many different flavors. Main courses, side dishes, appetizers and desserts. It’s hard to find just one wine that will compliment all of them.

The main course if often turkey. It’s a happy bird and it can hang out with a variety of wines, both white and red because it has dark and light meat. Dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfandel or Merlot all work well with it.

Ham goes well with Gewurztraminer. Never tried Gewurztraminer? It’s spicy with a hint of lychee nut. Riesling is also a good choice. Leitz Drgaonstone Riesling produces a very good dry style wine. A good choice for your traditional New Year’s roast pork is Pinot Noir or Merlot. After losing popularity due to the movie “Sideways” a few years back, Merlot is making a comeback.

Roast Beef calls out for a big full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or a French red such as Chateau Greysac Medoc. Let’s consider other than the main course:

▪ Side dishes: Dressing should go with whatever wine you have chosen for your main course. Potatoes are more mild in flavor, so there’s no need to pick a specific wine for them. It isn’t easy being green; Not all wines like green vegetables. Riesling with its low alcohol and excellent acidity can be a winning choice. Sweet potatoes are a bit of a challenge due to their natural sweetness but a nice Riesling or a Zinfandel will work. Cranberries marry beautifully with Zinfandel.

▪ Desserts: Mince pie goes with a port or sweet sherry. Pumpkin pie is complimented with a sparkling wine or a medium to sweet Riesling. Apple pie and a late harvest wine. A soft cheese and sparkling wine make a nice finish to dinner. Blue cheese and port make a good match. If you want a splurge wine to complete your meal, look for a French Sauternes. Sauternes have a rich concentrated flavors making them a good choice with sweet desserts as well as cheese.

Marie Oskins: winetime@comporium.net

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